Monday, August 20, 2012

To Spokane...

I decided to head back to Spokane for a family reunion that was happening North of Spokane, right by Canada. While there, I needed to get some paperwork done including applying for my 501c3 which is the federal level of a non profit status. Even though I have 2 other licenses including City and State level, apparently they don't really do much for me and I was very unaware of that.  As larger corporations want to donate to the cause the 501c3  status will make that doable. I Had to take more time off then I wanted to but it all had to get done.

While planning the trip I came across a few obstacles on how to get LeeRoy Spokane with me.  I really don't like to leave him places and I seem to have to do that more often then I'd like. But for this trip I wasn't sure when I would be back in Boise so I wasn't going to leave him. Either he was coming with me or I wasn't going at all. 

I have people I rely on to help me get problems solved when I can't do it myself. I call them my "brain trust". My crack team of smart and very capable people that can make just about anything happen in minutes ( they  really can). At first everything seemed to be running smoothly. I had my flight booked, the airline said they would ship LeeRoy for any extra cost so we were set. However that plan fell apart as quickly as it came together.  Leeroy is around 110 pounds but the airline won't take any animal larger than 55 pounds. So they sent us to a different airline who would ship him but the cost ended up being more than my round trip flight that plan was out.  I had to tag in the "brain trust" to help me find a way to ship us both. To make a long story short, there is a website called "you ship".  How it works is you post what you want to ship and where and people bid on the job. We got a bid from a company in Iowa and everything seemed perfect. The deal was they had a crate big enough for LeeRoy and an air matters for me to sleep on in the back of what I thought would be a cargo van. Haha..... you know how you picture something in your mind and it's nothing like that at all? Ya well that's what happend here.  they were going to pick me up at 11 pm the night of July 26th but they didn't end up getting me till about 2 am.  

Ok ok ok to the good stuff.  I'm sitting on Noah's porch waiting  while everyone inside has gone to sleep. I'm super excited to sleep the whole way to Spokane ( I love sleeping on long car rides). Soon a green mini van pulls up to the place and larger women jumps out. She was a burn victim from I believe a car fire when she was a child. She was so nice but ALL business.  Inside the van in the back part was 4-6 crates and  between the crates and the front seat was an air mattress. There was no room for LeeRoy's pack and my pack. We had to put them under the air matters. One at the top and one at the bottom which created this very uncomfortable V shape. We did our introductions and then she ushered me in to the van. The plan was to put LeeRoy in one of the crates but he couldn't fit so we had to share the air matters. I got in first then LeeRoy .. As soon as he got in the dogs that were in a few of the crates started freaking out. I hadn't seen them in there prior to getting in so they freaked me out too. And of course by this time LeeRoy is freaking out as well. So picture this, I'm laying down on the mattress and trying not to get trampled as LeeRoy goes wild. This wasn't going to work so I was able to get him and myself out of the van with out injury.  We coverd the crates with blankets and made a second attempt. It seemed to be working. LeeRoy calmed down and we headed out.

 We goat about 10 mins in to the ride and LeeRoy pees and poops... at this point my butt was at the lowest part of the air matters so it all ran right down to my shorts. Sucky!!!  We put down a sleeping bag and some blankets she had but what do you know he just keeps peeing and peeing. Within a few hours, I'm soaked from my shoulders to my feet in goat pee. Not only that but the AC was on and I mean on high. I'm trying to stay warm in a socked sleeping bag and blankets but started to shiver. The whole time this was happening, I was also trying to hold LeeRoy back from horning the driver while we speed at least 10 over on the freeway. Oh ya one other thing... The driver (her husband) was also watching X Files on his iphone while driving. Every now and again we would hit those little bumps on the side of the road and he would jerk the wheel. I was stressed!!!  After a while I didn't care anymore and  hoped we crashed so I can just go be with Jesus and get out of this situation.  Later LeeRoy eventually laid down but every time the driver jerked the wheel he would head-but me and stand up. I was in hell... God was punishing me for something and I was sure of it.

 We stopped about 7 am at a Denny's for breakfast. I try hard not to be a complainer so when I was asked by them how I was I lied and said fine. While we were sitting having breakfast, we got to know each other a little bit and had some great conversations. It was really hard to focus as the smell of goat urine radiated from me ... The look on the waitress face was so funny every time she came up... The smell started to fill the air at Denny's.  Ok if there was ever a moment that I wanted to quit, this was it. I was so embarrassed and humbled at the same time. After breakfast we deflated the air matters and I sat on my bag... All I could think was why didn't we do this earlier. I made it to Spokane at about 9 am and was so stoked to not be in that van any longer.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hair cut...

