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Wednesday, November 24, 2004

THE TOUR JOURNAL HAS BEEN POSTED!


This is what I wrote on my brother's laptop during our trip west, almost all 7 weeks of it. I didn't get bored enough to write until a week into the trip. So...here it is, I think it's 21 pages long. Read it, skim it, ignore it, memorize it, whatever. It's here!

Sept 29, 2004 3:29pmI’m here in the middle of Nebraska. We went through Omaha a few hours ago. I’ve been playing computer games for the last hour or so; my back is aching from slouching. We stopped at a Flying J truck stop right outside of Omaha. When we got there I wanted to jump out of the bus and be away from it all. Just today it has started to feel very crowded in here. I seem to always be bumping into someone. The landscape right now is slightly hilly and brown. The fields are all dried up. I heard something about a water shortage. I wish I had access to an internet connection. Calling people helps with boredom, but we only have free cell minutes at night and on weekends. I’ll call my cousin Peter tonight. Mom's talks on the phone with Mrs. Godin go on for hours. Then when she gets off, she says they talked about so many things, she can’t really remember much. Well I guess that’s what I do on the phone too. I called Kevin last night, to ask him which pieces I sent him to play in Nov. I have forgotten which ones they were. Anyhow, at first he didn’t know who I was, and I thought he was Peter, so I didn’t tell, him who I was. I’ll have to apologize for being so rude. He didn’t know what pieces I sent him, he’s at college and the pieces are at his house. He told me a little about a debate he did at school this week. Political debates are interesting, but I’m just so uninformed I’m sure I’d make a mess of any debate I try, and that would make it very unpleasant. I hope I’ll be able to get online soon and blog. Right now I’m just writing to pass the time. It’s not really important that I write this down, but it makes me feel better.

The Teddy Bear Inn, our cousins, the Risattis, all feel far away. All the things we do happen so fast. I wonder what’s going on at home. I called the Beckwiths and Dave answered. I talked to Bethany one day, and I called Mrs. Priestly too. It’s nice to be able to stay in touch. I’m trying to imagine being in my room right now. The shades are up, I have clothes on the floor, my bed is made, and the CD player is on. The windows are shut, because it’ll be cold outside this time of year. When I step out the door, I immediately think fall. All of my senses tell me the season is changing. I smell the air, I feel the cool, I see the leaves falling off the tree, I hear the leaves rustling as they fall in the road, and I taste the apple cider I’m drinking. By the time we get home, the leaves will all be gone. Not gone actually, just on the ground, where we have to rake them up.

While you’re on the road, you have plenty of time to ponder the questions that flood your head constantly, -and under normal circumstances leave as soon as they come. One question that I have been thinking about is the question of what makes a person attractive. Why would I consider a person attractive, while my counterparts would wholeheartedly disagree? How are our likes and dislikes shaped? Has God made us with a built in like-dislike feature, or are they shaped in some way by our past? I’m not talking about pretty, or cute, but attractive. Not what features make people attractive, but what is it that forms us to sort those features into liked/disliked.

The second question is far more reaching, and most likely to go unanswered for a time. It’s more of an observation than a question, although it itself raises many questions. It’s hard for me to find the words to explain it. Nothing exists outside of the present. No history exists other than what has been written down. Nothing still exists in 1987. Nothing exists in past, past is time. Nothing exists except the time in the present, which is this precise moment. It bothers me to think about it, because I know it’s not very explainable. Perhaps even I will not understand what I’m saying when I read this in the future. At the present I’m baffled by it.

We’re stopped at a Petro. I think dad is going shopping. I might go in. The sky is covered with clouds. We have had great weather, hardly any rain. A corvette just got gas at the gas station here. The owner is an old man. I think cousin Sal has a corvette. There is an ugly yellow convertible bug getting gas too.

5:58pm
I read a sign at the last rest stop that said we’re about to enter the Great Plains. That was some miles ago. The landscape is a little dryer and there are fewer cornfields. I’m counting down the hours till I can make some phone calls. I haven’t talked to anyone since last night. It just bothers me not talking to anyone for a long time. If I moved out to a lonely place I’d have to get a good phone plan or have people over all the time. I can call the east coast at 8, and Peter at 9. Our cell minutes start at 9 EST, his start at 9 CST. I think I might try to get Katie’s phone number.

Mom’s driving the bus as I type. I wish it were me, but I know I need to drive a little more on the highway in the van before I drive the bus. Next trip out west I’ll have to convince dad I can drive it. Vincent will be able to drive it next year two. Another problem is, I think I forgot my drivers permit. Doesn’t make much difference though. I don’t plan to drive anything.

My bunk gets so warm. I don’t know exactly why. It might be the generator. The floor heats up. It’ll be nice in the wintertime though. It might be snowing when we get to NJ.

My thoughts aren’t very organized right now. It’s as if I’m writing down what I think to myself. I must admit my thoughts go a great deal further than what has been written down. Some thoughts I don’t trust myself to write down. Only God can see them. What an incredible thing that is. No one else knows some things about me. Not a soul in the world. A passerby might think fascination strange, or interpret is in weird ways. I think it’s normal. Not all thoughts were meant to be shared.

We haven’t found a church to sing at tonight yet. We stopped at a church called Trinity in Omaha. They don’t have a Wednesday night service. I don’t know if we’ll find a place for tonight, but I hope we do. It’s something to do. If we weren’t singing on this trip it’d be so - to borrow the wording of Kaleb M – stinking boring. I wish we had more places to sing.

It’s 6:11, only 1 hr + 49 minutes until I can call. The boys are watching a funny Abbot and Costello. It’s called Hit the Ice.

I’ve eaten all the chocolate I can I think. I bought some chocolate bars earlier in the trip and we’ve been eating them since. I’m surprised how good it is. I think we’re going to stop at a grocery store to eat. I was just thinking to myself, I should post this entire thing online. However boring it is, I could post it as an attraction, Tour AZ 2004, unedited. What a great idea. Right.

I haven’t practiced today. It’s kind of hard to practice when it’s bumpy. I have to use my mute and I can’t do the BE method very good with the mute. I can’t hear the tones I’m producing. I mostly play my marches on the road. I’ve sort of memorized them. I feel so lazy right now, but it makes me feel better than I’m writing. We’re still stopped. I think dad is out talking to someone about churches in the area.

I bought a few books and magazines from the Salvation Army we stopped at. I read all the magazines and one of the books. It was called Where Have All the Mothers Gone? I think we’re driving around in a small town right now, I guess I’m going to go see what’s going on. I can’t see much from where I’m typing (in my bunk).

