What a thing.

This morning my father, William Samual (billsam) Caldwell, killed himself in his bedroom.

I’m not sure what to say.  I have debated during the course of the day about whether or not to share this here.  In the end, it seemed in the spirit of the blog to talk about it.

He suffered from depression.  He was unable, or unwilling, to get help for it.  Unfortunately depression, while treatable, isn’t something that you can cure by holding someone down and giving them a shot.  We would naturally have done so!  In the end, taking his own life was HIS only solution.

In the darkest moments of this last year, I have never once contemplated suicide..  I can only imagine how one must be suffering to actually take their own life.

This afternoon I went into the shop to do a little work and clean the place up.  I start a round of chemo tomorrow, and as soon as it is done, I’ll be headed up to Vermont to pick up the pieces.  That will occupy the rest of my NON-chemo time before the whirlwind wedding tour begins.  Hard to imagine that today had to be my last for such a while in the shop.  My father wasn’t much of a dad.  He wasn’t a natural.  He sort of sucked at it.  I DID, however, cut my teeth as a fabricator in his wood shop as a small kid.  It felt right to spend some time in my own shop remembering him.  I played the Dire Straits.. a favorite of his.. and spent some time thinking of the old man.  Rest in peace, billsam.

Haven’t posted for a while.

I’m smelling the barn. When you take a horse on a trail ride (and I DON’T), there’s a point in the ride when they get renewed energy..  when they start to recognize where they are.. when they know they’re close to home.  They get all punchy and excited and start moving a little faster, excited to be almost home and to get the saddle off, and to eat something.  This is called “smelling the barn”

That’s more or less where I am these days.  Just REALLY eager to be done with all this.  Get the saddle off.  The end is in sight, and I’m getting a little punchy.  The last couple of rounds of chemo have been pretty rough.  Puking and etc..  I think it’s just the build up of chemo drugs in the system after 5 MONTHS of treatments.  On tuesday (a day late this round because of blood counts), I’ll go in for my penultimate round.

Immediately after finishing treatment, life gets pretty crazy for a while.  We’ll be heading down to Florida for Hill’s sister’s wedding two days after my last treatment..  Stop in North Carolina on the way home to have a little party with her family.  Then back to NYC, only to turn around and head up to Nova Scotia to get married ourselves (somewhere in there I need to have a minor little surgery to remove this f*%ing port).  Back to NYC to throw a party that you’re all invited to (not kidding even a little..  June 13th, NYC, be there).  Then, back down to North Carolina for ANOTHER party with Hill’s family and friends.  WEEEE!  June is basically all parties.  JULY, on the other hand, will be a return to quiet, normal, workaday life.  I can’t wait!  I’ve got LOTS of bikes to build.  Lots of good ideas that I simply haven’t had the time, energy, or health to work on.  The idea of weeks at a time passing with no obligations.. no trips to the doctor.. just work in the shop, sounds like some sort of paradise to me (I have a cool job).

I’ve been working for the last month or so on making various jigs, and tools to speed things up in the shop.  Life has been much too busy and costly for the last bunch of months for me to be able to seriously consider moving shop..  so I’ve been doing what I can to make operations in the current location a little smoother.  I’ve invented a new system for mitering tubes!  Very exciting.  Met a machinist/bike polo player, who’s able to make me things that I design in Solidworks..  Super accurate bits and pieces for tools that I’m making (he’s getting a custom Polo frame).  I mitered all the tubes for two bikes the other day in about an hour..  With the old set up, one bike’s worth would take more like two and a half (and have been about half as accurate).  Come by the shop and I’ll show you how it works.  (valancy..  I imagine that your eyes are glazed over by now..  Here’s a little tid bit for you..  These guys are making a movie about me.  Not kidding).

I’ve got a new project bike in the works.  A bit of a modern take on a classic design.  A porteur bike modeled after the french ones of old.  A bike with steering geometry that’s INTENDED for carrying heavy front loads.  Pictures soon.  Finished the frame yesterday.

That’s all I got.  I’ll try to be a little more on top of this blog as I roll down the home stretch.  My last day of treatment, if everything stays on schedule, will be may 20th.  I’ll be riding to and from that session.  It’s going to be a group ride.  Stay posted for details.

My love.

Oh oh..  and some of my bikes (including the assless) will be hanging out in the NYC Patagonia stores for the month of may for those of you in NYC who want a closer look.  Hill’s cargo bike is in the SOHO store, and the Assless is uptown.  Others will come and go.