I'm back on the road again! Yep that's right, I'm back in Boise after an extended break in Spokane plus a short trip to Seattle. I know there are a lot of questions regarding my traveling around and I hope the next few posts answer all of them. So much has happened since I last posted and I cant wait to share with you! I will do my best to get these blog posts done in a timely manner ( I appreciate your patients).

 The thing is, at times I have some "lone wolf" tendencies and for the last few months I feel like I haven't had more than five minutes alone; time to myself.  I really feel drained ...out of gas, while at the same time so stoked. There is a thrill in being obedient to the Lord. But at the same time  can be emotionally and physically draining. To be honest, I'm so ready to get back on the road and get time to process all the amazing things that God has done in me and through me these last few weeks.

Ok So where are we in our story.... Oh ya St and I had just spent the night in a park in Nampa after we had been at a BBQ the night before in Parma. We ended up finally getting to bed at around 12:30am and at about 4 I heard the sprinklers start to go off around us. I woke up St and said we should just get up and start walking. He was down to do it so with just a little sleep we packed up and started walking. First things first, we needed coffee and found some at a gas station not too far from where we were. We only had 17 miles left to reach our destination, which was  Boise, but my feet were still super blisterd and I was in a lot of pain from the days before. We pressed one. We walked for a few hours then stopped for breakfast, charged our phones a little and headed back out. At about 1 in the afternoon I was done. My feet hurt so bad and I just couldn't  take it anymore. We stopped at the corner of Franklin and  Cloverdale where we were picked up by St's friend Amy. 

What a relief! We headed back to her parents house with St and Amy up front and LeeRoy and I in the back of her father's Chevy Impala. fun! We rested, showered, and got ready to head down to live after 5 down town Boise. St and Noah ran an errand while Amy and I were left on our own to pass out cards and promote Uzima and Needle2square. To be honest I wasn't really feeling it. I was emberassed/shy which is not usually like me. No idea why but Amy got my head in the game and we walked into the crowd of people. (I have to give a quick shout out to Amy.) After only a few times hearing what I share with people she was able to start answering questions for people as well. She totally killed it! Handing out cards and having full on conversations with people. Releaving some of the presure for me to get to everyones questions and pictures. Thanks  Amy!!!

The next day we St and I had an interview at a radio station and a few other things we needed to get done. That night I was going to get picked up by an animal shipping company and head to Spokane for my family reunion. Before I left Boise I wanted to get a hair cut so I could look half way decent at my family reunion. I asked a super good friend, Noah, if he had a guy he went to. Noah is one of those guys that has a guy for just about everything. Here is we're my story would differ from Noah's. He swears he told me that he had a guy but I wouldn't be able to get in so he suggested a barber shop just up the road from his house. Now in my mind I was sure the barber shop up the road from his house was "the guy" he was talking about.

Picture this... so I walked down the street and came up to an old school barber shop that looked vacant. As I got closer a man who looked to be in his late 60s appeared. With broken english he asked if I wanted a hair cut and I  starred at him trying to figure out if this was really the barber Noah recommended. The shop looked dirty with hair all over the floor, just an absolute mess. I sat down in the chair hoping the guy knew what he was doing when he started searching for something. He spotted a comb in the pile of dirty hair on the floor, scooted it closer with his foot, picked it up, and started combing my hair with it. Now I don't see myself as a high maintnence  or demanding person but really??? I couldn't believe he just used the nasty comb off the floor on my hair. I was ready to bolt for the door but didn't want to make the man feel bad so I stayed. You would think things couldn't get any worse but they did. He pulled out a pair of scissors that looked like something you would find in a tool box. They were old, dirty and dull. As he started cutting my hair, the scissors wouldn't cut but instead pulled. It felt like he was ripping chunks of hair from my head. After the cut, he grabbed a rusty blade to shave the back of my neck with and ended up scratching it all up. When he was done he lathered a hand full of gel and slicked it back like The Fonz from Happy Days. I didn't care what it looked like I just wanted to get out of there. He charged me $8 and I gave him $10 (with tip).