9/30/04 1:03pm

Earlier today we passed into MT (mountain time). At 7pm I can call my friends back east – what few of them there are to call. Right now we are going through a rainstorm. We got hail for about 30 seconds. The lightening is pretty incredible. The windows of the bus are all fogged up. We stopped at a WalMart to have lunch. Mom cooked a roast and potatoes. The boys are snacking on noodles. I don’t know how they are hungry all the time. I’m going to have a Popsicle later. The computer just automatically capitalized that word. Let me say it again. I’m going to have an ice pop later. Lol. I think the clouds are clearing a bit. The nice thing about driving is that you don’t get stuck in rain very often. You just drive out of it.

The terrain was very uninteresting yesterday; today it’s a little better. If you were to look on a map and see where 76 is in the NE corner of CO, you’d see that there’s almost nothing around it. Just cattle farms and long stretches of nothing. Still, I think it’s better than cornfields. We just passed a huge cattle place. There were big stacks of hay bales all over. The cows were just crawling all over the place.

There are some fun word games on the computer, I’ll either play one of them or play scrabble with one of my siblings. I can’t believe we’re actually in CO. It seems so far away from home. In just a week or two we’ll be in AZ. On my birthday we’ll be singing in Tuba City, AZ. I don’t know if 17 will be all that different from 16. I’m looking forward to it though, older is better than dead. I shouldn’t sound so droll. The weird thing is I keep thinking to myself that I’m 17 already. Once I shocked myself, I thought for a fleeting moment that I was turning 18 next month. That’s pretty bad, lol.

Out here the trees are mostly around houses. It’s funny to see new houses with little short trees in front of them. In 25 years they’ll be nice protection from the highway. Maybe less than 25, I suppose it depends on what kind of trees they are. We just passed over a hill, we can see the road waaay ahead of us. The road dips and rises 4 or five times, and you can see the road a mile or two in front of us. You can see mountains in the distance. Dad says you can drive all day and still be driving towards the mountains. This is really incredible. There are no longer any telephone poles, as far as you can see, there’s nothing. It just stretches on. The landscape is all the same, short desert-type bushes, some brown grass, brown/sand colored earth. There are a lot of small hills. The ground could almost be called bumpy instead of hilly. Mom and Carol are arguing about something. Sometimes the things we argue about are really ridiculous. I suppose it’s like that for everyone. Often things are magnified in the bus. If someone is in a bad mood, and you bother them, sometimes it’s a big deal. Usually things blow over quickly, it’s hard to be upset with each other all the time. Hahah…they’re arguing again. I’m not really laughing…but I’ve got to say something. I think that’s the first time I used an ellipsis. The people up from are discussing funnel clouds. That would be something, running into a tornado on the road. I always think it’s weird when people say, “we had weather”, when they get some unusually bad weather. We get weather all the time. Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it’s bad. Now everyone is happy again and I’m going to play scrabble.


10/4/04
AAHHH! The mountains in CO are beautiful! Maybe gorgeous is a better term. In any case, I have never thought I’d actually see anything like that. We sang 4 times in CO, all but one wasn’t planned until the day we got there. When we first got to Colorado Springs we went to Focus on the Family. It’s an organization created by James Dobson. They do publishing, as well as radio production, all with their Christian/Family oriented perspective on it. When we got to their welcome center it came about that we sing, and they asked us if we would sing in their lobby. So we did, and had a great time there. One of the staff there gave us contacts to a nursing home in the area and we sang there, then someone at that nursing home referred us to another nursing home that we sang at also.
Yesterday we sang at a church in Rye, CO. The people there were really nice, and the pastor’s wife said they would pray for us as their home missionary. God has blessed us with such Christian, hospitable, and kind people. The thing is that there’s already a bond, we’re brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s a wonderful thing.

New Mexico is gorgeous too! I just keep being so surprised. There are many, many mountains, and there are a lot of rock formations that look like something out of my science books. We passed Santa Fe and all the houses there are little Mexican styled houses, I can’t remember what it’s called. It’s so different than home. While we were on I-25 coming south I saw a little abandon village on the side of a mountain. There were 15-20 houses that were either empty or in ruins, and there was a little church that had the back wall missing, you could see right through it. It's so quaint. I’m trying to find the right words to describe everything here. It provokes thought, thoughts of the old country, the old ways, the old world. Everything here makes me think. How did all those canyons get there, how did all those mountains form? The Bible has a good answer. The flood. But…most people don’t like that answer.


We just passed a gorge with reddish colored sides and Hannah yelled “THE GRAND CANYON!” Lol. I can’t wait till we get there. Only about 200 miles to 4 corners, then we’ll be in Tuba City on Wednesday, and Thursday we’ll be at the Grand Canyon.
My friends that I call on the phone back east are telling me the trees are turning nice colors. Next year I’ll appreciate them more – that is, if we’re home next year. We’re thinking of leaving earlier next year and going to CA. Who knows what will happen. I don’t not like being on the road, but I’m going to appreciate home so much more. A room of my own, with a bed, room to stretch out as far as my appendages will stretch, and still have more space. The floor here is quite small, but it allows for plenty of walking around – I’m not complaining.

I discovered WalMart sells chocolate bars for $1 each. They are awfully good! There are several things that I have discovered on this trip that I like, or would like to do someday (or I’m just reaffirming a like). They’re listed in no particular order. Friends, home, Salsa music, chocolate bars, horseback riding (haven’t found anywhere to try it yet!), mountains, Colorado, internet, church dinners, studying Spanish, playing trumpet, and I’m sure there are many others I’m not remembering.

I started reading 40 Days of Purpose. Ok, it’s a bestseller, and a lot of people like it (which is sometimes a red flag for me). For a good reason they like it. It’s very interesting, it’s well written, and it has such a good point. I’ve only gotten through the first 4 days, but it’s very good so far. It’s loaded with Scripture.

The landscape is becoming more and more breathtaking. The rock formations no longer have any trees on them; it’s just bare rock, sometimes red. That’s one more thing I’d like to do. Do some rock climbing. Maybe not serious rock climbing, but just hiking on these rocks. Everyone yells when something interesting comes up so mom can get it on the video camera.



