My post for the letter "T" is Transportation. There are many different kinds of Transportation, so we are going to look at a number of them.
There were two main types of transportation that allowed this country to expand at such a fast pace in the 1800's. The first was steamboats. The first commercial steamboat transportation was Between Albany, New York, and New York City in 1807. Before long there were steamboats on just about every navigable river in the U.S.
BIG AND LITTLE
The need to transport goods to and from places that were not on a waterway brought about the steam locomotive. The first railroad to transport goods in the U.S. was the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The first steam powered vehicle in the U.S. was the Tom Thumb locomotive that operated on the Baltimore and Ohio tracks starting in 1830.
1940 BUICK LIMITED
The automobile change the way Americans traveled, and just about put an end to train travel as a way of getting around. Americans are now very mobile. My Daddy loves to buy and sell old cars. This 1940 Buick gets a lot of attention when he drives it.
Cars come in all sizes as you can see here. I was driving down the street in Valle Hermoso, Mexico when I spotted this tiny VW Beetle. I pulled over to talk to the owner and took a picture of it. He wanted me to get in it for a picture.
MOTORCYCLES IN EUREKA SPRINGS
In the area where I live, Motorcycles are very popular. The Christian Motorcycle Association is headquartered here. Motorcyclist come from hundred and sometimes thousands of miles away to ride the roads and see the beauty of the area.
I love to travel to Belize. San Pedro, Belize is on a densely populated island, so it has its own special transportation needs. Here are some photos of transportation in San Pedro
RIDING TO WORK
SAN PEDRO FERRY
As you can see, San Pedro has many varied forms of transportation. Just about everyone who travels to San Pedro travels by air. Flying is the newest form of transportation. Today, the global airline industry consists of over 2000 airlines operating more than 23,000 aircraft, providing service to over 3700 airports. Last year, the world’s airlines flew almost 28 million scheduled flight departures and carried over 2 billion passengers
This week the letter is S. S is for staying up all night.
Cancer Doesn’t Sleep and Neither Did We
Many people who attend the Relay For Life event are not aware that it lasts all night. After all of the entertainment and the Luminaria ceremony, Relay continues throughout the night until the sun comes up. Why do we Relay all night long and stay overnight? Because the Relay For Life event is designed to symbolize the journey of a cancer survivor.
Relay For Life starts at dusk and ends the next morning. The light and darkness of the day and night parallel the physical effects, emotion, and mental state of a cancer patient while undergoing treatment.
Relay begins when the sun is setting, symbolizing the time a person has been diagnosed with cancer. Immediately there is a lot of support. People rally to lend a helping hand, much like the Opening Ceremony at Relay when everyone cheers that first lap for Survivors.
As survivors start their cancer treatment, it’s hard and taxing, just like when the light of day fades into darkness. As midnight comes, teams continue to walk the track, but it gets harder as the walking continues into the 6th and 7th hour.
This time represents when a cancer patient becomes exhausted, sick, maybe not wanting to go on, possibly wanting to give up. As a Relay participants, we feel much the same way. We are tired, want to sleep, and may even want to go home, but we don't stop or give up.
The time just before daybreak symbolizes the coming of the end of treatment for the cancer patient. Things are beginning to look brighter, just like the break of dawn. A sense of hope emerges. The morning light brings on a new day full of life and new beginnings.
For the walkers who are making laps around the track, when the sun begins to come up, there is a strong sense of hope that they too can make it through.
As we make the final lap, as a cancer survivor gets the final clearance from their doctor, we celebrate and we cross the finish line together.
As our teams gathered together at sunrise on Saturday morning to make one final lap after walking all night there were 15 of the 18 teams that participated in Relay still there. These dedicated Relayers had sacrificed a night of sleep to let cancer survivors know that they support them in their fight against cancer. It is a way to fight back against cancer.
At the final ceremony just before we all left to go to our homes and hopefully get some rest, the fundraising totals were announced and awards were given out. At the Relay event over 4,300 dollars were raised. Thank you Polk County for coming out to support Relay For Life even in the rainy weather. Our total raised so far in 2011 is over 66,000 dollars, a new record for Polk County!
