Thursday, September 13, 2012

Ruthie On The Road, Update


I look terrible in this (above) photo. I snapped the photo with the camera on my phone, yesterday. My lips are chapped, there's a big zit on my chin, my nose is peeling, my hair is dirty and I am exhausted.

This image shows what the road does to me, sometimes.

This picture was taken in northwestern Nebraska. I was sitting on the side of the road in a world of cold wind, rain and hardly any traffic.

But let me back up...



...to my birthday.*

My birthday was three days ago.

I made it to Fremont, Nebraska on Sunday. And I was originally going to take highway 30 toward Grand Island, Nebraska. But that never happened.

Instead, I got connected with a (another) preacher who ended up buying me a room for the night at the swanky, "how do you like my rural version of la-dee-dah" Sleep Inn hotel.

Now the hotel was fun because I was sent up to the third floor. So the view out the window was rather cool.

The room featured the usual individual-coffee-cup brewer, a king-sized bed with too many pillows and every other amenity that you'd find in an over-priced room. But what I thought was neat (and amusing) was the gold-colored toilet roll dispenser.




And the brass wall-sconce that lit up one corner of that large room in a very unique way.



Sort of like a space ship.

I stayed there until it was time to check-out and then headed back out the door...in a different direction than the one that I had originally planned.

It took all day but I finally reached the small town of Plainview, Nebraska. After I made a phone call I walked down, through the semi-darkness, to a humble (but clean) motel.

I was too wound-up from the road (which sometimes happens) to sleep, so I watched a Netflix movie on my laptop, instead.

The next morning, I got a ride out of town and sat for awhile, sneezing like crazy beside a John Deere dealership. A woman drove by and then returned. She helped me...she sure did. And the greatest thing that she did was help me get some much-needed Loratadine.

(I am now on day-three of the dosing and I am almost free of all of the allergy symptoms that this time of year sometimes brings to me.)

Another woman picked me up and brought me to the small city of O'Neill, Nebraska.

I didn't sleep in a motel, there.

Ooh, no.

After the sun set, I wandered over to the local park. The wind picked-up and it grew cold...and then colder and then colder still.

I huddled on a bench under the pavilion and tried to go to sleep. I finally did. Then the sprinklers started shooting long sprays of water...and I had to retreat to the nearby gazebo. Halfway through the night, the sprinklers started shooting water directly into the gazebo. So I ran back to the pavilion.

Until...at 2:30 in the morning...in a cruel sort of watery finale...every sprinkler in the whole, damn park started spraying at once!

I grabbed my backpack and stumbled over to the over-sized sandbox and huddled at the bottom of a fiberglass slide.

At 6a.m., I walked over to a nearby convenience store (which had just opened) and got myself a large cup of very hot coffee. And a honey bun.

I told myself that I needed the honey bun.

Then  I went over to the road and put my thumb out.

Dawn's weary light brought the cops. State, County and local. As the day progressed, cops brought me to a County line, where I would sit (totally ignored) until another set of cops would take me to the next County line...etcetera!

Finally, a County-Mountie brought me where I am now...sort of.

By that time, it was getting late in the day and I wanted a hot bath, a good meal and a bed. The cop brought me to the city park where it was cold, I had nowhere to heat anything up and the bathroom had a shower with spiders in it.

I ran my prayer through Google, tapped-out some numbers on my phone and made a connection.

That connection led to a location that I will not disclose. But I got a hot bubble bath, a satisfying dinner and a big, comfy bed.

Tomorrow I will return to the road...again.

Hey...bring it!

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