10/8/04
We finally made it! And we’ve left! We left the Grand Canyon National Park this morning. We got there yesterday and stayed in the RV park. There were so many amazing things there. First off, the canyon itself is magnificent. It is so incredible. Sorry, no river made that kind of a canyon. It’s a laugh, when you see it, to actually believe it came from a river. The canyon changes colors as the day goes on, and there is another color change that takes place, which I’ll write about in a minute. The first day we were there two of my brothers, a sister and I hiked down 1 ½ miles down into the canyon on Bright Angel Trail, which if followed in it’s entirety goes all the way to the bottom. The next day we set off to hike 9 miles, 4 ½ miles one way. We made it! Took us 3 hours and 45 minutes. It was so fun. Hard work, but fun. The only thing that made it unpleasant was the party in my group that was making me feel like a loser for not wanting to hike all the way down to the plateau and back, and the pain in my hips on the way back. My feet ached a lot on the way down, but they felt better as the day went on. Oftentimes things hurt me getting started, but they work out. I find that especially true on my runs. I keep feeling bad, because this person who kept making me feel like a loser gets to me when he’s mad at me. Oops. I revealed his gender. Oh well. Maybe he will get the message, if he ever reads this. I don’t know what it is, but I notice so much more acutely how relationships effect me, whether they are in good shape or not.

The other color change that takes place is the one when you hike into the canyon. The dirt is bright red, and it makes everything look green. The highlights in my hair (normally red) looked greenish-yellow. You have to look down at the dirt all the time, otherwise you risk losing your footing and falling down the canyon.

The other amazing thing there was the wildlife. At Yavupai Point there was a squirrel that was tame. It was the cutest thing, if you put your hands out above it, it would stretch out his arms and reach for food. (Feeding is not allowed, so we didn’t, but apparently he’s very used to looking for food from humans). Besides the squirrel, we saw elk and deer. The deer were within 10 feet of our bus, you could walk right up to them and they just looked at you. We saw at least 20 deer, between the shuttle ride through the woods and the deer that were just meandering through our RV/camp site. The elk were about 15 feet away; they just stood there eating at the end of the road. There were about 6 of them last night.

We are now in Prescott, AZ. We sing on Sunday morning at an AOG (Assembly of God) and at night we sing in Wickenburg. Yawn. I took a nap after we left, I saw so exhausted.
Oh yeah, and I’m no longer 16. My birthday was on the 6th. It was great to celebrate on the road, my mom was so nice and made two different kinds of cake, chocolate torte and strawberry pretzel dessert. They both have cool whip and cream cheese in them!!


10/9/04Today we are at an AOG campground. There is no one around, we are in the middle of an empty RV park. They warned us not to go out alone at night, as the mountain lions in this area are active. The pastor said he saw one trying to get a pet rabbit out of its cage. I woke up this morning with sore muscles. Very sore. My back and calves mostly. I called up a friend and he said “yeah, but aren’t you used to that, with your running and such?”. This was nothing like a morning jog! I think it was over 2000 feet elevation change, and I never jog 9 miles at a time.

I made brownies this morning, they’re in the oven right now. I put marshmallows in them because the open bag of marshmallows was getting stale. I wonder how they will be. They smell good. The sun in shining in the window and it’s warm in here. The pastor told me that it gets to about 90 degrees in the summer and only down to about 30 in the winter. I was surprised at the lack of a difference between the two numbers. At home it goes up to 90-100 (100 is pretty extreme, 90 is normal) and goes down to –10 to –20.

Some parts of this trip are tiring. It just makes me feel exhausted emotionally. Other days I feel so happy it’s worth it. There are so many feelings, that are just feelings. One minute I can be thinking of something so happily, and the next I’ll think of the same thing and my feelings are tainted by disappointment. Perhaps I just realize things aren’t going to make me happier. I don’t know what it is.

I haven’t finished The Purpose Driven Life yet but I can pretty strongly recommend it! It’s so eye opening, because it brings things to light using scripture. Life is the trip I’m taking and the Bible is my roadmap. Anything that tells me how to live spiritually that isn’t based on the Bible is just hogwash. Most self help books are not based on the Bible. None that I’ve read before TPDL.

The kids are watching Kent Hovind in the back, but it is so warm back there. I opened the roof vent a few minutes ago when I went back to get the laptop. Today there isn’t anything on the schedule to do. I’m too sore to run. We don’t sing till tomorrow. Nathan is complaining because we have to change his bunk into a couch so we can watch TV. My bunk is directly under his, so if his is lowered, mine disappears. I don’t mind, there are plenty of places to lie down in the bus. I think I’m going to go play scrabble on the computer. With computer generated players, of course, with no inet here.

10/12/04

It’s hard to believe I haven’t even been 17 for a week. It seems like a lot longer than. It all moves very quickly, but in retrospect it seems longer.

Vincent replaced his wallpaper with a fall leaves scene. It looks so pretty. Here it’s all desert. That’s not so bad I guess, but it gets monotonous. We’re stopped at a gas station right now. Vincent is fueling up the bus. Mom is making lunch, which is baked chicken, cauliflower, (affectionately called toddyflowder by yours truly in younger days), potatoes, and, um, I guess that’s it. Pretty good for being on the road.

A few hours ago on the highway we saw a new looking coach conversion, a Prevost (Pree voh). It was licensed in TN. I wouldn’t be surprised if it belonged to some big singer or something, with that being an expensive kind of coach. Ahh…I think I was that close to Randy Travis, or maybe even Toby Keith. Haha.

When I get home I absolutely have to work on our paint job. Right now we’re white with red and blue stripes, and black/white in the back. We’re going to stick with the initial paint job, but I’m going to put some lettering on. The top half of the back is black, the bottom is white. I’m planning to use blue on the back with stencils and the airbrush. The letters will fade from white on the bottom to dark blue on the top, with white highlights on the tops of the letters.

We stopped at a tourist trap earlier today. I can’t remember the name, but it was right off the highway. I bought a scorpion encased in plastic on a sparkly green background (almost looks like a snow globe, except it’s all solid) and a little vial of pretty stones. It was full of interesting things, most of them overpriced. They sold rattlesnakes (stuffed), tarantulas in plastic (too much L) and all sorts of knickknacks. They also sold salted + flavored worms, and lollipops with worms or crickets in them. The lollipops sound horrible, because you’d have to feel the cricket or worm for a long time before you could chew it up. Bleh. I’m still disappointed we didn’t see any live tarantulas. Oh well. Our spider is still with us from New England. He’s such a sweetie. Actually, I think it’s a female! She’s getting very large, I think she may be making an egg sack before long. I know it’s kind of strange but I really enjoy watching spiders, they are amazing little creatures. I don’t like things crawling on me though. Moths are HORRIBLE! When they get in my room in the summertime (because my window is open) they fly right into my face and land on me and it’s just so gross. Nathan found a big grasshopper. It was pretty, with blue and red on it, but I would just freak out if there were a bunch of them crawling on me. I guess they still ruin crops out here every few years, like you read about in the stories from the pioneers.

We’re heading east, east is home J Texas is the next state we’ll be in. Some days it feels so long till the next state. I’m going to be so hyper when we get to FL. It’s only a little ways from home compared to here. VA seems so close to home now. Before it seemed like forever.


