Thursday, October 30, 2008

THE SOGGY BOTTOM BUNCH JUG BAND, SINGERS & DANCERS

About seven years ago friends from two Methodist churches formed a band for a one time performance. At that time the movie "Oh, Brother, where art thou? was out. The heros of that movie, excaped convicts, called themselves "The Soggy Bottom Boys". Well, in jest, we said we were the soggy bottom bunch, their poor cousins from on down in the swamp. Since then the band has grown and the name has stuck. On a recent gig the ice cream store was confused by the name and in their circulated brochure advertised that they were having "The Wet Bottom Bunch". That name may be more than appropiate as we range in ages from 10 to 85.

The band has 11 musicians, (I use that term lightly), a director and dancers whose number vary from performance to performance. Our instruments, if they might be called that, are crude to home-made. By default, I now play the 5-string banjo. I use to have the "touch" on that silly, amplified bass which I made from a #2 wash tub, a hoe handle and some parachute cord.

The Director, a retired school teacher, is the church organist and knows music. So does our Spoon Player who also plays the Accordian. We have an outstanding Jews Harp player and also a talented Harmonica player. The lady who plays the Washboard is a musician. At 85 years of age she is the senior member. The Tambourine and the Washtub Bass players are man & wife. The Kazoo sisters plays that instrument. A great grandmother and great granddaughter, play the Jug and the Whistles and the 10 year old is a talented singer. The spoon and tambourine players are the comedians and use everything from big red bloomers to rubber chickens for laughs.

Using recorded fiddle music for dancing we do a rousing rendition of the Cowboy Two Step and a slow, progressive Round Dance. We do reels and Southern Mountain Style Square Dances. I am the caller for the square dances. Most popular are "The Chicken Dance", "Hokie Pokie" and "Splish Splash". We end the dancing with a slow Waltz. I have been presented with an honorary PhD for my music and calling, although I am anything but talented. I just have fun!

Our goal is to have fun and bring joy to others. Monday night practices can be frustrating but are always hilarious. We play at hoedowns, barn dances and home comings. We play for churches and for assorted dinners. We play for businesses. And, most enjoyable, we play at nursing homes. When we are paid we donate the money to the church. Although we have been featured on television shows a number of times no one is quitting their day time jobs.

Let there be music! Let there be dance! Let the good times roll!

God Bless!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I HAVE A COUSIN BRIDGETTE

Through a heritage search engine I have received an inquiry concerning my great grand father, Indivan Pierce, a Civil War Veteran. Indivan had a wife named Elizabeth, called Betsy, who died after giving birth to 4 children. After the war Indivan took a 2nd wife named Elizabeth, called Betsy with whom he also had four children. Great Grandpa was a wise man!

My new cousin is named Bridgette. I love this beautiful Irish name. Indivan was Irish as was my Grandmother's people. I've so enjoyed the times that I have visited Ireland. So, it is only natural that I should be excited to have a cousin by this most typical of all Irish names.

Bridgette, the same age as my children, is a descendent of a daughter of Great Grandpa's first four children, daughter Catherine. I know Catherine's birth and death dates but little else. I do know volumns about Indivan, however, and hope to be able to fill in some of the blanks in Bridgette's heritage search. I know all of my grandfather's descendents down to the last few years. It is remarkable how diverse the family becomes just after a few generations.

Although her married last name will not be Pierce, a part of her is still a Pierce. Once a Pierce always a Pierce. Welcome to the family, Bridgette. We are a rowdy group, bigger than life and glad to have you with us.

God Bless!

UMC BEAN SUPPER - WHAT A DEAL!

During the great depression the folks at the Easton United Methodist Church decided to treat their community to a good meal. The entire world was in financial difficulties that can hardly be believed today. Americans were actually dying from starvation! In an iron pot, out-of-doors, church members cooked beans which their neighbors could enjoy for free, or for a contribution if they were able. The beans were served with corn bread and a fresh vegetable relish with a wide assortment of scruptious, home-made desserts.

