Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pedal Day 41 - Litter.

"All children are artists. The problem is how to remain artists once they grow up."
-Pablo Picasso, texted to me by Ericka Warren

"Who, being loved, is poor?"
-Oscar Wilde, texted to me by Ericka Warren

93.53 miles today from Findlay to Lorain, Ohio. We are staying in Amherst, Ohio, a few miles southwest of Lorain. Jonathan, Margaret, and I are at 5 Corners Bed & Breakfast, the first bed & breakfast of the whole trip for us. We just finished supper at Quesadilla Mexican Restaurant downtown. Jennifer Goins, Lori Gudde and her son Carver ate supper with us. Lori and Jennifer are our nieces and both live in Columbus. They drove here today to meet us and hang out with Margaret tomorrow as we travel through Cleveland. It will be another fun day for Margaret and the crew.
I forgot to tell you yesterday that Margaret's cousin, Cathi, and her aunt, Margaret, came to visit and eat supper. They drove from Ypsilanti, Michigan and met us in Findlay. This trip has become a series of family reunions. Isn't that great!
The wind was once again wild. By this point you probably know that the wind has been our greatest obstacle. Just remember, "We're going to Maine." According to Googlemaps. com, we've got 774 miles to go. That's only 108 miles more than crossing Montana, so c'mon wind, give it your best shot . . . we'll run over you!
Speaking of running over something . . . Jonathan found, in the millions of square feet of Ohio road surface in Ohio, a thumb tack! What are the chances of that happening? Right in the center of the tire too. Maybe he should consider playing the lottery!
Now I've got lottery tickets on my mind and that leads me to the First Annual S.L.O.B.S. Awards. These are awards I'm presenting to those who should Stop Littering Our Beautiful States. Lottery tickets happen to be part of the litter we've seen as we've pedaled.
I'll give the S.L.O.B.S. Awards starting at the bottom and going to Number One:
S.L.O.B.S. Honorable Mention - Banana Peelers. This group will only receive an honorable mention because the banana peels and apple cores are biodegradable and will be gone quickly.
S.L.O.B.S. No. 6 - Capri Sun Drinkers. Probably kids whose moms handed them a Pop-Tart and a Capri Sun as they were pushed out the door and sent to school.
S.L.O.B.S. No. 5 - The Gamblers. The lottery tickets are tossed out of the car windows after discovering the buyers are losers. Why don't they simply bypass the convenience stores and throw the money out the windows? Then Jonathan and I could find more than thumb tacks and license plates!
S.L.O.B.S. No. 4 - Dew Drinkers. The soda bottles and cans are out there in every state but most of the bottles and cans we spotted were of the Mountain Dew variety. Why don't these guys Do the Dew at home and toss the bottles into their own back yards?
S.L.O.B.S. No. 3 - Pamper Moms. What is with these women who change their babies pampers, neatly wrap the contents into grenade size packages using the little sticky tabs, and then toss them out the car window for others to discover? Hellooo! Those things would be considered hazardous material if hauled by the trucking industry. And they are freely being thrown on our roadsides! Punishment for this should include a large fine and a recycling sentence where Pamper Moms are required to unwrap each grenade and separate the contents into three different containers marked plastic, paper, and the other stuff. The plastic and paper could be recycled. The Pamper Moms could keep the other stuff for their gardens.
S.L.O.B.S. No. 2. - Smokers. The smell is bad enough with this crew. Pedaling along the highway I can tell which cars carry smokers by the smell. Even with their windows up the smell is still there and the odor too. They can't hide. But why do they have to throw the cigarette packages, little boxes, and butts out the windows? We have places where cigarette packages can be placed when empty. The smart smokers would place their full cigarette packages in those same containers.
And now (drum roll please), the winner of the 2009 Stop Littering Our Beautiful States Award goes to . . .
S.L.O.B.S. No. 1 - This Bud's for You Crew. The beer drinkers are at the top of the list, laziest, absolute worst S.L.O.B.S. of the American highway. We have seen cans, bottles, and even the cardboard containers strewn from Washington to Ohio. I'm sure we'll see them the rest of the way as well. These are probably tossed out by underaged kids who don't want to get caught with the stuff in dad's car. It could also be adults who are too lazy to take the trash home and put it in the trash can before they go plop down on the couch, grab the remote, watch the game, and drink three more. Bud Lite drinkers are the worst offenders based entirely on what we've seen along the roadways just in case you were curious. Maybe we should consider a litter tax of something like ten bucks a can. Just a thought!
Litter, one piece at a time, is little stuff. One beer can, one cigarette package, one Dew bottle . . . little stuff. One Pamper grenade? Now that's a different story! That's in the same category with roadside car bombs! All of the rest, however, is small stuff! When you get a whole lot of this small stuff together you've got a big mess and this big mess makes everything look bad, dirty, trashy, and even stinky.
Life is exactly like that. The little stuff you allow in your life soon becomes what your life is made of. If the little stuff is bad, life becomes bad. If the little stuff is dirty, life becomes dirty. If the little stuff if stinky, life becomes stinky. BUT . . . if the little stuff is godly, life becomes godly. Remember G.I.G.O.? Garbage In, Garbage Out. When the pressure is applied, what's inside is what comes out.
"Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do" (Proverbs 4:23).


