|(No Scared Taxi Rides This Trip)|
|(A role I was born to play.)|
I was on the very tip of the edge of feeling giddy. My days with Evil Nancy were coming to an end. All this responsibility of being in charge of others was very tiring. Honestly, I don't know how parents do it. If I ever buy a child, it will take a village to raise it, because I ain't doing it all by myself, and poor ol' Andy has his hands full handling me. I eased back into my uncomfortable seat, placed my headphones on, turned on some Lady Gaga, and began making notes on the things I would make sure Haley and Stewart saw on their next trip to Gotham with me.
Eventually, we all were herded back on to the bus and told the news. Over her microphone, Evil Nancy said that we had a flat tire and that it looked like we would be here for a bit. It seems that while Nancy and Udean's Christian Tours made sure to carry a spare tire, they did not make sure to carry the appropriate tools to change it. Furthermore, Evil Nancy thought it best that we all just sat on the bus until the roadside assistance company came to help us. There was no need to stretch our legs or go inside McDonald's and relax.
|(WWJD? Have a McFlurry.)|
The cool adults and kids from Bus #1 were already inside McDonald's enjoying themselves and thanking God that they were not on our horrid bus. After about 20 minutes of waiting around, it was decided that Bus #1, and its occupants, should go ahead and leave us. They would travel on to our hotel and wait for us there, in air conditioned rooms with beds and television. I wanted to act like a baby and throw myself onto the dirty floor of McDonald's and cry, kick, and scream until I was allowed to go with them. It was obvious to me that if Jesus was doing any blessing on this trip, he was doing it for the nincompoops on Bus #1.
After the Blessed Bus pulled away, we were left to sit outside in the humid Pennsylvania night for another couple of hours until our tire was repaired. While my friend and I sat and watched the kids play frisbee in the drive-thru, a mutual friend posted a song on Facebook and dedicated it to us. It was "On The Road Again." We chuckled when we saw it, but then my friend perfectly summed up my feelings when she said, "The song dedicated to us should have been "Highway To Hell." The tire was eventually fixed, and we arrived in our hotel room around 2:00 am, and thankfully, were allowed a few extra hours to sleep in the next morning.
As we ate our breakfast and prepared for the last stretch of drive that would bring us home, the kids were getting excited. It is always nice to go away, but it is great to go home. I couldn't help but smile as I listened to their conversations that morning. They had been in what many consider the most exciting place on Earth, the center of our civilization, the city of cities, but what I heard coming from these teenagers:
"Boy, I can't wait to get back to Jack's Creek."
"I bet the grass is knee-high up Bullskin. I will have to mow for a week."
"I hope Dale Holler Lake is warm enough to swim in when we get back."
"I would say mine and papaw's tomato plants are sprouting by now."
I was happy that this group of kids got to visit Manhattan, but I was even happier to bring them back home. Hopefully, this trip will help them understand there is a big world out there waiting for them, and they can choose to live and conquer any part of it, whether it be the bustling streets of New York City or the grassy bank of Jack's Creek. School trips that expose these mountain kids to such diversity is a true blessing, and I am thankful to have shared this experience with them. And, to Evil Nancy I still say, "Suck it."
|Some of the good kids that made the trip great!|