Crossville might be the best stop yet! I made it to the library early in the morning, and walked out to a storm rolling in quickly. I met a hitchhiker who had just rolled into town, hoping to meet his dad (for the first time I believe). Met another guy who lived in the woods here in town. And then I met Shannon. Shannon approached me and asked if the giant pack was mine. She wanted to know what I was doing, and we struck up a conversation. She was an awesome person to meet. Very good, positive energy, intelligent. She's from VT, just passing through. We chatted a bit, and then the storm hit. We enjoyed what I felt was a comfortable silence as the rain came pouring down. It was a nice peaceful span of time, just sitting next to her while a downpour came roaring down around us. At least we were dry. She handed me a note and went inside to use the library's facilities. When I looked at it later, it was a passage by John Updike that was very fitting. Before she went inside I gave her the blog address, so hopefully she will drop by and say hi when she returns to VT. Wonderful person!!
Someone told me about a mission in town, so I went to check it out. Got to stay the night after eating a great meal (eat until you're full!) and attending a nice church service. Everyone was friendly and made me feel at home. They had a lot of questions about my journey, gave me some good advice, and some of them envied me. As they said, it's a calling. Just do it. I slept on a cot in the back of the chapel.
The next morning, there was a big breakfast followed by 2 church services and a giant lunch. Since I was stuffed and it was the afternoon, I decided to stay another night. Glad I did. Saw a 2 year old girl celebrate her birthday, and 3 people got baptized, including my new friend Matt. In the afternoon, we all hung out on the back porch talking. Then the Mennonites came over to lead the evening service, followed by a wonderful dinner they had prepared. It seemed like half the Mennonites went onstage to sing, and it was amazing to listen to. No instruments, good harmonies. Very peaceful. They were very wonderful, friendly people. Wish I had more time to talk to them. Then back to the back porch. We had some good conversations going on, and the subjects were varied...the Bible, aliens, trees, angels, traveling. Very thought-provoking. Stayed a second night and left the next morning.
To my new friends Sarge, Matt, Steve, Nick, Thomas and the rest of the gang at the Miracle on 4th Street, I thank you for your friendship and hospitality, and your generosity. We will all meet again someday in another world. Take care my brothers.