10/15/04

I’m in TX right now. We’re at a WalMart but we’re not sure if we’re staying. Some WalMarts don’t allow overnight parking. I was just thinking I really need to get my own laptop. On the bus it’s so nice to have. I’m VERY grateful to my brother for letting me use his. I was able to get online and blog. It was a short entry, but it was an entry. I also stopped by the BG (bluegrass) chatroom (http://p083.ezboard.com/bthebluegrassforum) and said hi. I should have posted at TH (http://www.trumpetherald.com) too but they don’t really notice a whole lot when I leave. The bluegrass people don’t either, but at least I could talk with them real time. I think I’ve typed about 5k words so far. Close enough. 4,622. I don’t think anyone will really be interested in reading this when I get in online, but I think it will be nice to read after I’ve forgotten all these details. I guess that what a journal is for partly. I love being prompted to remember nice memories. Sometimes it’s a smell that will do it, a letter, a sight. Sometimes the whole feeling will just wash over me and it will feel just like it did. It happens a lot especially when the seasons change. I like the beginning of each season the best. In the winter, you can feel the chill, and the stove is on. The snow is coming down, we’re carrying in firewood, we wear lots of layers to keep warm. It gets dark the night of the first snow and you can see a bright pink glow in the sky. You wiggle your toes under your 10 blankets, still getting them warmed up. Then in spring you wear short sleeves and it’s sunny out. Little streams of water come down the road, and little piles of dirt covered snow are on the side of the road. Some green will be popping up soon, and all the buds come out. The lilacs bloom, you can smell them all over. The best part is opening the windows. Opening them wide, without any screens. Then comes summer, and there are bbqs, it hits 70 degrees, and you start to get the fans out, anticipating the hot summer nights. You can hear the crickets and frogs outside at night, and you just might get a perfect downpour, complete with lightening and thunder. Then comes fall, and the leaves start to change. You can smell the chill in the air, and you might have to close the window at night. If the seasons last too long, they can get a little monotonous, which is why I like the beginning best. God was so smart when he made the different seasons. I don’t know how much different seasons are from each other in other parts of the country, but in New England it is so exciting to think forward to the next season. It brings back all the memories of the season before it, and by the time it rolls around again you’ve forgotten all the unpleasant memories, like feeling too cold, or too hot.
I’m particularly having a nice time thinking about the seasons right now because it reminds me of home. It’s not bad being on the road, it’s just that I haven’t had a lot of time to build up sweet memories. Back home there are so many things to think back to. I suppose it’s a nice thing to think about them on the road, they wouldn’t be so important to me back there. Perhaps I’m being mawkish.

Time for a new paragraph.

I’m starting to be less stressed over how I look. Not that I don’t care, but there are some things I can’t control. I’m not having a nose job and I’m going to be happy with my nose! No amount of running will make me a size 0 (did I ever really want to be a 0?). Do I fix my hair when I go out? Yeah, but I’m not going to worry that it’s not red enough, or it’s not thick enough. If people don’t like the things I can’t change, I’m sorry. I just have realized how much time and energy I waste thinking and worrying about things I can’t change. Could I lose a few pounds by running a few extra miles each week? Yeah, but I’ll never look like a model. I’ll never look picture perfect and I’m ok, even happy with that. Sigh. I said it. Sometimes I forget I feel this way, but most of the time I do.


10/18/04

When I look back, the tour has been flying by. Only 3 weeks left! The people back home are talking about the leaves that just peaked, and my cousin in IL said it was supposed to hit 28 and snow. Here it’s been close to 90, no sign of snow! We saw a roadrunner last night on the church lawn. I’d never see one before.

Speaking of church, we’re at First Baptist Church in Glen Rose, TX. We sang at another church service in the morning, then came here and did a service. It’s a fairly large church, I was very surprised. The people were sooo receptive, they were a great audience.

We actually went to two services in the morning. We got there at 10:00am and left at probably 2:30pm or 3:00pm. They were so nice, and they fed us afterwards, which was a surprise to us. The song service was really hard to participate in though, for one thing, I didn’t know the songs, and some of the songs were very unfriendly for impromptu following. The pastor said they wanted to be youth friendly, but I guess he’s looking for a specific type of youth.

Which brings me to another point. I’m really scared by the fact that the people in youth groups are getting younger and younger to me. They’re not really getting younger; I’m just getting older. I can get along with certain teenagers, but some of them I get really aggravated with. I don’t know why it’s like that either.

I’m realizing how many friends I really have. Most of them are older, but I miss them. They’re the people I talk to on the sidewalk (neighbors), I work with (my bosses), and just happen to see around town and get along with. And of course there are people from band, but I don’t always see them that often if it’s not band season (summer and the holiday season). I’m discovering what a friendship really is, and what it’s not. Besides the friends I already mentioned, I have friends online, and I re-met a cousin in IL who I talk with on the phone fairly often. I am a very happy person at this moment. I don’t know what it is, just knowing that God is in control of my whole being. He knows if I’m hungry, he knows if I’m hurting emotionally, even if no one else does. He sees when I’m angry, for good cause or not, and He can tell exactly what I need. And, to top it all off, I can talk to him, and He’s on my side. That is so mind bending. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not without troubles, but it’s so great to know these things. If you look at life from a different perspective, you’ll get into trouble. I was very depressed at one point in my life. I was young, around 11, but it hurts just as bad to be a kid without any purpose in life as it does to be an adult. You feel worthless, and then nothing matters anymore. Every trial, every problem, becomes this huge thing coming to get you. Everything is out to ruin you, and the thing is that no one really cares. Then you go on the roller coaster of thinking, ‘This is normal. I’m crazy. This is normal. I’m hallucinating’. It might be different for other depressed people, but the low you end up with is the same. With God, there is something, someONE you can always hold on to, and you know it. There is nothing bigger in my life than my relationship with God. Not even my life. Nothing else matters. If something catastrophic should happen, well I have news for this catastrophic event; God is in control. When I see people making decisions around me that I don’t particularly like, or that I don’t think will benefit me, I know God is in control. If something doesn’t work out, like a particular concert, or I don’t get to go somewhere, God is in control. If I make a bad decision, God is still in control! If someone was to take me and drag me to prison for being a believer, as happens in other countries, God is still in control. Whether you have a relationship with God or not, He’s still in control. But in the Bible it says “For we know that all things work for the good of those who love Him”. It mentions what will happen to the wicked in other places in the Bible. God is not pleased with people who continually turn their backs on Him and ignore his Word. They make Him sad. People say “oh, but I believe in God and I love God”. Then why haven’t you made Him first in your life? He created you. Without him you are nothing. If you truly love God, you’ll do what he wants, and he shows us very clearly in the Bible that what he wants is for you to have a relationship with him. God loves you. (John 3:16) The only problem is, you’re full of sin, and God can’t accept you like that. That’s why God sent his Son, Jesus, to die sinless and perfect on a cross for your sins. He died for you personally. And up till now, you may have been ignoring it. Imagine that, you die one of the most painful deaths possible so a friend can live, and he goes and jumps off a cliff, ignoring your sacrifice. Jesus makes it possible for you to have a relationship with God, and He’s the only way. The Bible makes it clear when Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father except through me”. People try to make it other ways, through a church, through a ritual, but it doesn’t grant you forgiveness. You are still full of sin unless you have forgiveness through Jesus Christ. So in order for you to have a relationship with God, you must believe in Jesus Christ, that He died for your sins, and on the 3rd day, He rose from the dead. The Bible also says to repent. Repenting is making a turn in your life. No longer are you living for self, but for God, to honor God, your Creator. How do we know what God wants? He’s given us his Word, the Bible, and He’s also given us the Holy Spirit. His Holy Spirit with guide you in your relationship with God if you let him. Just pray and ask God for help in this relationship. Pour out your heart to God. If you don’t understand something, ask Him for help understanding. The next thing you need to do is tell someone. Tell someone that Jesus is now Lord of your life!