  1. Have fun Jennifer, Lori and Carver! I so wish that I could be there to hang out with them. Hope you have a good ride tomorrow. Be safe. Give everyone a hug for me. Love you tons!!!!!!

  2. ah yes, GIGO...

    o, while you're in ohio...my cousin kristie and her family live up there, but i'm not sure which part. i don't have her cell number, but i gave her yours barry, just in case she checks her facebook tomorrow morning!

  3. Fun post Barry! I love the pic of Margaret playing the piano. I'll bet she hasn't skipped a beat. We sure do miss her playing in the office. I hope the ride today is safe (tack free) and that the wind is at your back. Also, I can't believe America is so stinkin dirty?!? Ok, maybe I can...

    Miss ya!

  4. Margaret is prettier in each new picture posted! Barry, well, you know...your helmet hair is, uuuhhhmmm, FABULOUS I'm sure! Love ya both...no matter the hair style choices!

  5. I always enjoy a good awards show, but you lose points for no red-carpet interviews or tackily choreographed dance numbers. Maybe next year, since this is your first awards ceremony and you are still getting the kinks out. I am sure you found no Dr. Pepper bottles/cans since all Dr. Pepper drinkers are responsible American citizens. Some of those diapers may be ours, as I think we threw out an entire bucketful as we passed through Ohio once. Speaking of Ohio, it is quite possibly the ugliest state of the US. Everything is brown or browner. Granted, I have not been to approximately 42 other states, but there is no way they could be as ugly as Ohio.

  6. Burr--You're awesome! I wish I was riding with you...well, sometimes...and riding with Margaret sometimes. I love all of the quirky pictures from across the US. Isn't this the best place ever? Okay, except for the trash. We have little right outside our office! I'm going to pick it up at lunchtime today. Anyway, I think every US citizen should travel our country first, then check out other countries. We have a lot to offer! Thanks to you I've seen Pennsylvania, Utah, and Colorado.
    I hope that wind calms down a little!

  7. We have been following you each pedal of the way,
    praying daily for the three of you. Tom loved the photos of the "old cars" esp the Chevy, brought back memories ( he drove a 56 Chevy in high school) The connection with your daily ride and all you encounter to how we as followers of Christ should be aware of our surroundings and allow Him to use us "where we are " has been such an encouragment to us. What a blessing each post has been, looking forward to the news of destination reached! Praise God for all He has brought into your path. We sure miss Margaret in choir, give her our best. Praying & Sending our love,
    Tom & Dottie

  8. Your followers grew to 134. What a blessing it is reading your blog each day. I went to Tenn.
    last week with Jonah (he is 6 now). I guess while I was gone a card came for me. I didn't find it till yesterday. Thank you so much for thinking of me. It really boosted my spirit. I
    will pray that the winds calm down, are at least blow in the correct direction. Be safe and tell Jonathan NO MORE TACKS ALLOWED. Margaret another
    blessing came when you were sitting in front of
    your natural habitat. I felt I could hear you playing. You look great. The trip must be just what you needed also.

  9. hey barry and margaret.........just wanted to say i am so proud of you both and have enjoyed your blogging..........i love the picture of margaret playing that old piano.........i so wish i could hear you play again....you are and always have been the best!

  10. one of my favorite quotes is "God does not call the equipped but he equips the called".......i love that........you have have already written that on your daily blogging and i just missed it.........