"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).