The church still continues bean suppers spring and fall. Not because their neighbors are threatened with starvation but because the same folks who cooked the beans in the 30's still have a desire to serve their community. Even though attendance at the Sunday Worship service will average less than 40, those who come for beans will number in the hundreds. And, why not? What a feast!

The beans will be laced with ham. The corn bread will be made from recipes passed down from generation to generation. I put a tablespoon of vinegar in mine. The relishes, including copious amounts of chopped, sweet onions, will be fresh. And, the desserts! Wow! An eight foot table will be completely covered with servings of every kind of pie you can imagine. Of course there will be apple, peach and cherry. There will also be raisin, strawberry, elder berry and rhubarb. There will be an assortment of cream pies. There will be cakes and all kinds of puddings. Each homemade delight will reflect the pride of the contributor. The church pays for the uncooked beans but all the desserts, corn bread, relishes and the cooking of the beans are donated.

My last turn of corn bread came out of the oven after midnight. My six pounds of beans along with hugh chunks of ham went on the stove at 7:00AM. Around 10:00AM I'll commence to bake two pies, an apple and a peach. Then, I'll chop about 3 pounds of onions. Suffering with siatica, I'll not be able to wash dishes this year. The membership works in two, 2 hour shifts that are more social than work. I will miss the comradeship with those who keep clearing the tables of dirty dishes and with those who dry the sterilized dishes, returning them to the service table.

Although contributions will amount to maybe $500, the opportunity to serve our fellow man is the true blessing. In recent years one entire donation went to a local family stressed with the medical costs of cancer and another year the entire donation went to the victims of hurricane Katrina. It is the American way, the Christian way and the way of the Easton United Methodist Church.

May you know the joy of giving.

God Bless!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

PAYBACKS ARE HELL!!!!

Responding to the blog "My First Trail Ride" my friend and high school classmate, Maude (Blankinship) Norris of Simi Valley, CA made a remark about my sticking my son, Todd, with the bill for our lunch. Maude, retired from the Forestry Service, said "remember Walsine, Paybacks are hell". As she was when she got me through senior english by writing my reports, Maude is right!

Ten years ago at the Point Pleasant, WV 50th high school class reunion some fun was had on who in high school had a crush on whom. I said I had a crush on Dottie (Thomas) Campbell and I even had her name tatooed on my arm with a pierced heart. I didn't let the truth get in the way of a good story, it was just that she was not the "Dottie" in the tatoo.

This summer the Class of '48 met for brunch at the Lowe's Inn. It was their 60th reunion. As the class was heading for a tour of a new art museum I showed Dottie some "skin" art, my "Dottie" tatoo with the pierced heart.

The next night at the annual alumni dance I met Dottie's daughter, Angie, a delightful person. Angie asked "are you the Walsine with my mother's name on your arm"? Acknowledging it to be the truth, in mock humility, I hung my head and hid my face with a hand. She said, don't be ashamed, Mom has "Walsine" tatooed across her butt. We all parted with a good laugh.

Later, as Dottie and I were dancing, I commented on what a delight her daughter was and that she had certainly turned that tatoo joke back on me. Dottie, who is still small and cute, paused in dancing, stepped back a bit, looked up into my face and said "You don't know that it isn't true, Walsine". Maude is right, payback is hell! As usual I am still no match for those beauties in the class of '48.

I shared this delightful story with the group of a dozen or more with whom my wife, Julie, and I were sitting. Ginny, a close friend of Dottie, said that Dottie had known the truth all along and they had all had a good laugh about the incident since the last reunion. I received an email from Dottie who urged me to come to the alumni dance next year. You know, I think I'll go. Stay tuned for the next episode and learn from my experience that payback is hell!

Acts 2:17 "Young men see visions while old men dream dreams".

I must still be young at the age of 77 because I have a vision of getting this "ball back in my court" next summer.

God Bless!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

FRIED ONIONS, YUM YUM!

Does there exist a more wonderful smell than onions frying in an old, black, iron skillit? I think not. That powerful aroma is right up there with the smell of boiled coffee and bacon frying in a cold, northwoods campsite. When as camp cook I'd get up on a frosty morning my fellow campers would just snuggle deeper into their down sleeping bags. When their nostrils were assailed with the smell of bacon and coffee, however, out of the tents they come. Fried onions are certainly part of the good life.

