Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 26- Rest Day in Sheldon, Iowa

Today is a day of reminder: a day of rest. I am truly aware of something that I do too infrequently back home and that is to take the time from an increasingly busy life to rest and rejuvenate the soul. And, besides, my legs (and other parts of me) are not wanting to ride. I think I'll listen to them if I want to be able to continue this pace we've set for ourselves.

We have been told that the heat index is about 110 today. My understanding is that the heat index is a combination of the actual temperature (86 degrees F) with the humidity (which is some enormous percentage-- moreso than this Seattlite is used to) to give a more accurate idea of how hot and muggy it actually is.

The night before last and last night I got to see something I haven't seen since I was a kid: lightning bugs. They turn on and off and float and hover in front of me at dusk in some peaceful rhythm that only they understand but with which I am elated. And, in the heat of the afternoon, I get to hear another childhood memory revisited, the buzzing sound of cicadas (locusts) high in the trees above me. As a child, this sound had always been the true indicator to me of a hot and sticky day, above and beyond anything a "heat index" could tell.

We woke to a great breakfast of fresh fruit, cereal and juice, served up by our host Bonnie Van de Brake, and then headed into town to tend to some errands prior to my radio interview with KIWA radio and newspaper interview with Iowa Information. It is so fun to be able to share the good news about AJS and its work in Honduras and how we have been touched and humbled by this journey we've been on.

After an incredible lunch (notice me still talking about food), again, served by our gracious host, Bonnie, we actually snacked at a local bakery we'd been told about in downtown Sheldon, the Prairie Queen Bakery. This bakery is not only overflowing with great baked goods but our guide, Cleo (who happens to know the Van de Brakes quite well), and, the bakery's owner offered us free baked energy bars and a heaping portion of kindness and hospitality. We posed for photos with them and had a real blast.

They were eager to know of AJS and our mission and wholeheartedly supported us in this cause. I am truly humbled, honored and emotional over such moments as I am rarely far from the thoughts and feelings of the cancer I endured a few years back and the blessing that it is to be of service now in even the smallest of ways, on a bicycle.

And, my overflowing gratitude to our incredible hosts, Bonnie and Grant Van de Brake can never be fully expressed. You are dear, dear friends to take in these two vagabonds on a bicycle journey for Christ. Please know that you will always have a special place in my heart. Blessings, much love and peace to you always.

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