Walking back to Noah's house I was thinking to myself, what did I do to offend him so much that he would send me to this guy. This man wasn't a barber but a butcher! I knock on the door and the first words out of my mouth were "What did I do to deserve this? Are you mad at me? Did I offend you some how?" I told Noah the story of my hair cut experience and he couldn't stop laughing. He said he didn't say that was the guy he recommended but I was sure he did. We never got to the end of it but I'm still not convinced of his side of the story.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

John 13:34-35

The next morning St and I woke up early headed for Caldwell. It was a long and hot walk! Since we were now in the home stretch to Boise, we were in no hurry...just taking our time. We decided to stop at a coffee shop in town called The Bird Stop. Everyone there was super nice to us and very supportive (thanks for the hook up guys). We pushed on late in to the evening making it all the way to Ustick road and Nampa-Caldwell hwy. Hanging out at a gas station, we spotted a field and planned on setting up camp there for the night. Once it was dark enough we grabbed our stuff and made our way to the and set up the tent. About that time, we were spotted by one of the residents at the end of the field and got kicked we headed across the street and set up behind the walmart. 

We stayed up late talking and just laughing like the good ol'e days. We would be walking into Boise  2-3 days from then and just knowing that felt so goooooooood. We finally fell asleep and in the middle of the night the sprinklers went off all around us. This is the second time we've had this happens so far! The first time we pitched our tent at a church and at about 3 in the morning the sprinklers started shooting our tent. I don't know if you have ever been woken up by cold water but it sucks! So St and I were running around moving our gear to the parking lot. I was the one with the flash light so St was truly running around blind, not able to see anything. He ran back to get the last of our stuff and got full on blasted in the face and chest  by one of the spouts. He climbed back into the tent where I had the light and he was just dripping wet with cold water...  it was sooooo funny! We closed down the hatches and did our best to sleep through it.

Tuesday morning we woke up,  hit up Dutch Bro Coffee, and headed down the highway. About noon we came across a movie theater and decided to take a brake and see the new Batman flick. I really wanted to get LeeRoy in the theater with us so we walked in like we owned the place and the manager came out to talk with us. We told him what we were doing; laid it on thick  and for a brief moment it seemed like he was thinking about letting LeeRoy into the theater till right on que, LeeRoy relieved himself right in the middle of the lobby (I'm starting to see a pattern here). Needless to say, he wasn't able to see the movie with us.

After the movie we got back on the road and were later getting picked up by Tina to head back to Parma for a BBQ they had set up for us. It was a really informal event with time for both St and I to share and we had so much fun. The Apple Lucy restaurant made 4 special little pies for us to take with us on the road. As things got moving it was time for us to share, I went first. I spoke about my lack of faith at times and how stepping out for something you believe in is so difficult at times. I feel like what I said was truly blessed by the Lord, mainly cause it's what the lord wanted me to share and not at all what I had planned. As I speak more often, I've noticed that what I prepare to say and what I actually say are two very different things. Anyway to me it felt very spirit led and I think it was encouraging to the believers.  

Towards the end of the evening, Mark came up and told everyone how proud he was of St and I. However,  he said it in a very unique way. Ok so heres the deal....... if you haven't already picked up on it, I have daddy issues.....haha but in this day and age who doesn't, right?  I struggle with just about any interaction on a deep level with older men, so to see Pastor Mark tear up and say "I don't know what your father situation is like but I want to say to you that I'm proud of you like a father is proud of a son." I mean holy cow! I was fighting the tears back. 

We got a ride back to where we had been picked up by Tina and set up our tent in the park. The first thing St says is " it's really hard to hate on Mark right now" we both laughed. He was referring to our first meeting with him but now he felt like family to us. I asked St what he told him about us (I assumed that he told him something about the daddy issue thing) and he said he hadn't told him a thing.....Crazy right!

So here's what it comes down to. I had Pastor Mark pegged all wrong and I'm so grateful I got to really know him. He is really an amazing man and in the end I really felt the unity in Christ.
I'll end with this verse that was played out through this experience...

John 13:34-35
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Monday, August 6, 2012

Romans 12:5...

Romans 12:5
 "So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another."

I am starting this post with a verse because I think it's one I've started to see lived out in my life. I know I learned a good lesson as I walked into the small town of Parma.

To give you a little back story, before I left on this trip I had a radio show on KGNW in Seattle. It was a 1 hour talk radio show that I'm not sure anyone even listened to. Right after my show a really great show aired called "The Light in the Night". It was hosted by Connie and Gordon, who are now great friends of mine and are big supporters of Needle2Square. Now Connie's brother is a Pastor of a church just outside of Parma called Sterry Presbyterian Church. Connie had told me during our visit in John Day, that she would contact him to see if he wanted me to stop by and share the story with him. 

