Looking back through my recent photos, I noted that I had neglected to mention one delightful woman we met back in Unity Village. Cheri Neal was sitting on this butterfly bench, and looked like she had sprouted wings! Turns out Cheri is a life coach with an amazing background. Not only has she completed three triathlons and three half marathons, but she also jumped out of three perfectly good airplanes (okay, with a parachute) and was Illinois' first female snow plow operator! I was particularly impressed by Cheri's friendly, positive and caring attitude. You can learn more about Cheri and her life coaching on her web site www.cherineal.com .
Another photo that I ran across was this house in Livingston, Montana, with an unusual decoration. I'm not sure what message (if any) the homeowner was trying to give, but it sure got my attention... I wonder what the homeowners association back in The Villages would say?
Mountain rivers are some of our favorite places. While in Glacier National Park, we hiked alongside McDonald Creek, at 25 miles the longest stream in the park. It's a beautiful place, and once you're away from the turistas near parking pullouts, it's almost deserted.
This view of McDonald Creek looks downstream at the Lower Falls, where you can see the horizon line of the drop.
We also got in a couple of great mountain bike rides; here we see a cute young cyclist taking a break on Montana's Whitefish Trail. She's hardly glistening, while her partner below is breaking a sweat, but at least he's upright and not face-planted in the dirt.
"I'm afraid these beers are not cold enough to drink."
"Gee, sorry, our cooler hasn't been working very well. That's as good as it gets."
"Okay, I'd like a bucket of ice to cool them off."
"Gee, sorry, we don't have buckets."
"How about a couple of freezing cold iced mugs?"
"Gee, sorry, all we have is plastic cups, and even if we had glasses or mugs, none of our coolers are cold enough to frost glass anyway."
At this point I was about to say, "Gee, sorry, cancel my order, and we'll go somewhere that knows what 'service' means..." But (1) Suzanne has been trying to train me to be more loving, compassionate and tolerant, and (2) I had already paid the bill and left a generous gratuity; and (3) we were starving, so I said to myself, "Isn't this interesting?" and "I would really prefer having cold beers instead of these insipidly warm excuses for beer." So, I gently and lovingly said, "Okay, how about a couple of large cups of ice so I can immerse these unsatisfactorily warm beers into an ice bath to make them drinkable?"
"So, I guess we can do that."
"No problem." (This leads to another pet peeve to be discussed in the paragraph below...)
My Lovely Bride was more than amused by my travails, and took this photo of Your Faithful Correspondent in the act of icing down two bottles of warm beer in 16 oz. plastic cups. By the time our pizza (pretty decent, actually) arrived, the beers were almost drinkable... but I was still hot!
Finally, on to that other pet peeve... the use of the modern phrase "No problem" in place of the traditional "You're welcome". The use of this annoying phrase is so pervasive that any attempt on my part to convince millennials of its incivility would probably be met with blank looks and replies of "Whatever", so I guess I will follow My Lovely Bride's advice and just suck it up. Where are good English teachers when you really need them? Sigh...