Monday, February 22, 2010

Sunday Ride

I've been shifting my priorities a lot in the last year and as a result have not been making bags or aprons or doing very much sewing at all. EmmalineDesigns as a business has been on hiatus for quite sometime. I am getting more and more clear about how I want to spend my time so that I'm enjoying every moment. If you look up at the heading for this blog you'll see one of my mantras, "Whatever you are doing is the most beautiful thing." This not only reminds me to enjoy life, it also guides me in deciding what I'll be doing on any given day.

In the last few months I've really taken up my passion for cycling. It is hard to help loving this sport since my father, an avid rider, has immersed me in the culture. Dad raised me to appreciate the honesty and hard work of cycling. It can often be a meditative and individual activity. We Cherry bikers are endurance riders, choosing to set a moderate pace and keep it up for hours on end. And we believe in wearing wool at all times and temperatures since it's the original cycling fabric. I was decked out in a purple turtleneck and, of course, Blue Bear merino tights

Yesterday, in homage to my father, I went on the first epic ride of my adult life, 26 miles round trip from Providence to Warren, a quaint seaside town along Narragansett Bay. I rode on the East Bay Bike Path, which largely follows old train tracks that stay close to the shore line. Suffice to say the road was flat and the scenery was mesmerizing.

I started late in the afternoon, about 3:30, so on the way I home I was racing against the sun. That's another thing about Dad and I, we like to push the limits a little, it makes us feel alive. I battled a chilly headwind back into town, with Providence's skyline beckoning me home and the red sun sinking behind the hills across the bay.

Emmaline Designs as a blog may be morphing into a commentary about how I am designing my life. Because that's really the greatest and most significant project of all. I thank you for sharing this journey with me and I hope you're as lit up by the adventure of life as I am.

Namaste & Happy Designing

Friday, January 22, 2010

Going Local

I made a huge decision in September to live life without a car. One of the scariest prospects I faced was finding a way to shop for groceries. In the fall I found it relatively easy to ride my bike to Whole Foods across town, but as the winter chill and snowstorms set in I found myself wanting to stick closer to home. This caused me to really explore the local options near my house and what I found is a charming and comprehensive set of resources!

Around the corner from my house and four blocks down is a kosher deli where I can buy sour cream, hummus, crackers, and even lox. They also carry kosher beef, chicken, and deli meats which are all delicious and fresh. A little closer to the house is a Russian market where I get kielbasa sausage and salami for soups and sandwiches. When I’m feeling naughty I buy European Kinder chocolate there, too. And around the corner is Seven Stars Bakery, my home away from home. I lived near their Broadway location when I first moved to Providence and I’m pretty sure that I’ll always make my real estate decision based on the proximity to their bakery! I’ve developed a new breakfast routine of eating their raisin bread with almond butter and life has looked sunnier since. I also make sure to visit the Farmers Market every weekend where I can get all my produce for the week as well as eggs, cheese, and even corn tortillas.

My way of life has become totally gratifying. There is an old-world simplicity to walking to work and supporting the local farmers and business owners. It’s a huge savings environmentally and financially not being responsible for an oil-fed combustion engine (a.k.a. Car). I think that these small-town alternatives to large-scale commerce and important and I encourage everyone to spend at least some of their grocery budget in their own neighborhoods. I know you’ll be surprised by how good it feels!