Sunday, September 27, 2009
The weekend started out calmly enough Friday evening when I picked up Leroy's handicapped sister, Kass. She is staying with us for the weekend so she could get in on some of the family weekend activities. Saturday morning, Leroy went to a demonstration of plowing with a steam engine. I made some food and got things ready to go to Camp Swatara where most of the Stauffer family was camping for the weekend.
Dale and Cheryl (and their families) both had campsites this year so we went a little earlier in the day than we normally do. That turned out to be a good thing because things started going downhill at 3 p.m. when we felt the first drops of the predicted rain begin to fall just as the men were putting the chicken for supper on the charcoal. It was so cool some of us huddled around the campfire under umbrellas while the chicken was cooking. The tempo of the rainfall increased and by 5 p.m. when the food was ready, an umbrella was no longer sufficient. We moved under four canopies which provided enough space for all the food tables and a relatively dry place to eat.
Just as we started eating, Gene called and said the transmission broke in his car. He and Amy were stranded up in the Pocono Mountains two hours away. He wanted Leroy to bring a company truck and trailer to bring them and the car home. After Leroy finished eating his chicken barbq supper, we held a tribal council to decide how to arrange everything. In the end, Leroy and Dale went up with the truck and trailer. I drove our car over to the warehouse and let it set there so they have a way to get home when they come back with the truck. Daryl and Velma brought me and Kass home.
Cheryl and Richard had decided not to drag their camper all the way in here from Ohio but just set up a tent. With the steady rain falling and our good solid roof only 15 minutes away, they packed up their family and moved in here for the night too. We all went to bed and Leroy finally got back at midnight.
This morning it was still raining. Leroy had to teach Sunday school so we went to church and came home for lunch instead of going to the campground as we had planned. The rain was giving up by the time we finished eating so we thought we'll go back and collect some of the things we left there. But while I was washing dishes Dale came and dropped off our things. He said everyone had enough "fun" and was clearing out. It was not worth going.
The game we played this weekend was one where you make the rules as you go. Everything worked out in the end and everybody wound up safe and dry at their own homes. So I guess we can call it a success even if there were all kinds of twists and turns along the way.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
We got on the bus at 7 a.m. and arrived at Battery Park in New York City around 10. Our group walked to the Staten Island ferry and rode it both ways back and forth from Manhattan. We sang four or five songs on each trip. At the end of the first crossing one of the passengers told me our singing was beautiful and asked where we are from. Someone said they saw another man taking a video of our singing. We were not doing it to get attention for ourselves but to point people to the Lord as their hope and rescuer. From the ferry we had a good view of the NYC skyline. The ferry passes close to the Statue of Liberty and Leroy got a good picture of it. Someday I want to go up in the statue but we did not have time yesterday.
After lunch the bus inched toward Bowery Street where the mission is located. Traffic was heavy and some streets were closed for an Italian festival. We saw Ground Zero where some construction was being done but it is a long ways from being anywhere near finished. Because of the traffic we were late getting to the mission where our group conducted the 2 p.m. service (which didn't start until 2:30). Things have changed on Bowery Street since we were there last. The piles of trash and junk have been cleaned up and the drunks that used to line the sidewalks as they slept off their hangovers are gone. The neighborhood looks much more respectable now. The parts of the city I saw yesterday are cleaner and greener than they used to be. I saw quite a few rooftop gardens and flower beds planted in islands in the streets.
After the service ended at the mission, the bus again inched its way out of the city. It took an hour to get to the Holland Tunnel. We stopped for supper somewhere in New Jersey and got back to the church at 8 p.m.
As I looked at the streets of New York teeming with people I could not understand how so many people would be attracted to living in such cramped quarters. We saw all makes and models of people dressed in all sorts of ways and speaking a multitude of languages. I guess we were just one more variety added to the mix. I noticed the inquisitive looks we got from passers-by in the park while we were eating our lunch. Leroy heard two men discussing us and one of them identified us as "A-mish." New York is a nice place to visit but I'm a country girl to the bone. We had a good day in the city but I am thankful to be back in the quiet country again. I need my space!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
You know you are in Pennsylvania when...
*Hearing horses clopping down a paved road doesn't bring you to the window to see what's going on outside.
*Red Beet Eggs makes your list of top ten favorite foods.
*When it snows they put cinders on the roads instead of sand.
*You call Sloppy Joes "barbecue."
*You do things "once," as in "I'll go check in the back room once."
*Your turkey has "filling," not "stuffing" or "dressing."
*You say things like, "Outen the lights," "I'm calling off today," and "They're calling for snow."
*At least five people on your block have electric candles in most of their windows all year long.