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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Monday, July 2 2001

On the road

My Delta flights from San Jose to Atlanta and thence to Baltimore-Washington International airport landed on time with no hitches over Saturday night. At BWI I picked up my reserved rental car from Hertz (some mid-size model from a Japanese company starting in M but not elaborated beyond that...maybe Mazda or Mitsubishi). It's an attractive-looking sedan in one of my favorite car colors, designated "burgundy" on the Hertz keyholder, though I'd call it maroon. Its performance, having to go into passing gear to get around trucks on the hills, doesn't match its looks, unfortunately.

It turned out, Providentially I believe, my Baltimore arrival at 8:20 a.m. was just in time for me to pick up the car and get to the morning service at a sister parish to my home one, so I was able to kill two birds with one stone...keeping my Lord's Day obligation to church and visiting a parish I'd read about (in popular books by the pastor's wife, Frederica Mathewes-Green), and wanted to experience.

It seems the more flying I do, the less I like it. Despite the insurance company statistics finding it the safest way to travel and despite the thousands of lifelong pilots and flight attendants who are now retired with no scars, it will never "feel" that safe to me, because I'm helpless in any mishap that might occur (actually, there have been plane incidents in which some people have died and others have not only survived but did so virtually unscathed, and some have used quick thinking and action to save the lives of others, so even that claim isn't always true...but in most and scariest incidents there's nothing anyone can do).

I did find this time that the flying experience was improved by taking along my CD player and listening to some of my collected music. I had to use my own double-AA batteries to power the player, but it worked without a hitch. And though the music didn't totally drown out all the plane's droning engine noise and PA announcements, it was a big improvement on the airline's own music choices or trying to watch a videotaped movie or TV program. I have tried movies on flights several times and found it a waste of money, as much of the dialog cannot be heard over the engines and the PA interruptions. And the five dollar price to rent headsets that could be bought outright from any decent drugstore for that is exorbitant. Of course it's just a ploy...the "rental" is not really for the headset but the rental, mainly, of the movie, but it's still exorbitant when a whole family or whole neighborhood can watch a rented movie on video for one $5 rental fee. I was a little ambivalent about putting the headset on, meaning I wouldn't be able to get acquainted with my fellow row mates, until I saw that the one on my right already had on his headset and the one on my left had pulled up her blanket and closed her eyes.

I've flown many overnight flights and have never had any success sleeping in a plane. The music via my headset did help me drift into at least semiconsciounesess for several hours , however. Despite my fears of flying, the greatest real danger in my journey to Blacklick Valley, which culminated near Belsano at 6:15 p.m. Sunday, was the near impossibility of keeping awake behind the wheel during the final 30 miles from Baltimore to the Pennsylvania state line. I've never fought so hard before to keep my eyes open. Finally attaining and stopping at the Pennsylvania welcome center on I-70, where I hoped I could nap for an hour or so but finding no shaded parking in 86-degree temperatures, I did find a cup of coffee and found that that and the physical activity of getting out of the car for a few minutes revived me enough to get me on to the Midway plaza on the Turnpike, where I bought a larger cup of "realer" coffee, Starbuck's. That got me the rest of the way.

By the time I arrived in Johnstown, a summer storm had broken and rain came down for about a half an hour so hard that I feared I'd arrived in time for the next Johntown flood. Fortunately, it abated before coming to that.

Today, the radio is forecasting sunny skies and lower temperatures, so I hope to make my first major bike ride on the Ghost Town Trail (did get to ride from Vintondale to Wehrum on a previous visit, but want to cover all of it this time, especially the portion between Twin Rocks and Vintondale, including the "ghost town" of Bracken, which will be entirely new to me.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

The storm

A small child walked to and from school daily. One morning the weather was questionable and clouds were forming. As the day progressed, the winds whipped up along with the thunder and lightning. The mother worried that her child would be frightened walking back home from school. She also feared that the storm could do harm to the child as the lightning flashed through the sky like a flaming sword, and the thunder roared.

The mother got into her car and drove the route to school. She soon saw her child walking along the route, but at each flash of lightning the child would stop and smile. Flash after blinding flash, the child would stop, look at the lightning streak and smile.

The mother called out "What are you doing?"

The child answered, "God keeps taking pictures of me.

Sent by Mike Harrison

Friends

Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

Sent by Mike Harrison

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