Two Thousand Miles

Two Thousand Miles

Who doesn’t like a road trip?  RM and I take to the road quite often. So often that some of you comment on if we have real jobs.  We do work full time but traveling is a priority for us (ok, my priority but RM is a good sport) so we sneak it in during holidays, weekends and other times due to generous vacation benefits from our employers.

This week we traveled over two thousand miles from our home in the Fort through Oklahoma, Missouri and Illinois to spend Thanksgiving with C2 outside of Chicago with family and back again (back through Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and OK) with several stops to see friends and family along the way.

My observations:

  • A casino is located every 70 miles on our route.  Some more grand than others.  What’s up with this phenomenon?
  • In USA, bigger is better.  Largest candy store, biggest truck stop and largest tractor demonstration site. Big is best and we loved it all.
  • Midwesterners love their white bread.  Served with all meals.  What is this thing called gluten free?
  • Our small towns are our treasures. 
  • Fall foliage always delights.
  • Travel the heartland and witness the breadbasket in production from plowing, to burning to thrashing. All to feed us and a lot of the world.
  • Some scenic views are more scenic than others.  Choose wisely, grasshopper.
  • Make time for family and friends.  We need each other. 
  • All turkey trots are an amazing affirmation of the successful propagation of the human race.  So many cute kids. Traditions matter. And it helps to counterbalance the caloric intake.

As I travel, I always sample the food culture. 


This trip, we tried Italian beef sandwiches with peppers-dipped in gravy, bean soup with white bread, Brussel sprout pizza, and Boulevard beer.

We are on our last leg of our journey as I write this blog.  Only 500 miles to go.  Safe travels friends. And Happy Thanksgiving, so thankful.


Gratitude

Gratitude

ben-lawry-supermoon-rising
Photo Credit:  Ben Lawry

Giving thanks can ease the stress of the holiday season.  There is plenty of research that shows that expressing gratitude improves our overall happiness including health benefits. You are not truly happy unless you are grateful. With Thanksgiving next week, now is the perfect time to express your gratitude to yourself, to your family, to friends, to co-workers, to the barista, to the letter carrier, or to a neighbor. You get the idea.  Give THANKS.

I am thankful for:

A job that pays a better than living wage

No credit card debt

My lilac plant that greets me every day on the front porch

My fun family  – each and every one of them

Jenny the Mindful Mule, who kicks my butt with new and engaging exercises that makes my body stronger

Cold brew coffee and almond milk

My standing desk

A new automatic garage door on order (grateful that RM hasn’t been injured by the old one)

My co-workers who greet me in the halls with a smile

My disappointments as they make me stronger

My happy memories of my mother, father and dear brother, Ed

Supermoons

Privileges as there are many

And thank you to each of you reading this blog.

 


 

Happy Birthday, Michael

Happy Birthday, Michael

It’s your birthday!  Hope your day is grand and sorry I won’t be there to celebrate with you, in Alabama,  but wanted to tell you how much I love you.  You may not know this but I always compared the boys I dated … to you.  Were they kind?  Were they thoughtful? Did they look like Mark Spitz like you do?

Seriously, though, your virtues are ones to admire.  You are patient, you are thoughtful, you grow great vegetables, you are wise, you take care of family business like a champ, and you like to drink peppermint tea and wear a Henley-style cotton night-shirt to bed every night. How sweet is that?  You love your wife and children and put them first in all you do.

We are family.  You understand why we I can’t tolerate wearing turtlenecks because you can’t either, you like tuna melts, and remember dinners of pink bunny or chipped dried beef (do they make that crap, anymore?) over toast. Good god, no wonder in our later years we have to watch our cholesterol intake.  Hard to believe you are a grandpa and living the life of a retired, gentlemen farmer along the Tennessee River now.  Thank you for being my big brother, so much older than I, and Happy Birthday and many more.  Can’t wait to age gracefully, and healthfully, together with you.

Go Cubs Go!

Go Cubs Go!

goat
Curse of the Billy Goat

My long departed grandfather Hauck and my dad, H.H., are definitely in our family’s thoughts, memories and hopes as we are glued to our screens and devices (no longer tubes), spread out across this great nation, cheering on the Cubbies, each and every game, of the 2016 World Series between the beloved Cubs and the Cleveland Indians.  Game 5 in Wrigley Field was a nail biter played on a bitter cold night but last night, with much balmier conditions for baseball in Cleveland, the Cubs came out swinging and hitting the ball out of the park, for the first time in the series. The Cleveland Indian pitchers have dominated to this point but Bryant, Rizzo and Russell came out sizzling last night like young boys just released from school for a summer of sandlot baseball on the near North Side.   Who knows, who cares, why they came unleashed last night to score nine runs, just that they are finally hitting the ball and getting on base to make wins happen for their loyal fans and for once and for all, to dispel the Curse of the Billy Goat.

My dad loved the tell us the story of the curse.  It goes like this:  Due to the wartime travel restrictions, the first three games of the 1945 World Series were played in Detroit, where the Cubs won two games.  The final four were played at Wrigley. In game four of the series, the curse was allegedly laid upon the Cubs when Wrigley ejected Billy Sianis, who had come to game four with two box seat tickets, one for him and one for his goat. They paraded around for a few innings, but Wrigley demanded the goat leave the park due to its unpleasant odor. Upon his ejection, Sianis uttered, “The Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more.” The Cubs lost game four, lost the series, and did not return until this year’s series.

The Cubs this season are in good company with other teams in the playoffs that have suffered droughts nd share curses.  The Indians have a legend of the curse of Chief Wahoo which they too are trying to live down.   While the Cubs have not won the series since 1908, Cleveland’s last world series win was in 1948, the year my dad graduated from high school. So whatever the outcome of the series, the winner will no longer carry a curse and their long-suffering fans will celebrate in the streets of their home town.  Let it be Chicago, this time around. Grandpa and Dad will be watching and cheering them on.

“Go Cubs Go” Lyrics

Baseball season’s underway

Well you better get ready for a brand new day

Hey, Chicago, what do you say

The Cubs are gonna win today.

They’re singing …

Go, Cubs, go

Go, Cubs, go

Hey, Chicago, what do you say

The Cubs are gonna win today

Go, Cubs, go

Go, Cubs, go

Hey, Chicago, what do you say

The Cubs are gonna win today.

They got the power, they got the speed

To be the best in the National League

Well this is the year and the Cubs are real

So come on down to Wrigley Field.

We’re singing now …

Go, Cubs, go

Go, Cubs, go

Hey, Chicago, what do you say

The Cubs are gonna win today

Go, Cubs, go

Go, Cubs, go

Hey, Chicago, what do you say

The Cubs are gonna win today.

Baseball time is here again

You can catch it all on WGN

So stamp your feet and clap your hands

Chicago Cubs got the greatest fans.

You’re singing now …

Go, Cubs, go

Go, Cubs, go

Hey, Chicago, what do you say

The Cubs are gonna win today

Go, Cubs, go

Go, Cubs, go

Hey, Chicago, what do you say

The Cubs are gonna win today.