So while St and I were still a few days outside of  Parma, I had received a call from Pastor Mark (Connie's brother) but missed it and gave him a call back. He answered and seemed to be very busy so our conversation was short and to the point. Half jokingly he asked me a question I could tell was some what loaded... "are you crazy!" To which I replied, "probably!" We kind of laughed about it and in turn he said "well your in good company." We worked out a plan to have a little BBQ on Tuesday and to be honest I got the feeling that he wasn't really all that in to having St and I come to share at his church. His secratary Tina called later and was soooo jazzed about everything and took care of all the details for Tuseday. She also mentiond that she used to work as a massus and wanted to rub our feet before the BBQ.. I was totally up for it but St was a little iffy . We made it to Parma the Saturday before and had planned on getting a hotel for the night. I called Mark to let him know we were in town and he told us that he had already prearranged a hotel for us to stay in and even paid for it. What a blessing! We got to the hotel and the people there welcomed us so warmly. They even had a place for LeeRoy to stay...It was perfect. 

We settled in and waited for Mark to come meet up with us. He arrived 1 or 2 and we sat out front the hotel and chatted over some cold drinks (not THAT kind of cold drinks). St and I were very tired and Mark was firing questions at us non stop and often before we had the chance to finish answering, he would ask us another question. I know he was just curious and wanted to know what we're all about. I started speaking my mind a little and I felt myself getting defensive like I was being attacked a little bit. We finished our convo and made plans to meet up for dinner later that evening. St and I went back in the hotel to rest and we both felt the same way about Mark. I was a little unsure of how this would all play out.

Later around 6pm Mark picked us up for dinner and we went to this restaurant called      
Apple - Lucy. IT WAS AWSOME.!!! They kept bringing us so much food, we couldn't even eat it all. They had pies and all kinds of delicious food. The vibe with Mark this time was different as if we had passed the first part of a test. He went from inerigating us with questions to being more of an advocate, tell our story to just about everyone in the restaurant. It easied the tension for St and I. 

After dinner we picked up LeeRoy and went to a drive in movie theater. Mark dropped us off and we stood in line with all the cars. It was pretty funny! Everyone was starting at us and LeeRoy. Kids under 5 get in free so we were hoping that ment LeeRoy would get in free too. With our fingers crossed and the support of all the cars around us, we got in. While looking for a spot to sit, we ran in to a family that we had stayed with in Brogan. It was sooooo good to see them again.  We ended up sharing the spot they had with chairs and everything. I know the wife's name is Carol but his name slips my mind. I think it's Mike..... Thanks to Mike and Carol for hookin us up yet again! Wait.... maybe it's Mark.....Ya! Mark and Carol.That's it!

The next morning Pastor Mark picked us up and we head to his house for breakfast before church. Once we made it to church, I tied LeeRoy to the flag poll next to some bushes that he could munch on while we headed inside. Ok here's the deal, I know in situations like this I stand out so  i figure instead of trying to just keep it low key I just go all out (mind you this is a very conservative congregation and I all tattooed up smelling like a goat decided I be the guest usher/greeter). As I'm standing in the doorway greeting people, I'm not saying "good morning" instead I'm yelling "good game" and "way to hustle out there" or " way to keep your eye on the ball" after which I give them a sturdy hi-five and hand them a bulletin. Now for them most part I always got a smile, even from the older generation. I could tell Mark was stoked that St and I were interacting with his church in a way that was a bit different than normal. After worship Mark invited us up on stage to share our story with everyone.  First St then I brought the goat in and shared aswell. And just like every other time, LeeRoy relieved himself right in the middle of church.

After church a big group of us went out for lunch and Mark was so kind to us. It seemed like we had passed all the tests that he had for us...  He even mentioned that I should be a Pastor and listed a few reasons why he thoughts so. I on the other hand feel like I'm not the guy for that... like you have to be more spiritual then I am to be leading a congregation....( save this topic for another post). Anyway, Mark hugged us like sons and  by the end of it you could tell he was really supportive of what we were doing. 

This story is not over. To be continued......

