"Give me a museum and I'll fill it."
-Pablo Picasso (sent by Ericka Warren who got serious about my quote request)
"Barry, you would be proud of me. I rode a bike today and almost killed a squirrel! Two of your favorite things."
-Preston Willis, text message, May 7, 2009
We are now in Spokane, Washington after pedaling seventy-three miles. Except for some miles with a horrendous headwind we had great weather all the way.
We started in Wilbur (pop. 700) at 8:30 and got here around five o'clock. In Wilbur we ate French toast at Doxie's Diner and then hit the road with a full supply of fuel. The scenery was the same all the way, wheatfields. The farms are very big and the farm machinery would make children who love Tonka toys drool.
At a rest area on route 2 we met two great Wash- ingtonians: Ron and Marjoe Richards. They were manning the free coffee stand there and I asked Ron for some back road directions to Spokane. He immediately transferred me and my questions to Marjoe who was more than happy to look at my map and guide us to our destination. Ron told us, "She loves maps. I have a GPS and she won't even let me put it in the car!"
For a late lunch we stopped in Reardan at Dean's Drive In. I requested tartar sauce with my fries. I'm so Washingtonian!
Pulling out of Reardan I noticed something didn't feel right about my bike and I had a flat tire . . . first flat of the trip. The easiest tire to change on a bike is the front tire because the front wheel comes of so easily. Of course, this flat had to be the rear tire. I took off the wheel, checked the tire and found where a little piece of stone had worked its way through the tire and finally punctured the tube. I didn't have a tire with me (should have) so I called the Queen. She did a U-turn somewhere not very far down the road, brought a new tire, I had a tube, and we were soon on the road again.
As we were riding on a back, back, way back road close to Spokane, Jonathan and I stopped along the road to double-check our map. While we were looking at the map a lady with two boys and a dog stopped her white station wagon right on the road and gave us all the directions we needed.
We also met Steve a few more miles down the road and he clarified a few directions I had forgotten. I can read but I can't remember so write it down! Steve serves in the United States Air Force and is stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base nearby. He rides his bike to and from work and was headed home. He not only clarified the directions but told us of some bike trails across Idaho and Montana. Since we will be in Idaho Sunday we will check those bike trails out and may make some other changes in our ride. I'll let you know.
Idaho has some high standards to match. The people in Washington have been the greatest. They have been kind, helpful, friendly and just outright nice. Even most of the truck drivers have pulled over into the far lane as they passed us on the highways. The only unfriendly Washingtonians we met barked!
People sure do make the difference. Whether it's a state, church, family, team, or any other kind of institution, people are gonna make or break it! God's most valuable treasures in all the universe are people. He created the earth and all is wonders, the Milky Way, the sun and moon, glaciers, wild turkeys, tulips, dandelions, whales, guppies, trees, blueberries, water, the beach, bald eagles, kangaroos (That's for you Ray!), rainbows, frogs, and the list goes on and on. However, his most important creation is people. That's right! Here's how I know: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). That word world does not mean the earth. it means mankind. "For God so loved mankind." People! You, me, everybody! Since people are important to the Father, I believe people should be important to us as well.
Remember the sneaky lawyer Sadducee who came to Jesus with the trick question? Most lawyers do that trick question stuff for pay. Anyway, he asked, "Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?"
Well, you know Jesus, he knew it was a trick question so he replied, "'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments" (Matthew 22:36-40).
People are valuable! Let's treat them like that! What a difference it would make in our little sections of this huge world if we did!