On Wednesday, I was sitting in Wegmans typing the previous post (see Part 1 below) on adventure. First of all, the Wegmans near where I live here is extremely nice. The room I was in was called the Timber Room, fashioned to look like a large log cabin living room with a fireplace, and across from me was The Pub. Wegmans has its own bar now. Crazy. Anyway, in the middle of writing the post (on adventure), I had to leave for a counseling appointment at a church nearby. As I drove down the road to the church, I noticed emergency vehicles, flashing lights, and flares set up straight ahead, down the hill. And over the next hill, beyond the church, I could see the road blocked on the other side as well. Some firemen redirected me (and the rest of traffic) to the right, down a neighborhood street that looped backwards. I quickly yanked out my iPhone, pulled up my current location on Google Maps, and discovered there was no simple way to go around this mess. Plus, the road on the other side of the entrance was blocked off.
But I could see the church lights--they were right there! I quickly pulled my car along the curb, in front of some stranger's house and said, out loud, "Oh yeah. This is happening." There was no way I was going to call and cancel my appointment, with the church lights in sight. (The church lights being in my sight would really be the driving force in all this...lights will guide you home, right Chris Martin?) I pulled my Steelers tossle cap tightly over my head, zipped up my coat, grabbed my laptop bag (can't leave the Macbook in the freezing cold, adventure or not), and began the "Paul's got to get to this appointment" adventure.
I began by doing what most adventurers and explorers do: whipped out my iPhone and brought up my Flashlight app, as I crept through the dark yard in between two poorly lit homes. The first sign of trouble was that everything was going downhill (literally) very quickly, and the church was straight ahead, uphill. Oh, and the sound of running water. I dashed behind a shed before creeping forward, then...pyyyuuck. In case you are wondering, that is the sound of my suede work loafers squishing into a mud/grass/bog symbiote. I shone my iPhone flashlight on the ground. Like, 4 inches off the ground because the light it creates really isn't all that great. Muck. Apparently, all the rain we've had has drained down into the bottom of this nice family's yard.
When I was little I was always AWESOME at the lava game--the game in which you climb on all the furniture and can't touch the floor (because it's lava). I always won this game--because I always played it by myself. Well who says pretend games don't come in handy? Only a few feet away from me was a large playground set. I jumped onto the set and literally monkey-swung and shimmied my way across the entire thing, stopping only on the shifty horse-swing to make sure my Macbook wasn't falling out of my bag (oh, and laugh hysterically all the way, like a maniac. A quiet maniac, though, because I was in some stranger's backyard).
At the end of the swingset, I dropped down right by the bed of the stream I had heard earlier. Jumping across a stream, in the pitch black, with dress shoes on, with a heavy laptop bag, makes for an adrenaline-packed experience. I'm sure if I took any of you back there with me, you would be extremely underwhelmed. Nevertheless, I jumped, and made it. Now the church is just up the hill--I can see the lights through the trees. Problem is, about 50 feet of thick brush stood between me and my destination. I tried to make my way through, but an abundance of thorns and a useless iPhone Flashlight app made me rethink. I ended up following the stream for a while until I found a relative break in the brush.
I made it through the wooded barrier, climbed up a steep bank, and there I was! Glory Land! The back of the church parking lot! And fifteen minutes late! I sprinted through the parking lot, then slowed down at the door and tried to play it cool, like I hadn't just gone all Man-vs.-Wild moments before.
"Come on back, Paul." The counselor waved me through the doorway.
"...O...K...," I pushed out through gasping breaths. "Can...we...I...is...water...?"
It was then that she noticed my flushed face, my rising and falling chest, and oh, my mud-covered pants and shoes.
And that is officially the coolest "How I got to church" story I've ever had.