Nearly 30 years ago when my new wife, Julie Ann, and I were still in the "really-get-to-know- each-other" mode I had fried potatoes, heavily laced with sliced yellow onions. Julie at that time was a petite little thing while I was a horse. When I served breakfast I divided the potatoes and onions accordingly. I gave Julie a small portion and made mine double. I quickly became acquainted with a new Julie. She informed me of the inequity of the portions and laid claim to her fair share. Although we rarely feast on this delight today, when we do I fry up twice what I think we can eat.

Yesterday was a very difficult day for Julie. She had to report off work. She is on family leave for a health issue, even so she truly hates to miss a scheduled day of work. There also existed and unsolvable problem with a grandchild. All of which resulted in her not being able to sleep the night before. It was a bummer day. I was no help. I had a lingering back problem that had progressed into an inflamed sciatic nerve. Although she was not well herself, she was determined to cook a special dinner for me. Shrimp and cole slaw, a favorite. I jumped in, bit the bullet, and fried a double skillet of fried potatoes and onions for her. We'd splurge the next morning with eggs over easy, bacon and fried potatoes with onions. Life was looking up!

I get up at 5:30AM to fix Julie's breakfast and call her at 6:00AM. I did the coffee, laid out two eggs, sliced the loaf of sour dough bread for toast, put on the bacon and looked for the potatoes with onions. I couldn't find them. With my bum back, I had trouble bending over to look into our jammed fridge so I pulled up a chair and searched diligently, shelve by shelve. No potatoes with onions. I waited until 10 til 6 and woke her up and asked where she had put the potatoes with onions. She replied "sorry, hon, the kids ate'em last night". My step daughter Jackie, granddaughter Chelsie and boyfriend Brent came to visit just as the 6 o'clock news was coming on. I went to the bedroom to watch the news. Unbenown to me, they ate the potatoes with onions, along with the cole slaw, and some oat meal cookies. The time honored tradition and privelege of going home to Mom's/Grandma's. Good, home-cooked food.

Julie went to work this morning. I know she will work over tonight because she missed working yesterday. She will be beat when she comes home. Dinner tonight? Liver and onions. Really now, I'm doing this for Julie. The fact that I also like liver and onions is beside the point. Really!

A Pierce Family Tradition: Never let the truth get in the way of a good story! Really!

God Bless!

Monday, October 20, 2008

TECHNICIANS, OPERATORS & FREELOADERS

In 1948 I attended the U.S. Navy Class A Radio School in Norfolk, Va. Prior to that time a navy radioman had to know all there was to know about radios. Although the school still covered all the technical aspects, there was a new rating, ET-an electronic technician. Radiomen just became operators. Just tune up the transmitters, big as a modern refridgerator, tune in a separate receiver and start the "sparks" to flying. Being assigned to a fleet tug as the senior radioman I did not lack for operating experience. I hardly knew squat about the technical aspect, and cared less about learning.

I have a Polar CS100 bike computer/heart monitor. My son Todd installed it. He set it up to give me my current and average speed and my heart rate. Just turn it on and read the dial. In complete ignorance I punched one of the 3 buttons on my last ride and the computer went nuts. It commenced to outpour four lines of constantly changing information and kept changing the page to four more lines of additional information, none of which I understood. I had never read the manual and didn't really want to do so. I was just plain old lazy. I wanted just the benefits. I did not want to pay the price of learning. Knowing that on my upcoming cross country trike ride I would need to understand this tool, today I started laboriously reading the manual.

Our nation is on the brink of far worse than a financial crisis today. The main cause, in my opinion, is that too many people are lazy and don't want to "read the manual", they want the benefits without paying the price. They are Freeloaders! What happened to "a helping hand being at the end of one's own sleeve"? Today help is at the nearest polling place. What happened to the wisdom that "the government can only give you what it first takes away from you". The belief today is that now the government can give one what it takes from someone else--those who read the manual. When people accept from unscrupulous lenders mortgage loans far above their ability to repay, they expect to "eat their cake and keep it too". And those seeking to be elected say thay can do that and get by. If they "snort" their house payments up their noses, they expect to be rescued. This has all the makings of a nation changing crisis. A change for the worse I fear.

