Lancaster County Adventures

Some weeks I can’t think of what to write about because my life is exquisitely boring. Other times, like this week, I can’t think of what to write about because SO much has happened I can’t choose. My brain is still groping for quietness after a round of social overstimulation. My stomach is still finding its happy place after a ride on the roller coaster of Lancaster County country roads. My heart is still processing the inspiration, encouragement and refreshment I received at the REACH ministry conference put on by Faith Builders. 

So, in lieu of an intelligent and cohesive blog post, let me share a few scattered highlights:

  • Marnell and I and our two nephews listened to Killing Kennedy
    by Bill O’Reilly as we traveled the nine hours of road between Elkhart, Indiana and Lancaster, Pennsylvania. (I had never read the book, but just so you know, Kennedy’s morals give this book a distinct dark side.) We drove Marnell’s brother Lowell’s newly purchased van which they let us take halfway across the country the day after they bought it. Now that’s high-end generosity!
  • I was served a custom low fat crab omelet at 6:45 am at my cousin Laura’s breakfast table. Now that’s high-end hospitality!
  • In the ministry displays room at REACH, I introduced myself as the writer who can’t help doing surveys. I haven’t compiled my informal data yet, but I was inspired by the deep hopes and dreams of the staff who shared about their struggles and triumphs. I also met many long lost people who I hadn’t seen in years (Bev, Katrina, Sarah, Shari, Danette, for example). What a great thing to run into old friends and find that they are serving the Lord! And several people who read this blog said hello. (It was nice to meet you Lois, Sarah, Rachel, Regina, Lysanne….I’m sorry if I am missing someone who introduced themselves.)
  • I smelled an aroma of cedar wood, giant drill bits and construction dust while one of the managers of the Ark Encounter project showed us blue prints and talked about timber framing and meting out good measure.
  • It was quite an experience to spill out the sanctuary doors at REACH with the other thousand or two people, like kernels of grain falling through holes in a barrel, bumping against each other as we flowed forward. Marnell and his nephews Verlyn and Darl were part of the team to record the audio of the many different breakout sessions. I mostly got to relax and absorb encouragement and challenges from Paul Yoder, Merle Burkholder, Rick Rhodes, Johnny Miller, John Coblentz and others. I missed a few of the main sessions, including music by Faith Builders and SMBI, due to my timber framing excursion, which made me quite sad.
  • I got to slip over to the Coffee Station and attend the author meet and greet of Dorcas Smucker and Emily Smucker. We had a nice chat, and now I have some great books to read and learn from!
  • I laughed helplessly with my cousin Sara during some untoward events that ALSO occurred in connection with the timber framing business.

I collapsed into bed exhausted each night, my limbs aching. I longed to be fed through a mythical human wringer washer as a massage treatment. (The flattening effect would be welcome as well.) Some people may thrive on social activity. That’s not really me, even though I enjoyed each item on the packed schedule.

Yes, I know its really weird that I mention timber framing in the above list. It is a little hard to explain at this moment. However, there is a piece of the story I really must share with you.

As we motored west on I-80 over the temperamental PA landscape and then over the boring Ohio landscape, I verbalized my dilemma about what to write in my blog post tonight.

“I might write about the three robins,” I said.

I thought I would share it with you tonight, but I think I need to unpack my bags first. We just got home. So keep an eye out for What-Not-To-Do-Wednesday next week, because the robin story would never have occurred had I not done something stupid.

And while I have you, can someone tell me why, to go north from my cousin Sara’s house to my cousin Laura’s house in a short eighteen mile journey through Lancaster County, did I have to make 12 turns? In Elkhart County, if we want to go 18 miles north, we go straight. We don’t turn TWELVE times. I felt like I was a red blood cell driving inside a varicose vein.

But pardon my whining! Lancaster County was very good to us. I am hoping to share more about my experiences this week once my brain, stomach, and heart are better sorted.

God bless the remainder of your weekend!

16 thoughts on “Lancaster County Adventures”

  1. I live just north : ) of Lancaster County and I haven’t figured it all out, either! While I drive mostly South to reach Lancaster County, there are definitely many turns to the West, too! After all, “life is a journey”!! The most frustrating part of reaching any destination currently is the MANY detours necessary due to road work / high water / or whatever else makes detours necessary!
    Thanks for explaining why I’ve ALWAYS liked roller coasters – they’re almost home! : )

    1. I’m sure it would help if I didn’t get sick easily! Thanks for the commentary. Life is a journey, yes!

  2. As a native Lancasterian I grew up with the legend that our roads were the direct results of the wagon trails the early settlers used – and since horses instinctively picked their way around things, thus we’ve are doomed to drive around those now-extinct obstacles.
    And as I tell complaining friends-of-flat-geography, when I drive to a nearby town, I have the fun of 3 or 4 options, not just one boring straight shot! 🙂

  3. When our daughter Beth who grew up in Lancaster County and now moved to Indiana, comes east to PA she asks her husband if she could drive for she misses the curves and bends! We are interesting creatures.

    Yes REACH is amazing. Glad you were able to experience the conference, Katrina!

  4. Some of the back roads were actually Indian trails before they became wagon trails. The streams and rivers also played a part in the roads. Just looking at the Conestoga (Creek) River curving through the county explains some of the “need” for curvy roads.
    (I’ve heard the same statement about roads going straight from my husband who grew up in Wisconsin.)Glad you were able to take the conference.

  5. Thanks for this post, Katrina! And I, too, enjoyed meeting you and talking for a bit… 🙂 Looking forward to What-Not-To-Do-Wednesday! 😉

  6. Ahh, now I really wish I could have come to REACH – a number of our staff/admin were there. Some of us went to an Infection Preventionist training instead…

    I am 100% with you on the road conditions – or lack of them!! It was so refreshing to drive along perfectly straight and mostly flat roads a week ago in MN!! Loved the mental picture of a red blood cell in a varicose vein 😂.

    1. It would have been great to see you! It was more interesting than the infection prevention training I’ve experienced so far!

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