10/18/04
Right now I feel kind of sick. I don’t know why but I have a few guesses. The heat out here amplifies everything.

Mom made meat, potatoes and green beans. It was pretty good. I usually have butter on my potato - providing we have it around – but I didn’t have any today. I just didn’t feel like it. It’s very warm here in TX. It feels humid and hot. It’s probably about 85 out there right now and it’s just past 7pm. My chest hurts, feels like my ribs are messed up. Can’t think of a reason why. I feel so tired. I might have a cold. I’d feel better if we had inet. Lol. I remember one of the kids was sick when my grandfather came over. He was going to take us all to ice cream, and suddenly the sick kid was fine! We referred to it as an ice cream healing. God uses strange things sometimes J

We’re parked at a Flying J. The truck parking is really full. Something from yesterday is bothering me. I wish I could type about it, but it’s so strange I can’t stand to think about it. Yet, I keep thinking about it. I don’t trust myself to deal with it ‘on paper’. So it will continue to bother me until I come up with a way to resolve it, or until I forget about it. I think it’s partially that I’m not feeling well. That also amplifies any kind of emotional/other stress.

I called one of my bosses the other day. I had a nice time talking to her and then she put her two kids on the phone. I too tired and sick right now to write anything else. My head is sort of spinning. Not literally, but I can’t focus on things long enough to write anything halfway decent about them.


10/20/04

Today I am over whatever I had before. I don’t think I’ve gotten the cold everyone else has. It seems like a miserable cold. Hope I don’t get it! We are parked at a WalMart, dad is fueling up with Vincent. I keep thinking about how close together things are at home. 3 or 4 hours seems like hardly anything. I forgot to call Mrs. Anderson last weekend. I’ll have to call her this Saturday. I also didn’t get a call from Peter. I guess he forgot. I tried to call him but his voice mail thing came on. There hasn’t been a huge amount of interesting things going on. It has been VERY warm for October, it’s around 90 degrees and it’s just before noon. We stopped at a TX beach for a few hours yesterday, my back got sunburned. The water is disgusting there, there’s slimy oil stuff if you walk out a little ways. I mostly walked on the beach and picked up sea glass. There was a lot of it there. When I get back I’m going to get a tall glass vase from WalMart and put it in there, sorted by color. Most of it is brown, some of it is white, green, and there was one piece of blue, which wasn’t quite a well done piece, but I didn’t think I’d find another blue one (I didn’t). I also picked up a few shells. The beach was practically empty the whole time we were there. There were a few people fishing further down the shore, and there were groups of seagulls and there were even pelicans, standing on the posts of an old fishing dock. One thing that was really interesting was the amount of hermit crabs we caught. We caught at least 150 of them. We made a little pool further up on the shore and put them in. One of them came out of his shell. They are interesting little things. I wonder if there is a difference between the variety that live in the water and the kind that you can keep in a cage.

Oh, BTW we are in LA. Not the city of LA but the state of LA. There are some gorgeous buildings down here but it is just so stinking hot! At home it’s probably about 45 right now. It’s very humid here. It’s cloudy right now. I hope my sunburn doesn’t peel too bad. I was so stupid to go out without sun block on. The computer is telling me there is no such thing as the word “sunblock”, it’s apparently spelled in two words. I always get burned on my back. My theory is that my back doesn’t get as much sun as the rest of me. (Which explains why my arms don’t look very tanned, but my back is burned). I was looking at pictures of us at a concert right after we finished our roof; we were tan! It was almost surprisingly so. One thing about winter in MA is that you get nearly zero sun exposure, save your face. The sun just came out.

I’m waiting to hear what the people sound like down here. The drawl in TX was just perfect. In perfect, I mean it’s my idea of a good accent. Boston is terrible in general, but it just depends on the person. I’m fascinated with the New York accent, it has so many different facets. I always wonder if I have an accent. I think it depends on who I talk to. I have a hard time deciding which one is THE accent to have, because it’s really the person. I’d rather talk to someone who can just [barely] speak English and has something interesting to say than someone who can speak perfectly but is full of him/her self and has absolutely nothing to say. Same with accents. I’d rather talk to a nice Bostonian than a boring Texan. And vice versa.


10/21/04

We’ve sung 17 times so far this month. Some of them were set up before we left and others we called up on the road (mostly nursing homes) and got scheduled. We just drove over a very large swamp. People told us we would see alligators, but we saw none. Maybe it’s too cloudy. It was foggy this morning. There has already been a frost at home, I think it happened a few weeks ago. When we called the Beckwiths they said it was 37 degrees out. It was 78 degrees here, and as always, very humid.

Altogether I’m not very impressed with LA. It’s not horrible, but I can’t think of a great reason to like it. I only know two people here, they moved from ME a year or so ago. Until someone shows me otherwise, LA is just ok. LA is probably a great state, but I just haven’t seen anything that caught my attention. L Actually, LA does have some great houses. They’re great big old things that are absolutely gorgeous. But who could afford a house like that? They look like touristy places, best used as B&Bs. One in particular was the town hall of a medium sized town. It had great big white pillars, and trees covered with some sort of ivy, or moss. It was really nice.
I guess one thing that really made me think of LA in this negative fashion was the poster on one of their little visitor things where you could stop and read about the area. For one thing, it’s all French culture. I don’t particularly care for what I’ve seen of French culture, although I’ve met some very nice French people. The second thing is that there were misspelled words on the poster. It said “French-specking people”. The third, and biggest turn-off was that it claimed that the ONLY miracle to take place in the US (presumably the only miracle EVER) happened at one of their schools, and that sounded very arrogant and ignorant at the same time. Those two are a lethal combination.