I will be alright. I have survived the great depression when there was no rescue. The song that says "a country boy can survive" comes to mind. I have a new garden tiller and know how to raise a garden and how to can it for the bad times. In the 30's we lived by a river and fresh fish was a dependable stable. Today, we have a family retreat by a good fishing lake. I am a great operator so I'll be okay. My concern is for my extended family down to my unborn great grand children. When I think about it, however, I realize they have the same genes as I do. They will do alright too. And the country? Well, the country survived Wilson, Hoover and FDR and still thrived and won in a world at war. The country will do just fine in time. In the meantime, hold onto your britches.

This is a good time to remember the boy scout moto: Be Prepared!

God Bless!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

RILEY JAMES PIERCE BOGGS, CHAMPION







Although our grandchildren number 18, my Grandson Riley has dominated in my first week of blogging. Is it because I love him more. He and I had a conversation about a relative subject today. I gave him the standard answer: Parents (grandparents) most love the child that is ill, in trouble or far from home, otherwise we love them all the same. That being said, and truly so, Riley is by far my youngest grandson. My other grandsons live at a distance. One is married with his 3rd boy on the way and another is also through college and engaged. Riley is only 10 and lives nearby. I see him a lot. Today was a big day in Riley's life. He officially became a "champion".

Riley plays defensive tackle for the Dolphins in the B Division of the Jackson Twp. Youth Football League. The B Division is for boys in the 4th, 5th and 6th grade and it is tackle football. Riley is in the 4th grade. Last year he was starting quarterback with a flag football team. This year his team was undefeated and today won the league championship play off against the Titans. The Titans had averaged 40 points per game against everyone except the Dolphins to whom they suffered their only loss 16-6. The Dolphin defense got a safety in the closing minutes today to win the game 14-15. There was a trophy presentation followed by a family-team dinner. Riley was still holding onto his trophy hours later after we went home and watched Ohio State beat Michigan State 44-7.

As could be expected, the team is mostly made up of 5th and 6th graders and Riley, who is small like his parents, was by far and away the smallest boy on the field. His paternal grandfather, Tom Boggs, is in the College Football Hall-of-Fame for his days as quarterback with the Akron Zips in the early 50's. Mr. Boggs is physically not a big man at all. You would not imagine him to have been such an outstanding football player. For Riley and his grandfather alike "it's not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog".

Although only in the 4th grade Riley has been chosen by a Northwestern University study group as one of the nation's outstanding students. His math accomplishments are equal to that of an 8th grader. Remember the name Riley James Pierce Boggs. You will see it among the leaders of our nation in future years.

May you enjoy having your life continue though your grandchildren as Tom Boggs and I do.

God Bless.

Friday, October 17, 2008

OUT FOR DINNER WITH FRIENDS


Several years ago a dinner group was organized with six couples from the Easton United Methodist and the Marshallville Trinty Methodist churches. We simply called the group "Out to dinner with friends". We join for dinner each month that neither of our churches has a dinner scheduled, which is 7 times a year. This is a picture of couples at a winter retreat: Walt & Julie, Bill & Carla, John & Donna and Bob & Kathy. Don & Sally were in Phoenix and Carl & Joy were in Florida.
In January, before one couples leaves for their winter home in Hawaii or recently in Phoenix and another in Florida, we have a progressive dinner. We start with appetizers at the furtherest home and work our way back to Barberton having soup and salad at different homes. For the 1st few years Julie and I hosted the main entree but recently another Barberton couple with a larger dining room did the honors. Then we travel to Canal Fulton, Ohio for dessert at the home of our professional baker. This is always the best dinner of the year.

