Monday, January 24, 2005

an irish woman & some americans go 2 NC

Well I survived the weekend! A little sore after skiing and so on but i'm in one piece. I know this post is gonna be a long one cos there's an epic tale to be told......... (There's photos included but i don't have software to edit pictures on this computer so they're all linked, and for some of them you'll need to tilt your head to the side heehee)

It started on a friday afternoon with the wind gently blowing through the trees and people going about their daily lives: buying groceries, walking the dog, picking their kids up from school and leaving them at First Presbyterian for a ski trip..... you know, normal stuff. The group climbed on board the two buses and had all their luggage stowed underneath and ready to go to Boone, North Carolina. All was going well, Bus 1 was watching "Radio" while the people on bus 2 were watching "Raiders of the Lost Ark". The buses pulled into CiCis Pizza for about 45 minutes of extreme pizza and dessert scoffage then they all climbed back on board happy to be full of such greasy delights. The buses made one more stop at a garage about 10 exits up the interstate where i got off the bus and happened to meet Bono from U2!!!!!!!

OK, so to continue on a merry adventure....... or so they thought. They were about 10 miles from the North Carolina border meaning they were about 25 miles from their destination when disaster struck.....

(Please note i was on the first bus and was sitting in the row behind the bus driver Dana so i can only give account of what happened on this bus...... also note that Dana is a man :oS........ back to the story)

Dana looked in his side mirror as he was driving up the winding road up the mountain to the North Carolina border and noticed that bus 2 was no longer following behind us. We tried to communicate with them via the walkie talkies, there was no response. We tried phoning someone on the other bus..... there was no reception. There was just one thing left to do....... we had to turn back, but turning a bus on a winding narrow road is not an easy thing, we had to keep driving until we found a road that intersected and so Dana drove for a further 5 miles roughly waiting to find a place to turn the bus and did so with great success in the dark. When we found the other bus, it had broken down and the other bus driver Alexa (woman ;o) ) had turned the hazard lights on and had someone stop to help her try and fix the bus, so yet again we needed to turn the bus so that we would be driving in the right direction again. Eventually found another place to turn and we came back to bus 2.

It was decided that the bus would not be able to be fixed in a quick enough amount of time to help us get to our destination at a "reasonable" time (note the local time was now about 1:45am). So we piled everyone from bus 2 onto bus 1 and had littler people under neath the bus like myself moving luggage around and helping to squeeze in all the stuff from bus 2 as well, i of course joined the rest of the 92 odd people on the bus and while waiting for the bus to start moving again heard the random off the top of our heads tale of Johan Johan Sebastian Bach Johanssen and the Wood fish of Mongolia by Mark DeVries and Caldwell Tanner. After this incredible storytime we continued on our way, we left there around 2:45am and drove for a while longer on that road as Dana had realised that if he kept driving on that road, that there would be a turn that the bus would not be able to get round, or somethin like that...... so yet again we had to turn the bus around and track back for a while to find a new route. We eventually arrived there at 4:30am-ish and sent the kids to bed after a long night. Leaders however had to stay up for an extra while working out how we were to get everyone to the slopes the next day and so on with only about 4 cars extra available from the college students who drove up from Georgia to help out for the weekend. The problem being that the bus drivers were contracted to have at least 8 hours break between drives to get sufficient rest and sleep and so on, but Alexa being the amazing woman she is said she would only get about 4/5 hours sleep so the kids could get a good amount of time skiing.

Some of the hardcore skiers (spelling :oS) woke at 8am and got a lift with some of the college students, while most waited til 10:30 for the bus to arrive. We got to Beech Mountain after winding up the roads more and more through the snow, and eventually after orientation we hit the slopes at 12:30

Olivia and Leigh, Erika and Ruth

I was the only person on the slopes for the first time ever in our group but thankfully Leigh had not been skiing for a few years so needed to go to ski school with me :oD, but we got bored of it and cut class early hahaha and went in search of food, which was a successful search, i got chicken and chips...... not the skinny wee fries, like actual fat chunky chips! It was just awesome.

After that i hung round the lodge for a bit talking to other people in the group and had a bit of fun with Jeremy, then went out on the slopes and moved from the bunny slope to a green slope so i was doin real good. The day ended and i fell a grand total of 3 times..... was told that i took to it quite naturally :oD.

We arrived back at the lodge, had showers, dinner, games where we had an Extreme Makeover just before the talk to talk about the theme for the weekend, Extreme Makeover: Faith Edition. The night ended with a big birthday party for all the people who have birthdays in January....... in the midst of this i was serenaded by Adam and Caldwell with a great Irish folksong..... you know the one that goes "Ireland, Oh Ireland, Ireland, Oh Ireland......" no? Well me neither but it was funny anyways.
In the midst of all the fun of that night i was asked by the girl who's in that photo too "So how long have you been learning english for? you're very good." You can only imagine what my face looked like after that question..... it was like one of those moments where you could hear bells in the distance and dogs barking and the tumbleweed went past ya know? Flip i dunno!