The award for our top fundraising team this year went to the Union Bank Purple Onions who raised 15,444 dollars. The award for top individual fundraiser went to Regina Lawry who raised 3,386 dollars. The award for top youth fundraising team went to the Acorn FCCLA Cupcakes For A Cure who raised 766 dollars. The award for top individual youth fundraiser went to Erica Goss who raised 405 dollars. Regina Lawry was awarded a Visionary Leadership for 2011 award by the American Cancer Society.
Relay For Life appreciates everyone who takes part. It takes a whole community working together to have a successful Relay, but we are especially thankful for those who come out and spend the night at Relay symbolizing the fact that cancer never sleeps.
This week the letter is R. R is for Relay For Life. The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is a life-changing event that gives everyone a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease.
Relay starts with a Survivor Lap, an inspirational time when survivors are invited to circle the track together and help everyone celebrate the victories we’ve achieved over cancer. The Survivors Lap is an emotional example of how Relay participants are creating a world with more birthdays like those of each individual on the track.
After dark, we honor people who have been touched by cancer and remember loved ones lost to the disease during the Luminaria Ceremony. Candles are lit inside bags filled with sand, each one bearing the name of a person touched by cancer, and participants often walk a lap in silence.
At Relay, teams of people camp out and take turns walking around the track. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event, because cancer never sleeps. Thanks to Relay participants, we are creating a world with more birthdays.
One person can make a difference. Nowhere is that more evident than with the story of how Relay For Life got it's start. In the mid-1980s, Dr. Gordy Klatt, a Tacoma surgeon, wanted to enhance the income of his local American Cancer Society office and to show support for all of his patients who had battled cancer. He decided to personally raise money for the fight by doing something he enjoyed – running marathons.
In May 1985, Dr. Klatt spent a grueling 24 hours circling the track at Baker Stadium at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. He ran for more than 83 miles. That first year, nearly 300 of Dr. Klatt’s friends, family, and patients watched as he ran and walked the course. Throughout the night, friends donated $25 to run or walk with Dr. Klatt for 30 minutes. His efforts raised $27,000 to fight cancer.
While circling the track those 24 hours, Dr. Klatt thought about how others could take part in his mission to fight cancer. He envisioned a 24-hour team relay event that could raise more money to fight cancer. Over the next few months, he pulled together a small committee to plan the first team relay event, known as the City of Destiny Classic 24-Hour Run Against Cancer.
In 1986, with the help of Pat Flynn – now known as the “Mother of Relay” – 19 teams took part in the first team Relay event on the track at the historic Stadium Bowl and raised $33,000. An indescribable spirit prevailed at the track and in the tents that dotted the infield.
Relay has developed into an overnight event where people bring tents and sleep out around the tracks. People of all ages come out to bring the community together to Celebrate those who have survived cancer, Remember those who cancer has taken from us and Fight Back by raising money to fight for a cure. Now, over 4 million people take part in Relay events in over 5,000 communities in the United States.
Just like Gordy Klatt, each person involved with Relay For Life makes a difference in the fight against cancer. Since 2007 when the first Relay For Life event was held here in Polk County well over a quarter of a million dollars has been raised to help fight cancer. You can make a difference by attending a Relay For Life event in your are.
This week the letter is Q. Q is for question. One of my favorite albums from my youth is the Moody Blues album, A Question of Balance, released in 1970. Though it was their fifth album, it was the first time that The Moody Blues used political strife as a basis for songwriting. The song "Question", dealt with the controversy resulting from the ongoing Vietnam War. The album reached #1 in the UK and #3 in the U.S.
Last week I attended the Moody Blues concert at the Brady Theater in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I had purchased the tickets last November the day that they went on sale. I was fortunate to be able to get seats in the third row. Being that close to the stage made for great photo opportunities.
The Moodies put on a great show. I thoroughly enjoyed the concert. The band payed songs from every phase of their career, from the 60's through the 90's. One of my favorite lines was from Graeme Edge when he was talking about having turned 70. He said, "the great thing about turning 70 is that I've lived through the 60's twice".
