7:40 AM – Checked out of Holiday Inn Express, Durham, New Hampshire. Never got my make up on. Wrote Siestas too long. Hair’s gonna need to go in a clip.
7:45 AM – Event team loads into a mighty caravan of minivans. Vans all have signs on them. Event team’s van says “Secret Servants” (i.e. Secret Service, get it?), Praise team sign says “Praise Corp” (press corp, get it?) and ours says (you better know that I didn’t come up with any of this. It was Rich) “Beth Force One.” We are the van with all the baggage. Oh, Lord have mercy. Is that ever an understatement. One of our vehicles is unmarked because it belongs to our coworker’s fiancee who joined us yesterday. Ron’s calling it The Decoy.
7:47 AM – Missed exit.
7:48 AM – Lost.
7:52 AM – In Maine. Not on our event schedule. Turned around.
7:57 AM – Finally made it back to bridge. As we drive up, bridge closes, lifts and lets tug boat through. Making good time.
8:10 AM – Starving. Got a lot of miles behind us. Road warriors. Stop for breakfast at The Friendly Toast…in Durham. That’s right. In DURHAM. We’ve not made it out of the city yet.
8:30 AM – Fantastic menu. Got served one of the best danged breakfasts of our entire lives. Nicest waiter I’ve ever had with a “Teardrops of Satan” T-shirt on. Ate well-done veggie omelet with fried country potatoes and HOME MADE thick wheat toast with a side of gingerbread waffles and pomegranate syrup.
10:15 AM – finally paid out and made it back to vans. Parking tickets on all vans. Went over our two-hour parking meter by five minutes.
12:00 Noon – Tooling down I-84 West well on our way. Looks like we may not make it to the Big Apple by lunch time. We only have 137 miles to go.
Mad at Travis. He’s in other van with praise team and he’s baiting me. I rode in their van yesterday but am in van with Rich and Ron (our team member who does security) today. Trav sent me a cell pic of Dunkin’ Donuts bag. They stopped without me. They only stopped because they know I love it. They’re so mean. Right after that, I saw the Po-Po (Ron’s a former law enforcer and said that’s not disrespectful. I asked him before I printed it. I am a respectful law-abiding citizen who cries when she gets stopped for a traffic violation.) So I texted Travis and told him I hoped they got pulled over by the Po-Po for Dunkin’ Driving.
Sent Trav and team a pic of my open Bible and told them to read theirs.
Rested my eyes a little while. Whole back seat to myself. Heard Ron singing with the Supremes on satellite radio. Way out of character. Made me riotously happy.
Stopped at Tim Horton’s without telling praise team van. Got variety of donuts and fresh coffee which helps make up for the fact that it’s a tad on the weak side. Texted praise team a picture of donut selection. Eating and drinking without shame.
Talked to all three of my family members. I never go to NYC without A&M if I can help it. Miss them so much. We’d shop until we had broken feet and had to soak them in the hotel bathtub. Miss my man, too. And Starzy and Geli. Talked to the dogs on the phone night before last. I think they are pouting at me. Didn’t say much.
Oh, and I forgot to tell you that on Sunday at the ranch, I stepped on a mesquite thorn. Went straight up through my shoe and into my foot. WAY INTO MY FOOT. Keith had to jerk it out. Three toes and top of foot fire engine red by next morning. Sore as heck. Told A&M about it and both of them swore I could get a staph infection and shamed me into calling doctor today. Have to take antibiotic. If, when I get up in the morning and go to the restroom, I look down and any of my toes are missing, I’m to hobble straight to the hospital no matter what town I’m in. The drama never ends.
Rich likes a variety of music. Just a few vocalists we’ve sung along with so far: Barry Manilow (he writes the songs that make the whole world sing), Olivia Newton John (she loves us. She honestly loves us. She’s not trying to make us uncomfortable. Not trying to make us anything at all), Dionne Warwick (she said a little prayer for us), Chris Tomlin (what a relief), the Eagles (good Bible lesson: you can’t hide your lyin’ eyes), Carly Simon (another good Bible lesson: you’re so vain. I bet you think this post is about you), and The Carpenters (good choice: Joseph was one).
12:30 PM – Driving past Hartford, Connecticut and waving to beat the band. Can’t wait to see you Friday!
Thinking about Delaware. DELAWARE. I can hardly believe we get to go there.
12:48 PM – Just saw sign. 98.6 miles to New York City.
