July 14

I’m in a motel room just north of Quincy, Illinois. Did 16 miles today and enjoyed myself immensely just breathing in the air, and bitching (a little bit) under my breath at the hills Illinois put in my path today. But hills with trees are a nice break from the flat fields of corn and soy beans… the emphasis on CORN! I do have a great time out here! I think I’m getting to know myself.

A young man, no more than 12 or 13 years-old came up to me yesterday just as I was walking into Payson, Illinois and said, “Sir, would you please explain to me exactly what you are doing… sir.” I immediately said, “Absolutely! And began explaining and then answering his questions Listen folks, a kid that age addresses me in that manner I will give them my undivided attention for as long as they want! A car pulled up behind us and Skylar Ditto told me that was his mom and grandmother in the car. I said to Skylar’s mom, Shawna, “This in one fine lad you have here ma’am.” A smiling mama said with great pride, “I know!” I gave them all cards and made my way down to the local c-store to eat and charge up stuff. The store attendant gave me a free ice cream! While I was eating my ice cream, in walks Skylar’s mom, Shawna Ditto and asked would I mind stepping outside and letting their family each be photographed with me. There were seven of them and I had my picture taken with each one of them individually and they all seemed just as thrilled over it as I was… I love it! I do believe I LOVE LIFE… by God.

LOVE LIFE. Forgive everyone who’s ever wronged you, let go of all useless anger. Only then does one become mature. I never started maturing until I was 54.