I really miss some things out of my room. Some of them I just couldn’t bring because of lack of space, others because I forgot them. I miss my English dictionary. I also miss my Spanish dictionary, but I would have rather had my Rosetta Stone Spanish program. Fortunately, we stopped at a ‘junk’ shop and I found a 1918 edition of Primera Lecciones en Espanol, which the owner gave to me. So, I have something to study, but I’m worried about the changes from 1918 Spanish to 2004 Spanish. Hopefully there isn’t much difference! I’m finding that a lot of people in this country speak Spanish, a lot more than I thought. It helps to keep me motivated; if there’s no one to speak with, why bother? I also miss my airbrush. That would have been entirely unpractical to bring with me. I have seen a fair amount of airbrushing on the road, my appetite has been whet, so-to-speak. I saw an incredible airbrushed poster at the Carl Baugh Creation Museum. It was a GREAT example of what can be done with an airbrush. The only problem is, I’m not much of an artist. I don’t really have an ‘eye’ for things. While I get more comfortable with the airbrush I’m going to stick to lettering, which is exactly what we need for the back of the bus. Of course I miss my bed, and I particularly miss the little table by my bed. I have no place to put my glasses at night. I miss the internet access, but I have more time to think, and more time to practice. This will sound strange to some of you, but I miss our neighbors. They’re such nice people. I miss going to work. I miss going to get my hair trimmed. It’s so interesting to go away from home and realize what you really miss. I miss cleaning my room!

My brother is hilarious. He was talking in his sleep last night! He was clutching his blankets and saying over and over again, “no no no no no, don’t do that!” Sleep talkers and walkers are always so funny. My oldest brother used to walk around in his sleep and we’d come over and try to talk to him and he wouldn’t remember a thing in the morning. Same with last night. He heard me laughing at him, and he got up and said, as if he were wide awake, “What’s so funny?”. Then he went back to sleep. He didn’t remember anything this morning.

We’ll be in Mississippi this afternoon! We’ll probably be in AL by tonight. We’re going to Pensacola first, then back a little ways into AL for a concert, then up to Phenix City, AL for another concert and to visit some friends. Then it’s up to GA, then maybe Pidgeon Forge, TN, and then up to VA. We’ll stay with our grandparents in VA for a few days, then travel up to NJ for a concert, then from NJ we go home J

10/24/04
Whew, we’re in AL, headed for Phenix City. We had such a fun time in Pensacola at Kent Hovind’s Dinosaur Adventure Land (DAL). It’s a creation museum, hands-on science center, and a theme park. The creation museum was great! I got to hold a tarantula and a huge Madagascar cockroach, and I saw so many amazing things. We met Mr. Hovind and ended up having a hymn sing/jam session for a few hours on Friday night. Mr. Hovind taught us a song called “Dem Bones Gonna Rise Again”. It was so much fun. We also met Mr. Hovind’s children (grown and married), a few of his grandchildren, and some of his staff, including Chuck, Kevin, Jon, and Jonathan, and some of their family members. The next day we spent at the hands-on center and the theme park. At the science center they had chinchillas and a boa constrictor that I got to pet (oh, how sweet it was :p) Heehee. One of the most interesting things in the science center was a drum that shoots smoke rings. One side had cloth on it with a rubber band holding it in tight to the center, so that it was concave. The other side had a piece of wood over it with a 6” or so round hole. You fill it up with the fog machine, pull back the handle on the cloth-covered side, and let it go. You could shoot it all the way across the room! Out in the theme park they had obstacle courses, a block and tackle for pulling yourself up, a giant wooden maze, two zip lines, a rock climbing wall, and a giant swing (and probably more things that I can’t remember). The wooden maze was so interesting, it’s enclosed in a little wooden building (with emergency escape hatches) and the whole thing is a maze, both up and down. You have to climb through the whole thing. I think I heard that it’s 250 long all together! They have a board with the ‘world’ records for going through each activity. My brother and I both beat the record for the Congo Trail (obstacle course; you hold a water balloon while going through a web of elastic cords (harder than it sounds), walk over a balance beam, through a web on the ground without touching any of the ropes, and going through a cave, all without popping the balloon), then I beat the record for swinging across 6 ropes without touching the ground (record was 16.82, my time was 16.28). Which brings me to the reason I was just thinking to write about all of this; my muscles are sore!! It feels like they’ve been bruised in certain places. When I came wildly running out of the cave on the Congo Trail I felt like I had pulled something. I guess so!

We just sang at a church this morning, we’re going to see if we can find a place to go tonight. Either we’ll sing somewhere or just go to church. After the service this morning there was a meal. I was talking to someone and they thought it was so different that I said “My aunt [awnt, vs ant] used to live in Florida”. Also they thought I had been coached to say “Y’all want to hear some yodeling?” Lol. I guess I owe it to the folks at the bluegrass forum who have taught me something about the way people speak in other parts of the country. It just sounds so natural to say “y’all” I keep trying to think of what we say at home instead of that, I guess we just say “you guys”, or if we’re saying it fast, “ya’guys” (“Do ya’guys wanna come?”).

10/24/04 7:20pm

Well it’s late now. Not very late I suppose, but it’s dark out and I feel so tired. We’re on our way to the Godins, some friends of ours. We ended up just driving straight here and not stopping to find a church. It seems like you can never catch up on being rested. Sleep helps, but there are so many other things besides that which affect the way you feel. The kids are watching Candleshoe, Vincent is drinking tea in the seat next to me. The poor guy, he has a terrible cold. So far I think I’m one of the only ones who hasn’t gotten the cold yet. Hannah came up to me earlier this evening and said “It’s probably morning at home”. Lol, she thinks we have more than a few time zones to cross yet. We have one more to go through, then the daylight saving times stops and we fall back again. So the time will be the same as it is now pretty much. Soooo…I’m kind of bored right now. My right palm resting on the keyboard hurts. I’ve bruised it by playing slap bass too much last night. I did learn a lick though, so it was well worth it. Tomorrow I hope my sore muscles have healed. Certain parts of me still feel like they are bruised. It seems like sore muscles take longer to heal for me now than they did when I was younger. Now if I get sore muscles they last a few days.

I’ve had such strange feelings lately. It’s like 9-12 all over again; growing up. Some day you start thinking, I’m finally to ‘x’ point in my life, and then it seems like you’re just starting over again. I’m finding it somewhat intimidating to think about certain things, because of their seriousness. It’s not someday, dreams, and crushes, it’s now (or closer than it used to seem), it’s reality, and seriousness. This is probably over dramatizing it, but they’re the only words I know to explain this confusion, this state where I’m not sure of myself anymore. I’m not even sure I know what I’m talking about. I imagine someday I’ll be able to figure it out and I’ll wonder why I was so unsure. But anyways…let me move on to more interesting things.

