Monday, June 8

Cure for the Pain: Body Movin' and BLTs

So I think I have come up with a cure to the Mark and Rob syndrome previously mentioned.

After a long day riding in the rain on Friday I began to look for a place to rest for the night and come across a large high school in Warrington, PA. As I rode by around 6pm, I noticed a large amount of cars coming through, dropping off kids in the front, and driving on. The kids ran like ants to the wing of the building labeled "Auditorium". Lucky me!

I pulled into the parking lot and rode to a parked car. "What's going on tonight?" I asked a mother patiently waiting for her daughter to exit the car. She went on to tell me about the dance recital taking place, the work the girls had put into it all year, and finally invited me to attend.

"Will people think I'm a creep?"

"Just act like a father. Or a family member of some kind. You'll be fine!" she assured me.

I rode around the school, took my bike into the woods behind the football field, set up my tent, changed clothes, and headed back to the building to make the seven o'clock show. After convincing the woman selling tickets I only had $5 on me and couldn't pay the $16 because I was biking across the country and didn't stop at an ATM today, she let me in and I settled in near the back. The lights went dark. Music started pumping. The stage opened and a bunch of 6 to 16 year olds danced their hearts out to Justin Timberlake and Madonna's 4 Minutes song.

At intermission I filed out into the lobby with the other parents, grandparents, and dance instructors. In an attempt to not be thought a creep, I stood just between the different families trying to pass as being with "the other family." After a bit of floating between family circles, intermission ended and we headed back in and listened to more hip hop music. Undetected. All in all, despite feeling a bit creepy, it was good entertainment. It was obvious the performers had put a lot of work into it and I think I picked up a few more moves than just my stiff shoulder shake...

The next 48 hours were splendidly filled with lots of interaction with wonderful folks. Saturday night, I ran into Sandy as she was getting ready to walk her dog. I asked if I could put my tent up on the edge of her property and though she was fine with it, she offered the apartment that was built on the side of her house instead. "You'll have a bed, a shower, even a TV." I couldn't pass her up on that one. By the end of my stay, Sandy had provided me with one-and-a-half huge BLT sandwiches for dinner, two bacon and egg english muffins and a fresh cup of coffee for breakfast, and, best of all, great conversation.

Sunday I headed towards Reamstown, PA, passing tons of Mennonite and Amish homesteads, to arrive just in time to catch a church service. After the service, I was back in the parking lot eating oranges when a man approached and inquired about my travels. After a brief conversation, he introduced himself as Jordan and invited me back to his house with his family for brunch. A bit hungry, I entertained his invitation and followed the directions to his house only to arrive just after a van load of 8 kids emptied out. I stuck around, engaging in great conversation for another 3 hours, as I ate hamburgers, bow-tie pasta, salad, and homemade strawberry pie with strawberries picked fresh the day before.

And finally, last night, I arrived to Lancaster, PA from where I write now. My church community back in Manhattan has many ties to Lancaster, as it houses one of the larger (if not largest) Mennonite communities in the country (it's the Goshen, IN of PA). After a quick call to my pastor back at Manhattan Mennonite Fellowship before their services started, I got into contact with a family who were members last year before moving out of Manhattan to Lancaster. Thankfully, they have been kind enough to house me for not one night, but two as I take a zero day today. With coffee and fresh strawberries for breakfast again this morning, I am very thankful for the way in which Pennsylvania has taken me in and, in many ways, been Christ to me.

I'm 220 miles in and feeling strong (believe it or not, but I haven't woken up soar until today). Definitely feeling ready for the next stint of riding. It's looking like I'll be in D.C. on Thursday where I'll meet up with some fraternity brothers from Centre. After that, I'll be headed through Lexington, VA - the location of one of the many Young Life camps I attended while doing YL in Lincoln Co. Kentucky.

Again, my heart goes out to Sandy, Jordan and his family of 10, and my current hosts - Brandy and Brian and their three beautiful children. They were excellent hosts and I am very indebted to their kindness.


Gruntled said...

When do your think you will make it to Danville? Are you staying with Rob?

skip said...

Don't knock the stiff shoulder shake.
And yes, you are a creep.

Anonymous said...

um, yeah--creepazoid.
but all of union would vouch for you.
also, love that song. bet you wanted to dance (even creepier).
here's to you meeting good people along your journey!

Nate Crimmins said...

I'm thinking Danville will be late June, early July and I am planning to stay at Robs, yes.

Skippy, it took far too long for me to realize who you are... it wasn't until you said you were the Rob the Aussie on one of the other comments. Back to an earlier question you had - Utah is loaded with Mormans, and they don't drink caffeine, hence no coffee in Utah. Though I'm sure I can find some. I hope...

WhereaboutsinDanville said...

I'll be back from a mission trip on Sunday, July 5th, then I leave on Wednesday, July 8 for the road trip. We'll work something out.

Alex Brown said...

"Well, that was a great recital," says Nate. "I'll just retire now to my tent set up about 50 yards away..."

This is classic undeniable creeper-ness. But a hilarious story. And look where it got you.

Patrick Noltemeyer said...

Nate, its great to read about the kindness of strangers in your blog - glad you are meeting so many people of character along the way!

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