Our journey begins…
Sunday morning at church, we were Commissioned by Pastor Peggy, using a special service created by the Synod just for this purpose. Part of the text from 2 Corinthians was: “We have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power … does not come from us. When we are afflicted in every way, we are not crushed. When we are perplexed, we are not driven to despair. When we are persecuted, we are not forsaken. When we are struck down, we are not destroyed.”
We received a few more last-minute donations at church, so that brought the total to $1,188 in cash and shopping cards for Lowe’s and WalMart. Everyone applauded to send us off, so that was nice to feel all that love and support.
We had to leave church early, to get to Mom & Dad’s house in time to have lunch before Dad drove us to the Synod office. We had a great brunch of scrambled eggs, sausage patties, biscuits, German coffee, and OJ.
We arrived at the Synod office at 1:30, as requested, but the bus didn’t get underway till about 2:10, after waiting for the “Bethesda Bus” to get there. We had been assigned to this bus, which turned out to be a 30-passenger bus from children’s home in Meadville. So it was a little less comfortable than the big coach bus, but on the other hand most people were able to use 2 seats and spread out, and also it’s easier to get to know everyone. A few of the people on our bus were from the home, including the two drivers, and most of the rest of the people were from Sarver. And then we had to stop and pick up two more men at the rest stop in Bridgeville.
Here’s the rundown of the endless bus portion of our trip:
2:10 — left the Synod office after a group photo in the freezing cold
2:40 – picked up 2 more people at the Bridgeville rest area
Watched Sleepless in Seattle on the bus DVD, though the screen is small and only in the front, so it’s a little too hard for me to crane my poor little neck to see that high and that far.
Received text message updates from Nik on the Pens vs game. It ended badly (they lost in a shoot-out), but it was nice to have the updates!
4:00– rest stop
Cheaper by the Dozen 2 – pretty lame
7:15 – dinner and Super Bowl at Garfield’s sports bar in Beckley WV. Apparently the Synod group last year had also been traveling on Super Bowl Sunday, and since it was the Steelers in it, they obviously had to stop to watch the game. They happened upon this place, descended upon it, and they volunteered to keep their dining room open later than usual for a Sunday night so they could watch the game. So this year, Pastor called ahead and set it up again; they seemed glad to have us back and set up the whole front room for the 50 or so of us. I had 7-layer dip with tortilla chips, and Al had salmon; both of us had apple crisp for dessert, though I think it did have nuts in it, because my stomach didn’t feel so hot afterward.
10:00 – back on the road
In Good Company – seemed like a not bad movie, though I missed a lot of the dialog, and kept dozing off, it being past my bedtime
Midnight– rest stop, and I think we got fuel, though we’re a little fuzzy on the middle-of-the-night stops at this point
I, Robot – saw it before & liked it, but I slept through pretty much all of it, except the loud parts kept waking me up
2:00am – rest stop in Tennessee. I think this is where the coach bus changed drivers to a fresh driver who met them there. Our bus had two drivers who switched back and forth at pretty much each stop.
Basta with the movies!
5:15 – rest stop in Georgia
7:30 – woke up with the daylight, just before Birmingham
8:15 – fuel stop, then breakfast at Cracker Barrel in Calera AL. I had a “Country Breakfast”: eggs, grits, and biscuits (and coffee and cranberry juice). Al had a peach pancake breakfast which included eggs & turkey sausage. Not bad.
Somewhere in there we lost an hour, so it was actually 8:15 local time when we left Cracker Barrel
12:00 noon – rest stop near Mobile Alabama
1:30 pm arrived at Ocean Springs, Mississippi
So that was actually pretty grueling, basically 24 hours on the road, in not-all-that-comfortable seats, cold, no leg room (my knees were so sore). But our catch-phrase is: “It’s all part of the adventure”, so we’re dealing, never fear.