Last night I observed a strange phenomenon; I was looking at an outdoor bluish colored light across a field. I had my glasses off and I wasn’t able to focus on it at all. However, I could see round and irregular shapes in the light very clearly. If I tilted my head, they would move, and in certain positions they would disappear entirely. I could make out very defined shapes, the objects themselves were lined up one next to another. They didn’t move from their location but when I got up and lay back down on my bed they were gone, and after that I only could see one. It was so strange to see, but I kept looking until my eyes were sore from trying to look in that particular direction. Very strange. I’m not worried about it, but I’m very curious to know exactly what I was looking at, and furthermore how I was able to focus on it, seeing as it was in my eye. Also I wonder if the fact that I was looking through glass had anything to do with it. Could I have been focusing on a reflection of the inside of my eye? Whatever it was I really would like to find out, so if you have any idea please get in touch with me. I also would like to recreate this, which might also lend itself to an explanation.

Amongst the other things I’m discovering is something I know to be quite true. This seat is uncomfortable after sitting in it for a long time :p

10/29/04
As I write I can’t see the screen, I have it tilted downwards so I can see the keys on the keyboard. It’s frustrating because I always miss mistakes I make if I’m typing in the dark and it takes many extra keystrokes to correct them. Usually I type not looking at the keys, but once my hands are misaligned (making mistakes) then I have to glance down to correct them. Today we were at the house of the Barnes family. Their son is a pianist at Nordstrom. They fed us and were so nice. It was nice to be able to stay in their driveway. A lot of people offer us their houses to sleep in but generally we stay in the bus; at least it has been that way for this trip.

We’re still talking about the ‘Godin’ part of the trip :D We had a LOT of fun their, it was so nice to be with a family that has so much in common with us. They have 11 kids, play bluegrass, and sing. And, I know all their names! It took me a little while, but since they had visited us earlier up in New England it was easy to remember. The day we got there it was almost dark, so we stayed in the house and had ice cream and apple pie. The next day, all the motorized vehicles came out. It was so much fun, even despite the fact that I dumped someone’s bike (sorry again Mike!). He was able to fix it, but I felt like such a klutz. My bruise is not as bad as it had been, it’s a purplish-black and not as sore. I still have a little muffler burn (more stupid carelessness) and multiple bruises from other injuries; I can’t remember the locations that I got them from. I am very thankful that I didn’t get anything worse. I’ve heard some horror stories about dumping bikes, they only get worse the faster you’re traveling.
Motorcycling is not all we did, we also played bluegrass till our fingers blistered (literally, for me, which is my own fault for not practicing often enough). We had a great time singing together and did a joint concert at a church near their home.

My muscle soreness is gone, but I expect it to be back later from all the raking I did today. I also have a cold but it’s not too bad. I’ve been on zinc and vitamin C. I was going to have a few dozen garlic pills, but with all this traveling and meeting people I’d hate to leave a stinky impression :p

The Godins gave us some books, one of which I have almost finished. I made the mistake of saying to my brother, while I was on the first few pages, “I think you’d like this book”. So, he’s reading it and giving it to me when he wants a rest. I read slightly faster than him, I had been ahead of him but he has confiscated it and is finishing it tonight. I’ll either have to finish it by flashlight or wait till tomorrow. It’s called The Reckoning, by Huggins. If you like action movies and you like to read, this is the book for you. It has both knifing and shooting, going into graphic descriptions of many of the moves. I thought it was interesting, and the plot is good. When I first started it I wondered how it could have over 400 pages, but it doesn’t drag on. Good book. Another good book is The Oath, by Frank Peretti. A sort of thriller about a dragon. I’m reminded of so many books I need to reread. Three are by Peretti; the above mentioned, This Present Darkness, and Piercing the Darkness. I’m not sure how ‘thrilling’ a book has to be, to be defined as a thriller, but I’m pretty sure all three of these take the cake. I think I’m going to do another 5,000 pages of reading in Nov. I did it in June and it was actually not that taxing. It simply means less Inet time, which is good for me anyways. I’m debating whether or not to read The Hobbit again. I liked it immensely the first time; I read it 3 or 4 times through after that (the complete 4 books). The last time I read it I had some problems getting through some of the chapters because I knew what was coming next in the dialogue, and it seemed to move too slow. Skipping around is fine, but then what is the point? Second, I am having doubts about the integrity of the book. Some likened it to Harry Potter, which I find plenty of reasons to not read. Are the two in fact the same thing? Is not Gandalf’s magic the same idea of Potter’s magic? The magic itself is not the issue for me, but the fact that they are both worlds without God. Of what use is that to me? This I am struggling with and since I have doubts, I guess I won’t read them through again this year.

It’ll only be 8 days till our first concert in NJ. The following day we have some singing in the morning service in a church in Mantua, and a concert at the same location at night. That seems hard to believe. A friend lives there and is coming to listen and to play a duet with me. Only, it’s no longer a duet. We’re actually going to have the whole brass band play, but my friend doesn’t know it yet :p

After NJ, it’s home, spelled H-O-M-E! It is going to be so incredible to get back. I wonder if it will be disappointing at all. I suppose not. I will have to work again. But then I’ll be making money again. I guess that won’t be too bad J I miss my employers though, they’re all such nice people. I’ve been sending postcards to all of them.

By the time I get home and put this all on the computer the election will be over. I pray it will go well and the right man would be elected. Of course, we all know who that is, don’t we J Politics are corrupt, there’s no man who would make all our government problems go away. What we want is the man who would best handle the problems. No one’s perfect. Which brings up another thing I was thinking about. There is no fictitious book that is the ultimate ‘scary’ book. You want scary, you read the Bible and current events. If you’re not saved by Jesus Christ, then this stuff has got to make you shake in your boots. I can’t imagine what it must be like having no anchor, believing all is from within. People might say that ‘religious’ people just want to push something down other’s throats. That’s like saying people warning you not to step off the cliff are just power hungry. It’s devastating to think of what has become of the human race. It just has hit me so many times how terrible we are, and where we are headed. It’s very discomforting to notice these things. Makes you want to go out and tell someone. I suppose that’s a good thing. I’m not going to say ‘please’, I’m going to say PLEASE and beg you to listen. God is not happy with sin. If there’s sin in your life, God is not happy with you. Jesus is the only one who can forgive your sins - having shed His blood for you on the cross – rendering you without sin before God, opening the way to have a relationship with Him. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the father except through me”. I don’t know why I feel compelled to write this, I don’t even know that anyone will read this. But if you are reading this, then there’s a reason for it. If you think you’ll have plenty of time to think about this later in life then you’re a fool.

