Today was a long one. We got up and went into the gas station for breakfast (which you can only do right in small town America!) and, after we’d eaten, went out to the parking lot to spin a direction and draw some mileage. It was feast or famine in the mileage department – lots of high numbers and 2 that would have had us staying in Grant. 257 was the number that Smashley drew, so we went back and packed up the tents and everything and headed East. With several stops and a little indecision about where exactly to stop, we got to Fairmont, NE late in the afternoon. Mile 257 from where we left the campground this morning was just at the edge of town, and there is a mile marker 257 along the highway in town as well. I also noticed a ton of gas stations where gas was $2.57. I hope someone finds some significance in that number because it made for a long day!
We didn’t take the most direct route today, thinking the roads would be better. The roads were ok, but it was all hills. The truck pulling the camper was getting pretty hot pulling all the weight. By about 150 miles, everyone was saying we should just go back to Grant. It was fun getting to know a few people there and making connections… It’s amazing the way a little dog biscuit vomit at the gas station can draw people together! (Ask me later – short version is that the quote of the week was Andrew, defensively: “I only puked because I ate a dog biscuit!”)
While the 257’s everywhere may have seemed confirmative, our initial foray into Fairmont was less reassuring. We saw very few people around town and not much movement. We stopped and I talked to a lady who was scraping and powerwashing paint off a house, but she was about to stop for the day and wouldn’t be back tomorrow, so she said she couldn’t really use our help. She did give me the name of the director of the senior center in town and pointed out her house. She said she didn’t know anyone who could use any help either, after listening politely to my explanation. There was a house with trim that was half painted, so Andrew went to the porch to see if we could help them finish, but there was no answer. Despite the lack of success finding something we could help with, we prayerfully pulled into the nursing home I’d noticed on our drive through town. Micah and I talked to a nice guy inside who gave us the name of the activities director. He said if we could come in the morning she could get us in touch with the residents and have some visiting and stuff for us to do. (Either that or he was thinking he’d pawn off these wackos on the day shift!)
Finding nowhere to stay in Fairmont, we drove North a little bit and are staying in York – in beds – with hot showers. Everyone’s a little worn from the day and getting on each other’s nerves a little bit, but a little pool time seems to have mellowed things in time for bed. And speaking of bed, there’s a stack of pillows calling me…
It was a funny dynamic this morning, drawing a distance to see where we’d be going. No one really wanted to leave Grant, but we felt like we should give God the chance to move us if he wanted to. He did (unless you want to just say it was random chance). No one really pouted, but there definitely was kind of that “Aww, man…” disappointment. Good to see the willingness to do what God wanted even if it wasn’t what we might have chosen to do on our own. I pray that the students would always have the attitude that they’ll do what He wants.