This morning was the first in nine weeks where I didn't get ready to ride my bike, work on a house or complete an adventure with my FCBA family. Its weird to have already spent more time on the computer and watching TV in the last twenty-four hours than I have for the last nine weeks. Its strange to be home, alone, with no cause for random shouting, no one to tease or be teased by (at least till my parents get home) and no reason to get on my bike other if I want a workout. Its kind of sad to know that the FCBA 2011 family has gone their separate ways for now and that is will be awhile before I will get to enjoy such amazing community again. This trip and the time I spent with everyone was a different experience than what I have at home. Sure I have family and friends who are wonderful and so much fun to be around but it isn't the same. So I must take time to adjust to being here at home, just like I did to being with my FCBA family.
I am not sure what adventures are to come because of this cross country adventure I have just had. I am also not sure yet how this trip has changed me but I know that I am changed. The trip was hard at times, there were days I didn't want to get back on my bike or sleep on the floor; and times I wanted to just have a moment to myself somewhere familiar. But now that I am home I am starting to realize how special this summer was. Its rare to have a chance to put "real life" on hold and just enjoy being...being with others, serving and living simply, slowly. And not to mention seeing so much of the country. I will write more about that as I have a chance to pray and process this trip.
Before the trip I wrote out ten expectations I had for the trip. That seems so long ago but I will respond to them in Blue below.
1. I am going to have an amazing time and make lots of new friends. True, so many good stories and so many amazing people that I cried when it was time to come home. I will miss them dearly.
2. I will use my "granny gear" at least once...True, definitely used in crossing the Cascades and Rockies!
3. At some point I will wish I didn't have to ride anymore but will be really glad I did. True, there were a few days I wished to never see my bike again. There were days I felt like I could no longer sit on my seat or pedal but usually I made it. And it wasn't long after getting off the bike for the day I realized I could ride again. I didn't ride the whole distance four days, twice because I hitchhiked for various reasons, once because I was sick and once because my IT ban was so sore I could barely peddle. And I missed five ride days, once because I was sick, once because I was sore and three because I got hit by a car. But I wish I could have ridden every mile.
4. I will meet and serve some amazing families at our build days. True the build days in Craig, CO, Bloomington, IL and Manassas, VA were my favorite! We met so many amazing people along that way!!!
5. I will have the first ten verses of Ephesians memorized. Trueish, I had a little competition with one of the other riders and I won a smoothie because I did have the verses memorized. However, I didn't keep up on repeating them so I have forgotten a them a little. But not for long...
6. I will have lots of great conversations and hopefully a farkle tournament. Half true, so many great conversations and wonderful friendships developed over this trip. There was however, no farkle tournament but a few games played.
7. I will return to Pittsburgh after this trip and not move from the area. Not sure yet. I will remain in Pittsburgh at least until my brother Steve's wedding in October and then I am not sure, maybe I will stay and maybe I won't...
8. I will eat more spaghetti than any other time in my life. False, I am not sure, we had several meal of lasagna, pulled pork and hamburgers. I don't think I got tired of eating anything. I did eat more peanut butter per day than ever before and I still love it!
9. I will have at few encounters with animals. False, I saw some animals but other than a super friendly lab, no animal "encountered" me.
10. That God is going to bless my socks off more than I can imagine and He will receive all the glory! True and to what extent is still being determined.