August 24, 2007

She said, "Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side."

Pepper is in town until Sunday and we have been having the best of times. Quite frankly I had just about given up on the trip happening, what with all the delays she’d encountered while sojourning in Indiana, but eventually an email arrived letting me know she was in town and ready to commence a visit with the DirkStar.

Now, when she told me that her G.P.S. (Global Positioning System) kept getting her lost in neighborhoods with too many boarded up houses I knew I had to think of a target location to meet up at that was so big enough it would be impossible for her gizmo's to miss. So we decided to meet up under the wings of Icarus in the entrance foyer at the Air Force Museum.

Welcome to Dayton, Ohio ladies!

The very first thing I noticed about Pepper was her warm smile. She was clearly excited about our meeting and her eyes twinkled with anticipation the moment she walked through the doors and gave me a hug. She is just a joyful spirit. Now, most of the people I encounter of my age group have become so cynical and have lost every last shred of the childhood innocence that makes every day a miracle and every butterfly a celebration. It always saddens me that growing up seems to imply that seriousness must always override having fun and that if an activity doesn’t put money into a pocket it isn’t worth participating in. Pepper lives in the moment and I loved watching her run around the museum all day snapping pictures and enjoying the planes on display. It was like watching a kid in a candy store.

The second thing I noticed about Pepper was her mother, Jane. Shy at first it wasn’t long however until her dry wit and sharp intellect became clearly apparent. Even at seventy-seven years of age Pepper’s mom is a hoot to hang out with and she was a fun part of the afternoon activities. Be careful around Jane because she knows B.S. when she hears it and she’ll call a spade a spade without batting an eyelash. If she likes you you’ll enjoy good conversation and fine companionship. I’d bet money she’d rip you a new one if you get on bad side. I like her; she’s real, genuine and straight shooting.

After a long day at the museum we met up with Felicia and Micah for dinner at Abuelos and shared lots of laughs over fine Mexican cuisine. It was so nice we were in no hurry to leave and we sat for quite a spell after dinner just talking and enjoying good company. I must compliment Pepper on her ability to snare the check for our dinner before Felicia, who never gets beaten to the punch, could even think about making her move for it. (That’s alright; I’ll be treating them to lunch at Dewey’s tomorrow afternoon before we tour the Woodland Cemetery.)

We were going to tour the Indian archaeological site at Sun Watch Village today but the heat wave quickly killed that idea. It was decided instead that Pepper and Jane would catch up on some laundry, do some shopping and then come over to our house for dinner and a movie. It would be the first I got to meet the third character in the Pepper entourage, Surely Not, the wonder dog. Now, as most of you know from reading the comment sections of Pepper’s posts I’ve voiced my opinion concerning the possible alien lineage of this distinctly non-canine looking creature. If indeed this beast is an extraterrestrial being she has the soul of E.T.

"Surely Not" in the house!

Surely Not won my heart the minute she entered our home. She is kind and gentle and took to us as if she’d known Felicia, Micah and I all of her fourteen years. I still don’t know if I’d describe her as cute but she is definitely one of the sweetest of God’s creatures you’d ever want to meet. Well, we enjoyed a fine meal and then watched The Chronicles of Narnia while eating lemon squares for dessert. It was a wonderful evening and certainly cemented a new and wonderful friendship.

Now it wasn’t easy for Pepper and her mother to work up the courage to trust total strangers in a strange land, especially with her kids warning her about Internet predators, but courage is never easy. It is risky to put your trust in the hands of people you’ve never met in person. And that is precisely why I’ve always enjoyed Pepper’s blog since the evening I first discovered it. Pepper and her mother display such amazing courage each and every day they travel across the country in the R.V. they currently call home.

These two wonderful women don’t let risks paralyze them with fear and keep them prisoners in the isolated prisons of their homes like so many other Americans do today. They step out in faith and more often than not they experience the goodness that so many others miss out on in their daily lives. There are good people in the world and these two brave and courageous women meet them because they willingly take the small risks that are an inescapable fact of life. Let me tell you all something; we are having a great time and I am going to be sad when Sunday comes around and they head back off on their grand adventure.

Profiles in courage.

Pepper reminds me of a truth I’ve believed in for a very long time. I would rather die a horrible death living out in the world than die a lonely death in a house in which I’ve hidden in fear for most of my life. Yes, going out into the unknown is risky, but the rewards are so incredible for those who exercise the courage to journey forth and take a chance on what life may have to offer.

I can hardly wait to go adventuring with Pepper and Jane tomorrow. I’m betting we’ll all have a pretty good time.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great name for a dog hehe. It's a great lesson, there ARE good people all around us. Everytwhere! Not EVERYONE, but it is something I try to instill in my girls... hmm.

Glad you all met up and all is good in your world Dirk.

August 24, 2007 12:03 PM  
Blogger Asara said...

Sounds like you're having a good time! :) I'm hoping to meet some of my blogging friends in person someday too.. *sigh* someday..

Someone came over to my blog at around 2PM today from yours and left the most amazingly huge spam comment I've ever seen in my life. It took them almost 20 minutes to leave it, too. Nice, eh? :)

August 24, 2007 2:02 PM  
Blogger Aileen said...