At the progressive dinner we have a drawing to determine which couple will get to pick what restaurant for which month. That couple will then choose a restaurant with unusual character avoiding the usual chains. We have eaten in Mexican, South Seas, Thai, Amish, Wing Houses, Steak Houses, Fish Houses, Speciality Sandwich Shoppes, Wineries and tonight we are again going Italian. The couple who picks the restaurant has the responsiblity to personally check it out in advance, mail sample menus with date and times to the other members. Couples will usually get together to take turns driving. We have eaten within a few blocks of home and we have driven up to 70 miles. If we eat within a short distance of our professional baker she always has the group to her home for dessert. Yum Yum!

In addition to restaurants we have been to different dinner theaters. We have gone on weekend, winter retreats to state park lodges. The latter always with bargain packages with attractive prices. We want to do a dinner cruise on Lake Erie but have not been able to work that one out yet. We have been to country music affairs where we let them know that a "world renowed spoon player" is present, to the chagrin of that individual. We have fun!

Life is enhanced with fun times with good friends. If you are not already part of such a group, your friends may be waiting for you to act? Wha'cha waiting for, huh?

God Bless.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

SCOOT-E-POOTIN - The first trail ride

TRIP DISTANCE - 8.5 miles
TIME: Moving 55 Minutes / Stopped 62 Minutes
SPEED: Maximum 14.5 mph / Average 9.2 mph

On a perfect fall day Todd and I rode the Lil' Miami River Bike Trail. The trail is alongside the National & State Scenic Little Miami River. It was ideal riding on a good surface, level and in the shade of a hardwood forest. The trail is 80 miles in length but we rode only from Fosters to Loveland, Ohio.

I pulled a cheap trick on Todd when we had lunch outside at a nice neighborhood cafe. I had told Todd that I would buy lunch but when we went to the restrauant I realized that in my new bike clothing there was no pockets. I didn't have a cent. Todd bought. It was a lovely lunch. It had that "free" taste which I love. Todd will remember so I won't be able to work that trick again.

While Todd was riding with his friend Scott this morning I rode about 10 miles just around the neighborhood. I am encouraged to believe that if I can now ride 20 miles as out-of-shape and inexperienced as I am then 3 months from now I shall be able to ride the first day of the Southern Trek trail which is 37 miles from San Diego to Alpine, CA. That trail is level for 20 miles and then climbs about 4,000 feet in the last 17 miles. I plan to leave early and spend the first night in a motel. Although I have a lot of work to do, I am eager to start.

The trike performance was perfect with Todd finally hitting the sweet spot with seat ajustment. Although it was level riding I never exceeded 70% of my maximum heart rate which I found to be quite interesting and a new experience. I love my Terra Trike. Gas consumption, zip! I'm part of the solution, Wizwheels.

Pictures to follow when Todd finds time to add them for me.

May you know the exciting experience and joy of new trails in your life.

God Bless!

Monday, October 13, 2008

JUST THE FIRST DAY ON THE JOB

When it comes to blogging, I am still in the early stages of the learning curve. Sort of like "the first day on the job". My son Mark called me today to tell me that I wasn't putting in the blog title. I went back on "edit" and added the title. My dear friend, BBMom, asked about the pictures of me on my new trike. Well, Friend-of-Mine, I don't yet have the ability to add pictures. I'm working on that. I plan to get a Blackberry Curve cell phone and use the camera ability to post pictures. After a trip to the bike store in Cincinnatti with Todd, though, I need to wait until the "eagle squalls again", or another payday. I doubt that anyone understands that statement, only we poor retired folk. HA. Bye-the-bye, I've been retired for 17 years now and I can tell you loafing sure beats working, except for the money. HA AGAIN!

I have asked Kimberly to add a picture of Riley with his hankerchief but she has none that can be added to the blog. I've asked Todd to add a lot of pictures of the trike coming together and he will do so when he gets to it, or when he reads his email, the communication mode now being to text.

I am thankful that as I edited this blog God can and does edit my life. What a blessing!

