never has so many things happened in just one day of spreading distances. ever. come along for this day. i'm not going to do it justice and i apologize, also personally considering the following more of notes-via-sentences to preserve greater details. but here we go.
there was a light snow outside falling outside the snowboarder's for christ house at 8 a.m. i pulled the single, flannel sheet off the couch and walked two blocks to meet chris at mug shots for a final breakfast. a couple of hours later crystal came around to the sfc house and me, her, and one of her roommates all left town in her two door mazda for kelowna, bc. crystal is flying from kelowna to the caribbean tomorrow. her roommate is on her way to the vancouver area and so am i so we all road tripped together. perfect timing. i snapped a couple last second pictures of the morning mountains and we started moving, passing these more-than-familiar places in town and along the stretch of highway that leads to the ski hill. i've never discovered so much faith in a female driver before and there wasn't a car that crystal did not pass the rest of the way. within minutes the landscapes changed from snowy to warm and dry and then back to snow and then back again to dry. then some green. we made the drive in seven easy hours.
i'd arranged a couchsurf.com stay for tonight but after checking the distance between the house and the bus station on google maps i realized that a three hour walk was way too long of a distance. crystal, who lived in kelowna before moving to fernie, immediately offered a closer alternative with her friends and i gratefully accepted. we drove through an apple orchard and pulled into a driveway as crystal began to tell me about how cool these people were. i was really ready for anything.
crystal was staying with old friends whom i was told were very kind. she calls this place her third favorite spot on earth and gave me a run down of the names of the people in the family and told me that the mother, karen, was in a wheel chair. that's not something you expect to hear, but i've never met a 'friend's mom' with such a knowing and kind and uplifting personality. crystal and karen talked nursing over dinner and i got roped into play piano 'in exchange for dinner.' terms for an extended contract were circulated and added to the banter of this introduction. i really want to recount and later, perhaps not even here, discuss and explain parts of the conversation that came from this christian lady's experience with church related faith healing attempts because the stories she told at dinner were incredibly unique and both heartbreaking and faith building. i don't know how to even start so i won't. not here. not yet.
there were a few bands playing at 'the habitat' tonight and crystal, me, and a few of her local friends went out. the habitat turned out to be a pretty sweet scene in a clean, sharp converted warehouse kind of building where most everyone was some sort of hipster wearing striped shirts or v-neck t shirts and sweaters and wearing diagonal emo hair cuts. i bought the c.d. from the second artist but they were all worthy. but here's the crazies thing about this place.
i looked across the room as i observed the scene and saw a freakishly familiar face. could it be? no, he lives over two hours away in salmon arm. no. well, i'll just walk by- mutter his name in passing and see what happens. it could be him... mel. reimer. camp qwanoes. DUDE!
it was mel reimer, one of our group's good summer pals from camp. we longboarded victoria together. no way, this is crazy man! we both asked each other what we were doing here and neither of us had too good of an answer. i happened to be in town for the night. he might be moving to kelowna. really man, this is crazy weird. we talked about the winter and he asked about the rest of the boys from the house.
by the end of the third act we'd said goodbye and crystal and i were following her best friend's volvo. the two of them are really pumped about their trip tomorrow and the friend was dropping off her car to another friend's for borrowing purposes. we made a sudden pit stop, signaling and stopping on the shoulder where we saw nicole roll her window to answer a homeless woman. next thing we know nicole is opening the passenger door and the woman is shuffling in. crystal said that her friend goes to a church downtown that has a lot of interaction with the homeless. she guessed that she knew this lady.
we sat listening to our c.d. from the night when two massively bright lights busted open behind us and shot off the rear and side view mirrors to fill both our car and the friend's car in front. cops. one, two, three squad cars. we were surrounded. what you kids doing here?
crystal calmly explained we were waiting for her friend. we looked up at the car in front and the two were leaning together in prayer.
don't you know that people only stop here for drug deals?
no, we didn't know that. we're just with her.
the cops then went up to the car in front and after a few minutes the situation was easily and flawlessly resolved. funny how less than normal things like letting a homeless woman warm her hands in your car and praying together seem strange to the cops. actually that makes plenty of sense to understand, but they were really chill and the entire roadside shoulder was vacated by all involved within five minutes.
altogether from today's physical activities was a social experiment. i'd changed my facebook birthday to april first over a week ago and today i was bombarded with happy birthday comments. a few friends (real life friends and not 'facebook friends') knew the joke and laughed about it amidst dozens of other, honest happy birthday wishes. i did this little deed for one reason.
the measuring of authenticity.
for both sides. most people only 'remember' a birthday because of some silly link on a homepage and write their once a year comment on a page of a 'friend' and somehow don't even happen to notice other's public humorous debunking of this silliness. thanks to you friends who made it more fun by laughing along and getting the joke. but seriously, here's the bottom line.
facebook is pretty worthless. this blog is pretty worthless.
but life is not worthless. people continue to show me incredible measures of their faith and purpose whether it involves contentment and fulfillment in a wheel chair or by stopping to help a homeless human being warm their hands while praying with them. one of my australia outback team members from the summer of 2007 tells me tonight about intentionally living in a shack on campus in the middle of honors classes in texas to raise money for habitat for humanity. i'm inspired. and now not just because of good times with friends driving through the mountains and heading into a new part of an already amazing adventure. i'm inspired because i'm meeting people who are choosing to live life seriously and genuinely and that is making all the difference in my life and in so many others.
this is why i write these things in this little box and click publish post every day.