The next day woke itself up with gray, rainy eyes.
Padre Ray came back and treated me to a delicious breakfast at the International House Of Pancakes.
Then he drove to the edge of the city and dropped me off near another rural junction point.
He gave me two plastic bags, too. I didn't realize what was in them, yet.
I walked past the intersection and sat down on the shoulder of highway 97. Awhile later, a woman with a kind face, stopped her mini-van and got out.
"I thought that you might need help so I called the police. They should be here, soon."
I blinked. "Wonderful", I thought.
Then I told her what I was doing and she literally began to wring her hands.
"Oh dear" she fretted, "I guess I did the wrong thing."
I smiled at her and patted her arm.
"Bah, the cops are probably bored and I have a good story for them. It'll be alright", I assured her.
"Well, if they let you go...then I will take you on to Gettysburg. I can't see you sitting here on the side of the road, I just can't", she explained.
Then the cops (two of them, in separate cars) pulled up. I chatted with them and then they searched me and my backpack.
Curious people, headed for work, watched from their vehicles while I just grinned like an idiot.
When I was cleared, the woman, who told me that her name is Barb, took me in her mini-van to a church in another town. But the folks there couldn't help me. So Barb drove me on to a friend's home which is located on a family farm.
That's where I met Mr. Ed.
I still hadn't looked in the bags that were contributed by Padre Ray. I thought that he had given me something to eat and drink.
Barb told me to stay in the mini-van while she went into the house to talk to Mr. Ed.
Then, Barb came out and told me to get into the car with Mr. Ed.
"I have to get to work" she explained and pointed at Mr. Ed, sitting in his little, red car.
Mr. Ed is an aging farmer who told me all about how he used to milk cows at 4:30 every morning. He told me about plowing up the ground and praying for a good crop. He has a weathered smile and genuinely kind, honest eyes.
He took me to a big Super 8 at the edge of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and bought me a room for one night. I was still aching and sore and I appreciated his gesture. The room cost almost $100.
I trudged into the room and sat down in an upholstered chair.
Then I looked at the plastic bags that Padre Ray gave me.
And you should have seen my face when I realized what that man did.
First, he gave me a book that I ended up reading from cover-to-cover. I enjoyed it, Padre Ray...and I understand your point about giving it to me. I will carry the message, that's now in my heart, with me.
When I first opened the book, five, crisp twenty-dollar bills fell out and landed on the table. That money went right into another night at that hotel...something that I desperately needed at that point.
Then, after further exploration, I discovered the laptop that I am using now. Yes, Padre Ray, who knew that my own laptop was shot, gave me a newer one. It is lighter, smaller and faster. It's perfect and I thank you, again, Padre Ray.
I thank you, again.