"You don't quit riding when you get old. You get old when you quit riding."
-T-shirt from Moab, Utah
"Leap and the net will appear."
-Japanese proverb, from Sarah Milliner
"Just do what you do best."
-Red Auerbach, from Sarah Milliner
"Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia."
-Charles M. Schulz, emailed to me by Ericka Warren
We added an Illinois license plate to our collection but we still need an Idaho plate and a Wisconsin plate. We've told several people about our collection and our needs and their responses have all been the same, "You've got a screw driver, don't you?"
We planned to begin pedaling at 7:00 A.M. but when we got our bikes out to the parking lot I had a flat tire. It went flat sitting in our motel room. You figure. After changing the tire and tube and cleaning my hands we set out from Streater and arrived in Pittwood, Illinois, 85 miles away, around 5:30 P.M. We had a great ride and headwinds most of the trip. Also, most of the trip was flat.
The roads today were much, much better. I think Illinois was making up for yesterday! The roads were almost empty and used mostly by the local farmers and their families. Coming out of Odell we found out that our route was being used by concrete trucks, heavy equipment, and eighteen wheelers hauling wide loads. The wide loads were the blades for wind turbines which are being erected nearby. We saw a sheriff sitting along the road out of Odell so we stopped to ask him how to get to Loretto, our next town. He told us that the road we normally would use is being used for construction and was not real safe right now. He pulled out an Illinois map and gave us a safe route to Loretto. We talked a while about our ride and he, like everybody else, told us to have a good trip and be safe.
While riding in Cornell we passed a church with about twenty bicycles sitting outside. We pedaled by and I said to Jonathan, "With all those bikes outside they must be having VBS, let's go back." We did go back and talked with Ginny, Alicia, and Julia. Ginny was the VBS Director and Alicia and Julia were probably the kids' favorite staff members, the snack crew. The church is United Methodist Church and today is the last day of VBS. Ginny told me that they had forty-two decisions for Christ this week. Isn't that great! Of course, we had to sample the Kool-Aid and cookies before departing.
Jonathan and I decided to meet Margaret in Odell for lunch. Margaret drove to Odell to find a place to eat and we ended up eating at The Wishing Well Cafe. The cafe is owned and operated by, Misty Owen, a twenty-one-year-old Odell native. Misty graduated from Joliet Junior College with degrees in culinary arts and hospitality management. From what we ate and what we experienced, she must have received A's in every class. I didn't get her name but the waitress we had was one of the best and is a super positive asset to The Wishing Well. The pumpkin pie with ice cream she talked me into was absolutely great too!
We pedaled to Pittwood but we are staying in Watseka, Illinois. There are no motels in Pittwood. In fact, there may not even be any population in Pittwood! So in Pittwood we loaded the bikes on the Explorer and drove to Watseka where we'll spend the night.
Across the street from our motel is VIPS Family Restaurant. Any time we can walk to our eating place, we do. It makes us feel healthier!
While in VIPS we met Bill Long. Bill grew up in Watseka, worked on the police force for twenty-seven years, and now drives a school bus. He also drives a van for his church. Bill is not a little guy and neither is his heart. He loves the Lord, his family, his church, and he loves kids. He also has the spiritual gift of picking on people. I told him that I have the same gift and I love it. He said, "I know I can't change the world but I can make my part of it a little better." He's doing that . . . one kid at a time. He told us, "People have told me I ought to run for mayor but I tell them, no . . . I'm afraid I'd get elected." I believe he's right. I'd vote for him.
Once again, today's highlights were people, God's crowning creation in Genesis. "So God created people in his own image; God patterned them after himself; male and female he created them" (1:27). People are the reason Jesus came. People are the reason Jesus died. People are the reason Jesus is coming again. God loves people unconditionally . . . always has, always will.