God bless.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

SCOOT-E-POOTIN: My Physical Condition

Will I be up to riding about 3,500 miles four months from now? I think I will be. At the immediate moment I am recovering from a back strain from carrying heavy suitcases up several flights of stairs at the beach. Rest, massage, steam baths and time normally handles this problem.

My grandson, Riley, says I am older than old dirt. He is right. At least I am a year past my life expectancy and age does bring infirmatives. I am blessed to have an excellent physician, Mathew Finnern, MD, who has recently increased my check ups from twice a year to every three months. Being my long term care giver he understands my adventurous life style and encouraged me to do the bike ride saying he wished he could go along. I have the following health issues.

BACK - I ruptured a disc in my lower back four years ago training to do a cross country ride on a road bike. A year of intense therapy mostly restored me to normal. I cannot, at least should not, lift heavy objects. I should restrict twisting or bending forward. I also faithfully do back related stretches daily. I don't think this will be a problem.

TORN RIGHT SHOULDER ROTOR CUP - This injury can be surgically corrected but it would then require about 6 months of very painful therapy. I have full motion of the shoulder but it can be painful if I do heavy work above my head. The doctor does not think this will be a problem if I can live with the restriction and the discomfort at times. At my age I just do not want to take six months out of my life doing therapy again.

ADOMINAL HERNIA - This 6 inch hernia has been unchanged for years. The doctor says that the repair of this paticular hernia is seldom successful. If I remember that I have it and act accordingly I should be alright.

TYPE II DIABETES - I monitor and control this condition by watching what I eat, controlling my weight and taking two pills a day. I've found that when I am doing something under stress for a long period of time, like sailing, my blood sugar tends to be on the low side almost regardless of what I eat. This should not be a problem.

LEFT KNEE - This could be a problem. When I was 70 I won the "First-in-Class Trophy" in a 5K run. Uh, there wasn't too many in the "Over 65 Class". HA. The next spring when I started getting in shape to run again my left knee made me stop running. I can walk forever but after a few days of running my left knee hurts. In that I can walk, I am hoping that the absence of shock pounding the road, riding versus running, will let this condition be tolerated. Time only will tell.

ARTHRITIS- What a painful condition. In the last year I've had a problem making a tight fist. I have worked hard on this particular problem and can close my hands much better than before. Of course this is normal with old age. The doctor started me on 800MG of Ibuprofin 3 times a day when I hiked the Appalachian Trail at age 65. That really helps and I can certainly tell when I miss a dose.

All the other "yard sticks" of health are monitored and come back pretty good. I take medicine to control blood pressure and cholestrol. I will monitor my heart as I ride. I struggle with weight but the riding will help that.

A friend commenting on his tendency to bruise following a heart transplant made a comment that I use to keep my head straight regarding health problems. Jim said of his bruises, "you have to be alive to see them". That thought puts things into proper perspective, huh?

God bless.

SCOOT-E-POOTIN: Trike Assembly II

My son is a senior pastor and will have taken 4 days off work to host me in his lovely home and assemble my new trike. He rides a Rans Rocket and his wife rides a Rans Tailwind, both recumbents. Todd rode over 4,000 miles last year and may surpass that this year. They ride year around with Amy saying she perfers riding in the winter.

The seat required four adjustments before hitting the "sweet spot". The brakes have required frequent tweeking. Todd said that the steel cables on a new bike was like new steel strings on my banjo, a lot of tuning is necessary before they stop stretching. I still have a bit of brake steering to the left. Todd has agreed to make time in November to complete the installation of lights, locking brake levers--the velcro locking method is a real pain, WizWheels--and other goodies.

Todd gave me two lessons in repairing a flat tire. I am not at all confident at this point. I have a lot of experience garnered since the late 30's in patching tubes. Removing and replacing the rear drive wheel will take some getting used to doing.

My son Mark rides a Tour Easy recumbent and we will ask him to join us in a ride in November.

I've found that life is also like the steel trike cables or steel banjo strings. A lot of "tweeking" is necessary. May your tweeks all bring you joy.

God bless.

