You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. Robin Williams

Location: Kentucky, United States

Monday, March 24, 2003

The boys spent the weekend at a “Disciple Now” retreat. That left Bev and I alone for the weekend, or so we thought. My Mother-in-law needed an attic ladder installed, so Robby, my Son-in-law came down and I helped him put it up Saturday. We had hoped it would not take very long, but these things never go as planned, so the afternoon was shot.

The next day we caught up with the boys again at Church. Kevin, one of our Youth Pastors, started doing Biathlons and Triathlons this year and Robby and I met up with him around two O’clock. We joined him for a twenty-one mile bike ride. I did better than I thought I would considering I am…

1. Old, that is compared to twenty something.
2. Have hardly worked out in almost two years.
3. Have only ridden three times this year.
4. Need to lose fifteen pounds.

I am hoping to get out this afternoon and put some more miles in. Where we rode was relatively flat so we had to do a lot of spinning. My regular route near the house is typical backroads Kentucky; straight up and straight down. I would include some pictures, but you do not want to see me in bike shorts.

Who ever invented bike shorts really knew what they were doing. I have taken a long ride without them and did OK, but the next day the insides of my legs were so raw I could barely walk. All of the bike apparel is very functional, and necessary if you are going to ride long and often. However, when you have to get off the bike to go into a backwoods Kentucky store to get a Gatorade or something, you can hear the banjo player from Deliverance warming up. People look at you like you just stepped off a UFO. As you can imagine, we do not have a large cycling community in my area. The hills turn people off real quick.

I read about a college mountain bike race that took place near Murray Kentucky. The team from Colorado thought this was a wimpy course to hold a race on because the elevation gain over the course was so little. They were used to riding up more shallow grades over distances of miles. They did not know what a “holler” was. One of the Colorado riders thought he was on the last lap around the up and down course. When informed there was one more lap to go he just quit. He could “spin” all day, but the intensity of the short hills left no time to rest in-between.

A “holler” by the way is a very small valley, sometimes nothing more than a water runoff ditch, surrounded on all sides by steep hills. I do not know the origins of the word. Holler, is one of those uniquely southern words like “ain’t” as in “I ain’t gonna go down in that holler there might be snakes there”. Another one that drives my daughter crazy is “retch”, as in “I’m gonna retch over you and get a stick to hit that snake with.” Robby, my son-in-law from Ohio and I use that word frequently around Rachel just to see the reaction.

Despite what I have just been saying, most people in Kentucky are as normal and literate as anywhere else in America. Yet, for some reason people from other parts of the country tend to think of Kentuckians as backward, uneducated hillbillies. The people the media seem to pick for interviews does not help this image. I think they look around a crime scene and think, “now, who is the hickest looking redneck here so we can get him on TV.” “Why yes suh, I reckon I did see’um cummin outta that there bank. I ain’t seen nuttin that scary since I retch down in that holler over yonder an picked up that snake”.

A friend of mine visited family in New York. Her cousins were all surprised she wore very little make-up and had shoes on her feet. When she told me this I thought she was kidding, but she said they were serious.

I guess we have to pay in some manner for living in such a beautiful part of the country. Yesterday I saw several deer on the side of the road, a hawk hunting rodents in a field. Several wild rabbits ran away from our car as well as a skunk. This was just on the ride home from Church.

There are three natural springs within a short walk of our house, which run cold, clean water year round. There is a creek in the field across from our house, and a red fox has a den just off in the woods from it.

A very nice peaceful place to live, now if we could only get DSL.
I’ve rambled enough, another time.



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