1:03 PM – Just texted The Decoy and instructed our darling engaged couple to please go over their memory verses together. I feel they’ve been unsupervised too long. (They are such a handsome couple they could be on the front of a magazine. Nate is our young stage manager and the biggest blast to ever love Jesus. Raised on the mission field in Africa. Cool to the bone. His bride-to-be, Shelly, is active in our blog community. You’d know her if you saw her. If you were at the Siesta Fiesta, we mentioned that they’d just gotten engaged and we made her come up front and get a door prize. Beautiful girl who also totally digs Jesus. Already faithfully serves Him.) They text me back their verses. Clearly they are taking them out of context. I ask them to pull the car over and let me in. They don’t. But they laugh.
1:04 PM – Bored stiff.
1:07 PM – Giving way to vain imaginations. Dwelling on the last time Keith hurt my feelings. I’m getting madder by the minute. Why didn’t I get madder at the time?? Thinking what I should’ve said.
1:08 PM – Rich bored, too. Has now begun to sing really loud and off key (on purpose). It’s so terrifying that I’m startled out of my downward mental spiral.
1:09 PM – I love Keith so much. I wish he’d call me.
1:10 PM – Am now laughing hysterically at myself. Where is my medication? JK. Don’t write me about that.
I fear if I keep this up, I could risk digressing into the trivial (that even made me laugh) so I’ll sign off for a while and catch you up on our thrilling day in the Big Apple later. At this rate, a LOT later. You are a patient people.
10:35 PM – Yes, that says 10:35 PM. HOURS have gone by, People. HOURS!!!! You are not going to believe this but when I got back to my car after our NYC shopping extravaganza my computer battery was as dead as a door nail (it’s one of those long-lasting ones so it shouldn’t have been) and, hence, I didn’t get to give you a play-by-play all the way to Delaware. I think God thought you guys had been through enough. Of course, at this point only 5 of you are still reading the post and you are all related to me…and embarrassed for me.
SO, since God apparently got weary of my drivel, I’ll limit my comments on the rest of the day to a couple of paragraphs:
Our feet hit the streets of Manhattan by about 2:30. I got a hotdog at one of those sidewalk vendors immediately because I just have to. It’s not even good. Just necessary. Mustard and sweet relish. Then we grabbed some Starbucks and got focused. The team and I had no intention of wasting time at expensive stores. We wanted hip and CHEAP. So we hit a little boutique called “Strawberry” and totally scored. Kinda fruity but not seedy. Some really cute stuff and just the right price. All of us girls got something there. Two of us got the exact same pair of boots – I do mean DARLING boots – that had been a hundred and something dollars and they were marked down to $56. I also got a gray sweater and a…and a…let me go look in my bag…oh, yeah, a new pair of fuzzy slippers. That’s another story. I’m obsessed with this one pair of fuzzy slippers I’ve had a long time (I bring them on the road) and they’re nearly worn out. I call them “The Pinks” because, well, they’re pink. I’ve been really upset because I’ve known they’re on their last leg. Or foot. And I haven’t known what to do. I wanted an exact replacement and couldn’t find them anywhere. Well, today I found some in black. The Black Pinks. I’m so happy. I have them on right now. Especially after my thorn in the flesh.
The praise team and I then went to H&M and Zara. I did very minimal damage at either place but Trav, Seth, Stephen, and Nate made some fairly impressive investments in their personal wardrobes. I don’t think they call what they got “outfits” but they should. Well coordinated if I do say so myself.
After walking somewhere around 43 miles, we were famished and decided to seek out a great little Chinese restaurant. The kind NYC is famous for. Well, we didn’t exactly find one. We found more the airport variety where you walk down a line with an orange tray and get your soy sauce and hot mustard in plastic packs you have to open with your teeth. Alas, we were too worn out to resist. I’ll not name names but a character from Seinfeld was working the counter. She nearly scared me to death. I simply inquired with appropriate southern manners as to whether or not the Chow Mein was prepared with white meat. She yelled, “You having chicken broccoli!” So I had chicken broccoli. It was pretty good but I didn’t eat much of it. She’d given me the nervous stomach. She ended up winning us over. You had to respect her work ethic. Move ’em in. Move ’em out.
And the team and I sat at eight tables for two and laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed. Duets were sung. Combo dinners shared. Pictures were taken. Delirious. So happy to be together. So happy to be in Jesus. He brings people together who would never have crossed paths. I cannot express to you how much I love these people.
And, then, we loaded up the vans and began our several-hour excursion to Delaware. Checked in and started writing to you. And now I’m about to drop in the bed. This very day we’ve been in – count ‘em – SEVEN States. And every mile worth it.
Oh, Delaware, we can’t wait to meet you. God of laughter, friendship, community, come receive Your praise. And, Lord, thank You for humoring us today. I hope at least once we really got You tickled.