SCOOT-E-POOTIN: Trike Assembly I

Supposedly a new Terra Trike can be removed from the box, adjust the seat, put air in the tires and "ride baby, ride". I am now in Cincinnatti where my youngest son, Todd, has put in two 10 to 12 hour days adding "goodies" to and adjusting my trike. He has installed 3 fenders, (thanks WizWheels for adding the 4 fender struts under the disc brakes), a Polar CS100 computer/heart monitor, a rear rack, two mirrors, a bottle holder, a seat bag, clipless pedals, clips to my new shoes, and a flag. He has also removed the wax from and lubricated the chain. He has adjusted the trike all over including the seat and great attention to the brakes. Thanks son!

It was nearly dark on the second day when first Todd followed by his wife, Amy, and I all got our "Terra Trike Grin" tenatively riding around the block. It was fully dark when Todd took the trike up the street a couple blocks for a speed run. He shouted in pure joy as he flew by Amy and I. He returned to the driveway saying he couldn't read the unlighted computer to see how fast he was going and put on his helmet light. On the second run he shouted "24.9" as he flew by us. Todd then put lights on the bikes and the trike and the 3 of us went for a neighborhood ride. I love my Terra Trike.

May you find your "grin" as you go scoot-e-pooting through life.

God bless.

Friday, October 10, 2008

SCOOT-E-POOPIN: My Grandson Riley's Description

When my now 10-year-old Grandson, Riley, was just a little fellow I spent a lot of time with him. He and his mother, my daughter Kimberly, had it tough when Riley was born so I was quite involved getting them both healthy. Riley turned out to be quite a talker when he was just a little fellow. He loved going "inside" to McDonalds. His mother hadn't let him know you could actually go inside to eat.

We were inside and I used a hankerchief. Riley said "you need a tissue grandpa"? I said that yes I did but that what I had used was called a hankerchief, unless you were a good old boy from West Virginia. In that case it was called a "snot rag". Although just a little over a year old he perfectly repeated what I had said, a "snot rag".

Now, Riley's mother is an English Major with a Masters in Psychology and a Cerificate in Communications. She only speaks "proper" english. I told Riley it would be a joke if he would just tell his mother when he got home that his grandpa has a "snot rag"and he wants a "snot rag" too. Even at that age he understood playing a joke. It was great and I ended up buying him several big, red hankerchiefs. And, a belt too. Boys need belts.

What has this got to do with my ride? Well, Riley also loved to brag about going Scoot-e-pooting with his grandpa. Only he delighted everyone by pronouncing it scoot-e-pooping. When it comes to the blog about my ride I cannot guarantee that Riley's words won't be accurate. It may well be just a little scootie and a lot of pooping. We'll see.

May you know the joy of grandchildren. I have 18 and love each dearly.

God Bless

GON-A-SCOOT-E-POOTIN: C2C HPV3

Gon-a-scoot-e-pootin, like "I'm a going scoot-e-pootin", a statement understood by every good old boy from West Virginia. It's like, well, "I'm a gonna howl at the moon". Oops! A colloquialism to explain a colloquialism. In the King James Verson, (KJV), of the Holy Bible John 10:10 declares that Jesus came that "we might have life and have it more abundantly"; In the NIV that scripture reads that Jesus came that "we could have life to the full" and the WPV (the Walt Pierce Verson) declares that Jesus came that "we might enjoy living on the cutting edge of life". Scoot-e-pooting is having the more abundant life, life to the full and life on the cutting edge.

C2C is where I plan to ride my new trike as I depart Dog Beach in San Diego on February 1, 2009. I plan to ride sea to sea, the Pacific to the Atlantic. San Diego, CA to Saint Augustine FL.

The HPV3 is what my son Todd explained should be my explanation of what I'm riding. I told him that it sounds like I'm planning to ride a child's toy, a tricycle. HPV3 is a Human Powered Vehicle. He said tell them you're traveling by HPV3 and they will never think of a child's toy.

So, IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO JUST READ THE BLOGS ABOUT MY RIDE, all the blogs about the c2c HPV3 experience will all start with the word SCOOT-E-POOTIN.

May you know the more abundant life, life to the full and life on the cutting edge.

God Bless