I'm sure the "dog" is sweet but pretty it ain't! Glad you are having such a great visit.
Years ago I went to Canada to meet a group of people from the IrishAbroad website. They were having get togethers all over the world and I had chatted with a few people in Toronto over the years and had become good friends with them. They begged me to join them in Toronto for the week-end and even offered up their homes to stay in. I was so nervous about traveling out of the country , by myself , to meet people I didn't really know. Let me tell you...that was one of the best adventures I've ever been on. And,everyone except one person was exactly as I had thought them to be.
Not only that but we were able to go on the great sponge hunt while I was there. (wonderful birth control that was sold in Canada but not available anymore in the states...think Seinfeld) I scored an impressive amount of stock before heading back to the states to deliver the goods to grateful friends back home.
As for getting old and cynical.....somedays I think how much harder I've gotten over the years. I'm not sure when it happened , why it happened....but it makes me crazy. It's hard to reverse that , I think. That's why I enjoy my get aways with friends so much. It gives me a chance to go back to that silly childishness. It's good for the soul.

August 24, 2007 3:10 PM  
Blogger notfearingchange said...

Wow I'm super jealous! I would love to be there...what a great visit. I concur with your sentiment about being locked inside homes. I had my American visitor come up and stay with me at my mum's house while she was away. I found out later on that when her friend came by to ensure everything was okay (she saw the garage door open) and he opened the door he would barely peek his head out of the door. Meanwhile, where my mom lives we all leave the garage doors open, we speak with one another freely, our doors are left open. Funny.
America open your arms, open your hearts, open and realize that we are not lonely creatures, rather we are a society.

August 24, 2007 6:00 PM  
Blogger notfearingchange said...

ps asara - i got a HUGE spam today too...

August 24, 2007 6:01 PM  
Blogger Aileen said...

I got a huge spam comment too,today. It was really weird and made NO sense at all,really. I couldn't figure out why it was there. At any rate I deleted it but I believe the time was somewhere between 1:30 and 2:00pm. Bizarre.

August 24, 2007 9:44 PM  
Blogger Dirk_Star said...

To everyone that received the bizarre comment; this is the second time I've been hit by this unusual individual.

I can only assume he is in suffering and has no other way to give voice to his his pain.

I just delete the comment and go about my way...

August 25, 2007 8:06 AM  
Blogger Merelyme said...

awww...that is really great! i am so glad you are having a good time. i am jealous though!

by the way...i had gotten the huge spam comment too.

ummm...well...if you still care about your other friends...you know where to find me on my new blog. :>)

August 25, 2007 8:20 AM  
Blogger Old Plod said...

Hi Dirk, Not all angels have wings! Some are just friends whom we greatly appreciate. Pepper and her Mom certainly fit that category. Please be sure to give them my personal greetings from the ancient and historical City of Plymouth in England, U.K.

There are a tiny minority of unhinged people in Blogosphere and I too received the incoherent spam posting which I promptly deleted. Be not deterred, the vast majority are level headed and pragmatic bloggers. Keep writing Bard.

August 25, 2007 12:41 PM  
Blogger Craig D said...

Glad you folks have goteen together and are having such a great visit!

Whenever people come to visit me, all they want to do is go SHOPPING! GAAAAAHHH!

August 25, 2007 8:00 PM  
Blogger russkal said...

add me up in the list of unwitting "spam" comment victims.

I was hit too. I even tried to read the damn thing, and you're right, aileen, it doesn't make any sense. Which is why I'm glad I have comments moderation on.

I agree with you're theory, Dirk. I think Not So is an extra-terrestial. Sort of "Frank", the talking Pug from Men In Black.


August 25, 2007 11:00 PM  
Blogger russkal said...

BTW dude, I thought you might wanna know...

Greenery is back!

Yes he is, just a couple of days ago. He is safe and blogging again.

I thought we might give him a warm welcome, since it appears nobody knows he is back yet.

August 25, 2007 11:21 PM  
Blogger Aileen said...

thanks for the heads up on Greenery there Russ. I wondered why he was quiet for so long. Glad to know he's in one peace.

August 26, 2007 10:21 PM  
Blogger Pythia3 said...

I have to admit, I read all the comments after your post and now I am so confused about the change of topics - to weird spam - that I forgot what I was going to write! Call it "that certain age," as I even forget to look at my calendar, so my making notes does not even help me.
So, where was I? Sounds like you have been enjoying yourself in the sinful indulgences of child-like behavior. Well, good for you - count me in on the less-serious fun.I agree, too many people grow old in thought alone and those thoughts definitely manifest into physical reality - looking old too. Not for me. It helps spending time with others who share the same young attitude.
On another note: I was a Hospice volunteer for years and one of the many things I learned about death is that people die the way they lived. If one lives in seclusion, one choses to die alone, etc. So, from that I began to understand the "die doing what you love to do" philosophy. When a skier or mountain climber or crock hunter dies at the hands of his or her life's obsession, that is what is said - "He died doing what he loved to do." So be it for everything we do and love to do in life . . . smoking, drinking, drugs included without prejudice. Hey, we all make choices - mine is to live life to the fullest, as you expressed...to live a courageous, adventurous, meaningful life and then die doing what I love to do.

August 27, 2007 1:40 PM  
Blogger Wizened Wizard said...

So happy for all concerned that you, Pepper, et al got together. Gosh, first DNR, and now The Little House on Wheels. Who ever knew Ohio was the place to meet up?

By the way, Surely Not is the reincarnation of my mother's dog - a dog I inherited. I hope you didn't tell S.N. that he's tiny, because he most surely believes himself to be larger than a St. Bernard.

August 29, 2007 6:37 PM  

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