Vincent’s reading the book by the light of the laptop screen. He’s so engrossed in it that he’s dropped his Popsicle twice. All the boys think that it’s quite humorous! It’s already 10pm, so I guess I will have to finish it tomorrow.

10/30/04

We are in TN. I finished the book this morning. I got up before my brother got to it and had only a few pages left by the time he woke up. We just got off Dolly Parton Highway. Heh. Everything here is country, country, country, with a little ‘vintage’ music thrown in. I use the word vintage to describe anything that looks like it’s from the 50s-70s. It’s mostly country though. The only town we’ve really gone through is Pigeon Forge. It’s mainly a tourist place, a lot of hotels and touristy places. They had an airbrushing booth in WalMart. It was more than a booth, it was actually a large room with one side open. I always like to watch people airbrush. It’s very fascinating. b

I got a chance to ride a horse about 15 feet :D It was bareback with someone holding the bridle. In case anyone reads this that has a ranch, or just horses, I would so much like to learn how to ride a horse. I don’t know if I’ll ever get a chance, but I’d imagine if I tell people about it I’ll have more of a chance. I remember going to a farm years ago and riding a small horse, probably a pony, up and down the street with just a bridle. Someone else must have been on the horse too, I would have been too young to ride on my own. As I type this I’m reminded of a question a homeschooling mom recently asked me, “Why are all homeschooled girls horse-crazy?” Well, I hope I don’t qualify as crazy. But the prospect of riding one remains attractive, and if I get the chance I’ll do so.

We’re stopped at a gas station now. It has been getting cooler and cooler, even though it’s still in the 70s-80s here. The AC is on and I’m almost cold. I can’t believe it will be freezing at home. I tried to call Peter my cousin today but he wasn’t there. Last I talked to him he said it was supposed to snow in Illinois. It’s raining at home today, my mom called our neighbor. The bottom of the laptop is nice and warm on my lap, usually it’s a pain but today it’s welcome.

I think we’re having pasta for supper. I was going to say spaghetti, but cuts are not really spaghetti. I don’t like calling it macaroni, but some people say that’s the Italian way to say it. My favorite cut is rigatoni. Ziti is similar, but it has no ridges in it and it’s longer. Spaghetti is always great, linguini is ok, and gemelli is WONDERFUL for meatballs and sauce. The perfect bowl of food is gemelli, sauce that has been cooked all day with meatballs, and a lot of romano cheese on top. Makes me hungry to think about it; isn’t surprising, it’s already 4:31pm. We sang at a nursing home at 1pm so I had a peanut butter and jelly right before then. This morning I went shopping at WalMart with my sis. I found some marked down belts but none of them looked like me. They looked too much like a Teenage Girl. (The Teenage Girl is arrogant and wears a lot of makeup.) The Teenage Girl is a product of Brittany. S. and the rest of the pop divas that sing DUMB SONGS. I’m sorry, but I get so aggravated with some things and I never get the chance to yell at them to their face so I have to yell at them here. Ok. Soooo…anyways, the belts didn’t look like me, so I didn’t buy any.


10/31/04
Today I finished the second Abram’s Daughters novels. I am going to have to get the third one out from the library when I get home because it’s a very involved story and I can’t imagine just stopping in the middle of the story. Carol just yelled for Vincent to stop practicing banjo. When he practices back here he rarely hears anything unless you yell at him really loud. The banjo is just really loud. We’re watching a recording of the Godins and us doing a concert together. We called them today to sing Happy Birthday to Jerry.

I started another book, Anonymous Tip. It’s by Michael Farris. It’s quite different than the other books I’ve been reading. The first one I read from Mrs. Godin was a book that was packed with action, a deadly knife/fire fight every few chapters. Then two romance novels about Amish girls (not like typical harlequin, much more interesting!). Now what I’m reading seems to be a book about lawyers and a court case involving unfounded claims of child abuse. Kind of slow. But it’s interesting enough I guess. We are headed for a WalMart where we will stock up on yummy things. Our grandparents live down a long dirt road, far away from any kind of stores, and they eat SOOO healthy that I always have to bring a ‘supply’ of something. Probably chocolate or the likes. The bag of jelly beans (I found a cheap version of JellyBelly) I bought early on in the trip have almost come to an end. The skittles are just about gone too. I like having a lot of something so I can give it away in handfuls if need be. It makes for some mighty peaceful negotiating with my brothers :D

I really wonder if I talk different. I’m not worried about it, but I just wonder. It’s so EASY to get talking like, um, a southerner. I found out the difference between a drawl and a ‘twang’. I couldn’t understand some people, and they really talk REALLY drawled. One guy said are definite “har” for “hair”. Most of his other speech was normal, just a few words were really drawled. I don’t particularly mind. I’d just rather be able to turn it on and off at my command, rather than just subconsciously adapting to it. I remember my sister’s friend who left for college in FL and came back with a southern accent, but she denied having it. Yikes!


11/05/04

We’re currently on the road in MD. We’ll be in NJ tonight. Tomorrow we have a supper + concert, Sunday morning we lead songs in the service, and Sunday night we have another supper + concert. And Monday we’ll be home!!!!!!! It seems so unbelievable. It’s getting a lot colder, almost too cold to be wearing a sweatshirt. It’s always like that in the beginning of winter, when it’s closer to the end, you feel like wearing less; you’re more acclimated to the cold weather. My back aches and some of my muscles are sore. It’s a combination of working outside, hacking branches off logs, and sitting under the table at my grandparents. The phone line wasn’t long enough to sit anywhere else, the desk didn’t have any room for the laptop.

I had a debate with someone on the topic of creation; old earth vs young earth. I was supporting the view of the young earth, as the old earth simply goes against what the Bible says, AND there is evidence in favor of it!! It was interesting, and I was greatly encouraged by the long pauses he took to answer, and the fact that he kept changing subjects. Also, he used an argument that he had before told me indicated that the debater was losing ground, and picking at straws. So…I didn’t feel like the loser :D

I joined a motorcycle forum while I was there. I didn’t want to get involved with one at first, because I anticipated a lot of rough language. I was able to find a Christian Motorcycle forum, so far it has been really interesting! You can find it here http://www.cycleforums.com and click on “Christian Motorcycle Forum.

I’ve been going to bed at 11pm-12 and getting up around 8. I can’t believe it’s only 7pm right now. It feels a lot later! It’s getting darker earlier too, that helps contribute to the feeling that it’s later.
















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