The next day we woke had breakfast at 8am and we packed and ready to leave at 10:00 after the worship. We were then told good news: we had bus 2 back. And bad news: the local Sheriff wasn't allowing the buses on the road until at least midday due to the snow that fell during the night. So began the first annual "Snowed-in In North Carolina, Last Minute Talent Show". I was quite excited about it and thought, "ooooh i'll just go find a sofa, curl up in my sleepin bag and watch the show" but that's way too easy isn't it?

One person came up to me and said "Ruth, we're gonna do this bit where you get up and say stuff and people are gonna imitate your accent", so i said "Right, OK, sure" :oS Mark DeVries came up to me and said "Say 'Lucky Charms are magically delicious' " i wondered why on earth he wanted me to say it and the only reply i got was that i'd soon find out. Next minute Adam comes to me and says "Ruth you're hosting the show with Caldwell, there's a seat up there away ya go" All this in the space of about 3 minutes! What is that all about? So anyways i got up and hosted the show, had people imitating the Norn Irish accent by sayin "Bout ye?" "You slabberin'?" "Aye, yer ma!" and just cos we say this one all the time, hmmm yeah right..... "Top of the mornin to ya".... they were funny. Next was Mark getting me to imitate a guy from Alabama (Bo) sayin "How bout them Aubern Tigers?", and then he got some of the kids to imitate me imitating Bo, and so someone imitated Erika imitating me saying "Lucky charms are magically delicious" again it was quite funny. Next Caldwell hosted a improv drama thing and asked for the audience to pick a nationality and a location..... which naturally was an Old Irish Barber shop :oS. Carver and Josh had to "speak irish" while Caldwell and McLean "translated" and was apparently sponsored by me but anyways..... to close the show Teddy and Jeremy played a song while Calwell and I did an Irish dance..... not that it was good or anything but it entertained the crowd and some of them somehow thought i had actually trained in Irish dancing, my my my. In the midst of the show we also had a surprise from Mary-Pillow (yes that's her first name) where she had made a very timy little snowman..... we decided to burn it so she kissed it goodbye and tossed it in. It was all good banter i tell thee and the reason for the title of this post heehee.

After all that we found out that bus 2 was working fine but that bus 1 wasn't coming on cos it was so cold and yet again we had to kill more time so we watched some more of the First Club videos for entertainment and then played some cards and guitar and so on (side note i didn't actually play in the end, except when we were hangin out and being the fan of great music that i am *cough* ended up playing Busted's Year 3000 for some of them heehee). It was about 1:30pm and bus 2 arrived at the lodge, after much debate and discussion, we decided to fill it with as many people as possible and their bags and left there at 2:15pm leaving some guys behind with Mark and Adam DeVries who didn't have school the next day so it wouldn't be so bad if they were later getting home. We still hadn't had lunch and weren't going to stop the bus til about half way to save getting home even later than we could have so we went for about 8 hours without food (except for a couple of leftover cookies and stuff.... nutricious eh?). So we stopped again at CiCi's pizza and i stuffed myself with so many slices of BBQ pizza.... was just soooooooo good. While we were there we heard from the other bus and discovered that they had just left (meaning they were 3 hours behind us).

We arrived home at 8:30pm and were all definately ready for bed but i had to give Christian a ride home.... which was roughly a 15 minutes drive in the opposite direction from where i'm staying but hey it was cool to hear what she thought of the weekend and so on.

I got home at 9:30 and unpacked a bit then crawled into bed and was asleep right through til midday today and felt real good after it, though my muscles still hurt a bit, but life is good.

I really enjoyed the weekend, it was cool to talk to the kids and know how God's working in their lives and just be able to show them some of God's love by just bein there with them and helpin them not to worry in the midst of all the chaos. Have to say that i was thankful for all the chaos cos without it i don't think i'd have had as much fun or have been able to share with the kids as much as i did.

Well now that i've written all that i feel like i either deserve an award or that i should be able to hand that in as my next essay heehee, but thanks for reading it cos i know it's really long, but i hope it's entertained you like the weekend entertained me.

Hope you're all keeping well and that i hear from you soon!

Ruth xox


At 8:39 AM, Blogger Alan in Belfast said...

Top of the morning to you!

Glad to hear it went well, you're still in one piece, and it all worked out in the end. Sounds like the kids (and you) will talk about that weekend for years to come!

At 10:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hectic my dear Ruth. Hectic.

But Hectic+Fun and frolics and you sure osund like you're having plenty of them.

Also really good to hear what God is up to in Nashville,

Keep us posted,

Sarah oxox


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