Over the next several days I will be writing about my experience at the Fellowship of Catholic University Students Conference (FOCUS) in Baltimore, Maryland. I truly believe the best way for you to understand this life altering experience is to open my heart, and expose my innermost feelings. As most of you know, I am a writer, and I journal quite frequently. Therefore, I will upload a journal entry every other day for you to read. I date and time all of my journal entries using military time, do not let that confuse you. I will upload them here, exactly as I have written them with no editing or changing of anything. It is good to know that these journal entries are letters to God, and that by my uploading them, I am sharing intimate thoughts, and intimate experiences that I have shared with God. I am opening my life, and being vulnerable for you to look into my heart, allowing you an intimate glimpse of my life, my thoughts, and my soul, and to see how much of an impact FOCUS was. Below you will find that first journal entry. If you have any questions or need clarification on anything, please feel free to comment on the note or send me a message on here. I am opening my life in order to share how Christ is moving in it. Enjoy.
21 January 2011
I sit here now in the Cleveland, Ohio Amtrak station awaiting my train to Washington DC, where I will be catching a train to Baltimore.
The journey here has been an interesting one. No, make that a very, very interesting one! As I was driving home from Mount Vernon, and as I was cresting the big hill just past US 30 on Ohio State Route 13 North, I hit a rather large pot hole, and I knew immediately I now had a flat tire- the front right tire to be exact. The first drive I came to was the drive leading to the MANCI brick barns. Seeing as it was a maximum security state prison of the State of Ohio, there was a sign that read: STATE PRISON - NO TRESPASSING. Well I didn't pass the gate, seeing as it was very well locked and secure. I just parked in front of the gate. I assessed the damage- the tire was flat as can be. So I called my mother, who at the time was watching my niece McKenzie. I then proceeded to call AAA Ohio, who sent a road crew to put my spare tire on.
While I waited for the road crew, I attempted to call the appropriate party at MANCI and tell them why I was parked there. Reaching no one, I soon noticed a black Sheriff van approaching the rear of my vehicle from behind the infamous gate! A Sheriff got out and motioned for me to do the same. I slowly exited the vehicle and he said, "What are you doing here son?" "I have a flat tire Officer, the front right." At that exact moment a Terry's Towing Service vehicle drove by. I pointed it to the officer, while still behind the gate he verified my tire was indeed flat, then said, "Good. Because we've had issues with gang members coming to this exact spot to deliver contraband for inmates." He then walked backwards away from me very slowly looking at me from head to foot, finally getting back into the Sheriff van.
By this time, the Terry's Towing vehicle had arrived and was now parked beside me. The young man actually graduated from Crestview Local School's, the very same school I graduated from. It was nice catching up with him. In a short amount of time he had the spare tire on, and lowered the vehicle. Immediately we both heard it. A hissing sound- yes, the spare tire was leaking air in a very fast manner. So he paged for a tow truck- apologizing he couldn't be of more help. In half an hour's time the tow truck arrived. He backed up, and asked if I could pull forward some. "Sure," I said. I got in the car and turned the ignition. Silence. I tried a second time. Silence. "Sir- my car won't start." He laughed and said "It's just not your day is it?" Shortly thereafter we were on the road to Sears Auto Center. Once there the mechanics replaced the tire and installed a new battery, for the other one was completely dead.
After this, I finally made it home. My mother and grandmother drove me up to the train station, and I enjoyed the company- it took us over two hours to get up here when it normally taks just over an hour, due to road conditions. They have begun their journey back home now and I pray for safe travels for them. Now I sit and wait in excitement for this wonderful opportunity you have blessed me with. And imagine- all of this in the midst of a winter storm!