After all the ceremonies at the Capitol we went to the church, and for the last time unloaded the van and trailer. Then found our sleeping territory and laid claim, again for the last time. Shower next, and the business of taking my bike apart and getting it boxed up, which took most of the afternoon. Off to FedEx. We shipped about 7 boxes to home locations. Dinner on our own, and then a meeting, some game playing, and bed.
One of the things we did was draw names and write something about the person whose name we had drawn. We didn't know who wrote about us, but Krystal read them all, and then we got to keep what was written. Here is what someone wrote about Geezer Tom:
"Now this is a man who can survive anything. A man who has spent more years on earth than the rest of us (combined?), yet has a spirit as youthful as could be. Tom, you have blessed us so much with your presence. We could probably have done without those crazy fingernails of yours, but the rest of you we liked! Even the pink handlebar tape. Come back and join us again sometime. Become the first rider to do a segment in his 70's."
As you can see, I am blessed to have been with a super great group of people.
We had one more gathering. We formed a circle, and Ryan passed a bundle of yarn around. Ryan began by telling what the ride had meant to him. Then each rider took the yarn and told what the ride meant to them. As the yarn was passed across and around, each rider telling their story, the yarn formed a net that symbolized the support we each gave to the other, and to the entire purpose of The Fuller Center. It was a very touching exercise in love. We ended by each rider going around the circle, giving and receiving goodby hugs. Tears, tears, and more tears. And if that were not enough, we still had to see each other off again in the morning when we actually left.
Then finally, bedtime, and with my bike on its way home, no ride to get ready for in the morning. A major letdown.
I stayed in DC until today so that I could go to the Vietnam Memorial, and do some other sightseeing. Since Hailey was also in DC until today she was stuck guiding me around, and having to decide what to see for both of us. Thanks, Hailey.
A while back Ryan had a reading for morning circle of the "Ragman" by Waltter Wangerin, Jr. A powerful reading. Below is the link; worth finding and reading. After Ryan read "Ragman" we passed around a rag, tore off a piece, and tied a piece onto each other's ankle or wrist. I was standing next to Anne and was privileged to have her tie my rag to my left ankle.
And so I have been busy, and am late in posting my blog. A big thanks to my readers, and to the sponsors who helped make it possible for me to participate in this ride.
I am now on my way to Chicago to visit with Joel and Jen. I'll fly home Saturday. So, this adventure finally comes to an end. Until next year?
If anything else comes to mind, I'll post again, but for now back to "normal" living, whatever that is or will become. Have I changed in any meaningful way? I'm not sure, but I know I have been awakened in some good way. Thanks to the "kids."