The song "Question" was a real crowd favorite, and everyone seemed to know the words.
Why do we never get an answer
When we're knocking at the door?
With a thousand million questions
About hate and death and war.
Cause when we stop and look around us
There is nothing that we need.
In a world of persecution
That is burning in it's greed.
Why do we never get an answer
When we're knocking at the door?
Because the truth is hard to swallow
That's what the war of love is for.
If I ever have another chance to see the Moody Blues in concert I will definitely go again. It was the most fun I have ever had at a concert.
This week at church the 11 o'clock service was presented by Don and Donna Mohl. The beautiful calming music was just what I needed to refresh my spirit. My wife has been very sick this week and her doctor is trying to determine exactly what is causing her to be ill. Music is a very important part of my life, and I'm sure that the music that Don and Donna presented did much more for me than any sermon could have.
Their music is a blend of “mountain” style and folk style gospel. They play traditional and Biblical instruments such as the Bowed Psaltery, Hammered Dulcimer, Mountain Dulcimer, Mandolin, Zither, Guitar, and Harmonica. They sing the good old hymns of faith, more recent gospel songs and some songs that they have written related to family values, the grace of Jesus, and the love of God.
Here is a sample of their music. This song is, "The Touch Of The Master's Hand". In it they replace the word violin with mandolin in keeping with their mountain music style.
Don and Donna don't just play all of the mountain instruments, They handcraft and sell them. They produce Hammered Dulcimers, Zithers, Mountain Dulcimers and Bowed Psalteries. If you are interested in beautiful handcrafted mountain instruments or in puchasing Don and Donna's CD's, you can go to their website, www.folkmountaingospel.com
Here is a photo that shows one of their hand crafted Zither's, along with a Hammered Dulcimer.
Listening to Donna play the Hammered Dulcimer brought back memories of a time in my life when a Hammered Dulcimer played an important role in letting me know that God listens to and answers our prayers. I needed reassuring this week that God is watching out for us and that he listens to and answers our prayers. Hearing the Hammered Dulcimer during the worship service brought this experience of answered prayer to my mind. You can read the story here.
As you go through this week remember to "Try A Little Kindness".
This week the letter is P. P is for Polk County Fair. In a small community like Mena, the County Fair is one of the highlights of the year. Everybody attends the fair. The kids are all excited for the carnival to come to town. There are animals, exhibits, booths rides and lots of fun.
We enjoy looking at the exhibits from the local schools. We used to know lots of kids here in town and would look for their exhibits. Now we are getting so old that we don't know many kids, but we enjoy looking at everything; the flowers, the vegetables, the quilts, the photography.
One of our favorite things to do is go to the animal barn. The kids work so hard at displaying their animals. The pig named "Bacon" made me smile. I guess everyone is clear on "Bacon"s future.
It seems like everyone has a good time at the fair. We always see lots of people we know.
As the sun goes down the midway and carnival rides start getting busy. It is really pretty to see the rides against the colorful sunset sky.
If you have never experienced a small county fair you have really missed out on one of life's little pleasures.
Click on the photo above to purchase the paperback version of my latest book, Devotionals from a Small Town, for $8.99
I was born in 1956 in Madison, Tennessee, while my parents were attending Madison College. I grew up along the Front Range in Colorado, attending schools in Longmont, Brighton, Boulder and Loveland, Colorado. Two years after graduating from Campion Academy, I married my sweetheart, Regina. We lived in Loveland, Colorado for six years before moving to Mena in western Arkansas.
I love the people of Mena and the friendly easy going way of life here. I have owned and operated my own business since moving to Mena. I enjoy the natural beauty of western Arkansas and being out of doors.
My newspaper column in The Mena Star, An Arkie’s Faith, premiered on January 7, 2016. In March 2017, I published my first book, titled The Little Things - Devotionals from a small town, using articles from the column. I published the second book in the Devotionals from a small town series, titled In the Fog, in December 2017.