Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Why you should….What’s that called again?

What would happen if you bought a medium size waterproof container, filled it with cheap trinkets, hid it somewhere outside, determined its GPS coordinates, and then posted those coordinates on the Internet? People from all over would come and find it! They would sign their names on the log book you included in the container (because you want to know who found it), they would take a trinket from the container and leave something in return, they would later report their find on the internet, and they would go off to find other such hidden containers. Oh, and they would call it Geocaching! (“Geo” meaning “earth” and “cache” being a collection of things.)

I wish I could take credit for devising such a clever hide and seek game, but I can’t. I can tell you to visit www.geocaching.com to learn all about this high-tech scavenger hunt. (That’s where you find and post coordinates and log in your finds.) I am fairly new to the geocaching adventure, but I can tell you it is great fun, educational, and highly addicting!

You should go geocaching because:

1. It’s fun!

2. It’s fairly cheap as far as hobbies go. You probably already have what you need: Internet access to geocaching.com (where you can sign up for a free account), a GPS, gas in your vehicle, and a sense of adventure. Of course, like any hobby, you can spend lots of money on geocaching too. You can invest in special GPS’s and/or smart phone apps, you can pay for a premium membership, you can purchase special trinkets to place in caches and “official” gear, and you can drive all over the country. But you don’t have too. Chances are there are hundreds of caches within a day’s drive of where you live.

3. It’s cross-generational. I love it, my 16-year-old daughter loves it, and my 69-year-old father loves it! Because it is an ageless activity it creates great opportunities to bring families together.

4. It gives you something to do on those beautiful days when you want to be outdoors but you don’t own a boat or a membership to the country club.

5. It is educational. Well, it isn’t ALWAYS educational, but many caches are hidden in or around historical areas. One of our best “finds” wasn’t the actual cache (which was too small to contain anything except a log to sign), but the nearby church that was built in the mid-1800’s. We were able to go inside and sit in the slave balcony on the original benches. That had a profound affect on my 16-year-old and sparked some great discussion. Also, some variations of the geocache are non-traditional ones which aren’t containers, but places including geological treasures and historical sites. Because of this…

6. You never really know what you will find or where you will end up! That makes it quite adventurous!

7. It creates great memory-making opportunities… like going caching with good friends along the bank of the Mississippi River. Or when you and your daughter give up the search for a cache deep in the woods but your dad refuses to give up and you think he is truly lost because you can’t hear him any more. (He does make his way out only to trip over a fallen tree and land flat on his back. He’s ok though.)

8. You get to see some beautiful places. If you like photography then this is the hobby for you. Like I said, you never know what you will find. It could be that previously mentioned old church, or a beautiful sunset, or a most unusual magnolia tree, or gravestones marked CSA (Confederate States of America).

9. I’ll let you fill in #9!

If you decide to accept my challenge and sign a log sheet that has already been signed by Jeffcoat5….that’s me!

Happy Caching!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Race Update

Just wanted to let readers know that Kyle ran his 1/2 marathon in 2 hours 25 minutes! He was well pleased and so was I. He is already making plans for a couple more 1/2 marathons and a full one! Upon reading my previous post he commented,"That was sweet, Mom, but I'm really not eating better." I said he might increase his time if he did.

Hmmmm....I feel another inspirational thought coming. :-D

Thanks for all the well wishes.
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Sunday, February 13, 2011

At the Finish Line

My son is in New Orleans today running his first ½ marathon. I’m impressed! This is the son who loves chocolate chip cookies for supper and hates vegetables. This is the boy who hid his spaghetti under a bookcase when he was five and always has a little milk with his chocolate. Yet for months he’s been working out and training for this event. Even watching what he eats. (To some extent) I have no doubt he can do it, and I’m cheering him on all the way…from home. I want to be at the end of his 13.1-mile journey through the French Quarter to greet him at the finish line and applaud this accomplishment. I want to tell him how proud I am of his hard work, determination, and resolve to keep going. But I won’t be there. Obligations beyond my control prevent me.

I said this was my son’s first ½ marathon, but it isn’t his first race. When he was younger he decided to run the race of faith set before him by Christ, a race I myself started years before he was born. It too requires hard work, determination, and resolve to keep on keeping on. There are distractions, detractors, and detours on this path. Some places are smooth and scenic, and others contain rough, ugly terrain. And unlike a ½ marathon, we don’t really know how far it is to the end. We just have to keep our eyes on Jesus and run with perseverance the race set before us. Two things are certain, I know he can do it, and I will be at this finish line to welcome my son and applaud his accomplishment.

This is the most important race of our lives.

I love you, Kyle! See you there!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

© Drewe Llyn Jeffcoat 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011


I just loaded a blogger app and wanted to see if it really works.:-D
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