Thursday, August 2, 2012

4 blocks to Idaho

Today was a very hot and long day. We couldn't seem to beat the heat and went very slow with a lot of stops. We only had 10 miles to go to Nyssa which is right on the boarder of Oregon and Idaho. We stopped in Nyssa for the afternoon and stayed till evening. We first stopped at Bobs bar and grill for lunch. It's was soooo good. We met some really cool people that were also eating there. When we went to pay the bill the table next to us had already paid it. So Amazing! Then we headed a block down to the Thunder Egg coffee shop. We charged up our phones, drank a ton of coffee and rested for a few more hours. We were determand to make it to Idaho tonight! After all It was only 4 blocks away. I want to give a shout out to everyone at the Thunder Egg coffee shop! They were so kind and hooked us up. THANK YOU!

Ok so here's the deal when I accomplish a goal I set for myself I get stupid with laughter .. And crossing the Idaho border was one of those times.. For the most part I just giggled the 4 blocks to the sign. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Bear spray or party horn?

Here's the are diving down a 2 lane highway in the middle of no-where late at night...the road is straight and seems to go on forever.  You haven't seen any signs of life in a long time, not a town a house or even another car.

Then out of no-where standing almost completely in the middle of the road are 2 guys and a goat motionless in complete darkness starring off into the distance. You slow down to get a better look... Neither of them move not even an inch. You speed up and think, "was that real?!?!" Then all of a sudden 2 big black figures jet towards the road and you almost hit whatever it is.... You get so freaked out and speed away.

This is the setting for our little story today. St and I had walked most of the day and made it to Ironside, which is an extremely small town. It had no stores or gas stations, not even a church. In fact the only thing it had was a cemetery. St made the comment "the only thing people do in this town is die!"  We had a good laugh about it. We left Ironside about 9-9:30pm to try to get a few more miles in. We headed in to the night at the most desolate part of my trip so far. It was all dirt and tumble weeds nothing else for as far as the eye can see.  It was completely silent out there not a sound, not even a cricket. We talked about girls and life... told stories of all the times we made fools of ourselves for a girl. Times we had huge crushes and got completely rejected... so funny. 

This one time I was in the 5th or 6th grade and I had this huge crush on a girl named Megan. Oh man, I though she was as good as it gets. So one day I decide I'm going to tell her and ask her to be my "Girlfriend". So all day long I asked this girl out and got  completely rejected. Not once not twice but five times I asked this girl to be my girlfriend. Haha oh man...finally I decide to get down on one knee and ask her for the fifth time. You know something grand and sweeping.....romantic even ( I either don't take no for an answer or I'm just completely stupid).  At the end of the day we would put our chairs on our desks  and line up to be dismissed for the day. There in line in front of everyone in the class I laid it all out on the alter of love. I got down on one knee and asked her to be my girlfriend. She just rolled her eyes and said no ( in that mean girl tone of voice) and turned and walked Away. Haha... I can laugh about it now but my little elementary heart was crushed. I had to go to family counseling for like a year (not really) mean girls suck!

Ok back to the real story. So about the time I get done with the story, St and I hear and see to big black figures moving around about 40 yards ahead of us. St sees them first and points them out to me. I turn on my head lamp to get a better look at what they are but my light is only good for about 15 feet. I turn it off so we can see better. Ok better isn't a good word. Anyway, all we can do is make out the 2 large shapes moving around. As we keep walking they start heading towards us. When your in the middle of no-where and it's dark, everything seems like its charging right for you. St asks what do we have for protection? I take off my back pack and pull out what seemed to be the smallest can of bear spray and a party horn. Funny thing is we had a little discussion on who would use what. In the end we decided that St would have the spray and I would get the party horn.  By this time the figures stopped moving and we kept walking forward. We got a few yards and then stopped as the figures started moving again. About that time I could hear a car in the back ground coming our way. I tell St we should just stay here and see if the lights from the car will give us a better look at whatever they are. As the car comes up from behind it starts to slow down as it gets close. I can only imagine what the driver was thinking as he saw us motionless staring down the road . The car speeds up and then slams on its breaks and swerves hard. I could see the 2 figures run on the road and heard there feet briefly on the pavement. The car ended up speeding off. I'm sure whoever they were they had to be super freaked out. 

We never got a good look at the mystery figures. We decided that we should push on and find a place to camp down the road away from the "sightings".

We headed a ways down the road and set up camp just of the highway (if you can even call it that). Just before bed I was standing outside the tent, I turned off my light for a few and looked in all directions. There was nothing in the distance.... just pitch black no lights at all, no cell tower lights not even the moon was visible. And it was just complete silence. I was freaked out a bit....being a city kid, I love the sounds of the city.  After a while the silence was broken by the coyotes in the distance. So I headed to bed.

We never did find out what those two figures were....