Tuesday, May 27, 2008

50 Years Later

50 years after Dad started taking us to Michigan to hunt mushrooms, we took him back to the starting point. Don and Grandpa picked me up at my house at 3:55 A.M. on Friday. After getting Kenny at his house, we lost no time driving north on Rt 127. We hit the woods near Wolverine, Mi. at 10:38 A.M. We had our first finds within 3 minutes.
At noon we were at Silver Lake, a pristine body of water nestled along Peters Road. There we enjoyed pork chops, salad and dessert before hurrying on to our next stop at an old gravel pit. We picked about 5 there and then went to the snowmobile trail and followed my GPS setting to an area that has produced for us in other years. There we picked around 60 in a small area.
We harvested 183 mushrooms in two partial days of hunting. On Saturday, we stopped by the old roadside park, where 50 years ago in May, Grandpa had stopped the car and asked a park worker where to hunt. The man showed Dad a large yellow morel that he had found nearby. We have hunted near that area for the last 50 years.
We had fun, took some pictures, ate at Gobbler's Restaurant and had a wonderful time together.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Going North

It is that time of year. We have decided to go to Northern Michigan once again in search of the morel mushroom. Dad and Mother began the tradition in May, 1958 when I was being carried by Mother. I was born in Nov. of 1958. Somehow, I got hooked on mushroom hunting. They went to an area near Wolverine, Mich., and we continue going to the same woods. Some of the exact area still produce morels in certain years and conditions.
In the 70's, during the great elm die, we found them by the bushel. They are not as plentiful now.
This year, Grandpa is joining me, Uncle Don and Kenny on the trip. We plan to leave Friday morning at 4:00 from my house. I will report on our trip when we return. Yesterday, it was snowing in Wolverine. The weather report calls for 60's and sunny for Fri. and Sat.
See ya when we get back.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Boys Night Out

Jason called me on Saturday afternoon asking me to go go-karting with him and his brother and dad. Since the girls were horse-showing, and I had my mowing, door-hanging, weed-spraying and garage door-installing done, I said "OK".
I have done a small amount of racing in my life. I have raced at Kentucky Speedway with Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure, did the driving experience at Myrtle Beach Speedway and ran the 1/4 scale cars at the Smoky Mountain Speedway along with numerous go-kart tracks, including Dawnview Raceway, our own exclusive dirt track in our yard. However, last night's racing experience left me asking the question, "Where are the HANS devices?"
Fasttimes in Indy was the location. And fast is the word of the day. I think you run somewhere around 45 mph at times. It is out of the pits with a left turn, hard on the accelerator, a sweeping high-speed left, then set up for a 180 to the right. That sets you up for the high speed part of the track. A right turn is followed by a right turn, up the hill to the second level, into a FAST sweeping right, and get ready for calamity corner as you barrel into one more hard right, before charging down the hill into, finally, another left that takes you past the pits and into another lap.
I think it was on Lap 3 of our first heat that I found the wall up there at the end of the high-speed sweeping rights. Being new to the track, I hadn't discovered the danger points yet. I slammed the wall, hitting on my left side, at maybe 40 mph. That's when I wondered where is the HANS? HANS stands for Head And Neck Restraint System and is worn by all the Nascar drivers. I got airborne a little and my neck snapped sideways. That will wake you up a little. I bumped the wall a few times the rest of the evening, but I found a way to get through that turn, quickly and safely the rest of the racing time.
That was easily the most exciting go-kart racing I have ever done. I posted the 24th quickest lap at that track for May 17. That was about 2 seconds slower than the fastest laps. I went as fast as I wanted for the evening, though. Thanks, Jason, Aaron and John for the fun and exciting evening.
To be honest with you, there was a freak fatality at that track a few months ago, apparently at the same place that I smacked the wall. I wasn't ever worried about being seriously injured while driving, but it can happen, and one should be careful when participating in sports like that.
By the way, I am hurting this morning. The neck is stiff, there is a place on the left side of my back where that series of sweeping rights forces the back into the seat and somehow there is a bruise on the right leg. One last question from me. How does it feel to hit the wall at 160 mph, like the Nascar boys do week after week? They just earned a little more respect from me.
Before long, I plan to tell you a little about the Dale Jarrett Driving Adventure that I participated in a few years ago.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I Owe My Mother

My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE. "If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."
My mother taught me RELIGION. "You better pray that comes out of the carpet."
My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL. "If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"
My mother taught me LOGIC. "Because I said so, that's why."
My mother taught me MORE LOGIC. "If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."
My mother taught me FORESIGHT. "Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."
My mother taught me IRONY. "Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."
My mother taught me about OSMOSIS. "Shut your mouth and eat your supper."
My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM. "Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"
My mother taught me about STAMINA. "You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."
My mother taught me about the WEATHER. "This room of yours looks like a tornado went through it."
My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY. "If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"
My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE. "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."
My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION. "Stop acting like your father."
My mother taught me about ENVY. "There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."
My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION. "Just wait until we get home!"
My mother taught me about RECEIVING. "You are going to get it when you get home!"
My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE. "If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way."
My mother taught me ESP. "Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you're cold?"
My mother taught me HUMOR. "When that mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."
My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT. "If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."
My mother taught me GENETICS. "You're just like your father."
My mother taught me about my ROOTS. "Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"
My mother taught me WISDOM. "When you get to be my age, you'll understand."
And my favorite: My mother taught me about JUSTICE. "One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!"

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Doris, Billie and Rena

Just a few thoughts for Mother's Day, 2008. The three mothers that I have been closest to are the three in the title. Each one has a special place in my memory or life. Three very different people, but each quite precious.

Mother now resides in the Brethren Retirement Community. She loves company, and Dudley and I go to see her when we get the chance. She took me to church when I was little and still wants to make sure we're going to church on Sundays. Often she says, "Come back soon, and keep looking up". She loves when Grandpa comes to visit her from a couple floors below at BRC. She has aged a lot in the last few years, and has lost interest in some of life's not-so-important things. But, she still has much of her mind and is still a joy to visit and talk with. Thanks, Mother, for being a wonderful mother through the years. Love you.

Mom Collingsworth left us a couple of years ago. She gave me the best gift that I have ever received when she gave me my wife. She was as nice a mother-in-law as anyone could have. She was always welcome in our home, and we were always happy to be in hers. She obviously had a huge part in raising three Godly children, and God only knows the far-reaching effects that will ultimately have for God's kingdom. Loved you.

Last, but not least, I have had to put up with the final woman of the three in my title for twenty-seven years and nine months! I cannot imagine life without her. She has been the perfect match for me. We don't always have the same interests (for example, horses), but we complement each other well, and it has been a Joy to be married to Rena Joy for these many years. She has scared us a couple of times, and I have told her in no uncertain terms that she is not to do that again! I hope to grow old with her, and we are getting there in a hurry! I Love You, Rena Joy.

Happy Mother's Day to all Mothers.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Spelling and the Brain

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Txes M&A Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
Tlel me waht tou tinhk of that santrge ieda!
By the way, I had an aufwl tmie wehn I tierd my sellphccek porgarm on tihs psot!