Tuesday, June 22, 2010

View From The Bridge 6/23/10

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

This has been a busy week at the Center in spite of the cool and rainy weather. Sunday’s log showed 60 Visitors so it was an enjoyable time for the volunteers. It is so much more interesting to have Visitors than to sit waiting for someone to drop in.

Ruth Carlstrom called me on Saturday and said that there was a family having their lunch on a picnic table near the Center and she thought that I would like to talk to them. They were still at the table when I arrived and the story made my day.

Their personal card reads like this…A Tandem, a Triple, and a Trans-American tour. Actually they had two tandems…one was a triple and one was a double. The triple also stood for their children, age nine, a boy and two girls, who were triplets. Their names are Deirdre, Ian (the boy,) and Zara. Mom and Dad are John and Valerie.

They began their journey in Portland, Oregon on May 26th and their destination is Washington, D.C. possibly by August 31st. “Why are you doing this,” I asked. Valerie said that it has always been a dream of hers. She had to talk the children into doing the trip by promising them each a dog (a small one) when they returned home. If they want a large dog, then they must share one.

“Did you have any exciting adventures that you can share with us?” She thought a moment and then came up with this story. On Friday, they spent the night in the park in Geraldine. At 3:00 a.m., the sprinkler system started and since two of the sprinkler heads were right next to the tent, they were soaked. They actually had to move their tent and by this time, they were quite wet. What a surprise that must have been. As for adventure, I was thinking more in the line of them having seen a grizzly. That actually would have been too much of an adventure for the children.

Another adventure found them in a rainstorm. They sought refuge under a garage awning. The owner’s of the home said it would be fine for them to stay there. The end of the story was that the owners moved some things in their garage so they could set up their tent. They also offered dinner and showers. What a wonderful world this is.

I will be following the Replingie’s trail and keep you posted. They were seen today on the highway, on their way to Big Sandy. They are headed up to Route 2. Valerie said that in the mountains they only made about 30 miles per day. On the plains, they expect to make 50 miles per day. I cannot even imagine the stamina these people have. Valerie is a very petite woman and must burn many calories riding the tandem with one of the children while John does the triple tandem with two of the children.

Just as we were about to say farewell, a young man rushed across Front St. to talk to Valerie who was standing by the tandems. He wanted to know all about their trip. Charles and his friend Tom are kayakers and just crossed Fort Peck Lake. They got a ride to Fort Benton and they are going to do the Missouri again because they thought it was so beautiful.

I did not quite get their story but will be in touch with them via e-mail. What I did get was that they are traveling from Three Forks to the Gulf of Mexico. Quite an undertaking. I wonder who sponsors these young people. If they write a book, I would like to read it. I would like to keep tabs on these two young men as well as the bicyclists. With a lot of imagination, you could be along with them.

The meeting at the Longhorn Plumbing office last Thursday was a good one. There were twelve interested persons there and Barb Thomas volunteered to be the Key Person. The Key Person’s job is the one that every piece of information is directed to. She will answer all questions or try to find the answers. The next meeting will be in a month and the date will be announced closer to the meeting time. Jennifer from the Guard at the airport will be very helpful with advice and getting recycling across to the schoolchildren and all organizations. Each person at the meeting took on a job that included a place to do the recycling, how to obtain bins, getting volunteers, checking out the cardboard baler, and keeping in touch with Helena’s Montana’s Department of Environmental Quality.

Since our starting point will be paper and cardboard here are some recyclable items: white and colored bond paper, writing pad paper, brown paper, drawing paper, tissue paper, shredded paper, newspapers and flyers, catalogues, magazines, phone directories, books, envelopes, note pads, bills, letters, file folders, brown paper grocery bags, corrugated and flat cardboards, milk and juice cartons (waxed,) cardboard boxes, egg cartons and carton tubes.

Preparation: Remove flyers from any plastic bag, remove Styrofoam, flatten your corrugated and cardboard boxes, and rinse milk and juice cartons.

Avoid the following non-recyclables: Soiled paper and cardboard (from oily food or paint,) toilet tissue, paper towels, tissue paper, hygienic pads, padded envelopes and stickers, photographs, carbon paper, diapers, and wallpaper. (Note: I noticed that under recyclable items, it says tissue paper and then under avoiding non-recyclables it says tissue paper. I will check that out by next week.) Next week I will give a list of metals.

I cannot believe that it is that time of year again. Everyone I know enjoys this celebration and the Chouteau County Fair. It is just such a fun time and the best is meeting family and friends to enjoy all the great events. I have been humming for several weeks now, “Meet me in Fort Benton, Benton, meet me at the Fair.” The only problem is I cannot sing like Judy Garland. I can however, have just as good a time. See you there.

Recently there is a new employee at Post Office. He is a United States Marine having served for 14 years before being honorably discharge because of a service related injury. His name is Bo Sparks and he and his wife Theresa have purchased a home in Fort Benton. They are here to stay, as Bo says, for the next 40 years. He is already actively involved with the Marine Corps League 866 in Great Falls and today was with the League to march in the Belt Parade. He cannot be in the Fort Benton Parade with the Marines because he has to work that day.

If you see Bo at the Post Office, be sure to thank him for his service in the Marine Corps for guarding and protecting our country. We owe our service men and women so much. It can never be repayed but with a simple thank you, they will know that you appreciate their work. God bless all of them.

Show me a person who sacrifices home life, TV, even tender moments, and I will show you a volunteer.

Have a wonderful week and do a kind deed every day. It does not have to be anything big…just a phone call to a friend will do. Do it now before you get busy and forget about it.