Day 7: Inspiration Via Windows

70 miles, overcast, smaller shorter hills. The ride today was unanimously considered an easy ride from the team and most of us are starting to become more comfortable on our bikes. We have even been more inclined to think of stimulating conversation topics while riding rather than panting and thinking about how many miles until we finish.

The team has begun to notice how close were to the border of Canada by the increasing presence of Tim Horton’s, noticing Canadian brand beer at convenience stores, and even a Canadian flag sighting as the van passed a street close to the border. Because we are still in the state of New York, at times it feels like we are making no progress and the thought of reaching California seems far away, but things like this remind of us of the distance we are making.

One of the things I will remember most from today was the unexpected stained glass tutorial we received from a congregation member of the church we are staying in Blasdell, a town just outside of Buffalo (fun fact: Buffalo sauce was invented here). The man demonstrating for us, Ron, showed us the method of creating stained glass windows, and the precision and attention to detail that goes into completing this task. I had never really considered this process before and I was surprised by how time consuming and expensive this could be.

Ron explained to us that many churches are undergoing financial strain in these times and in order for the church to save money, himself and a few other members volunteered, none of whom were experienced in this type of work, dedicated weekly meetings to complete the task.  Spending three hours a week on the windows he predicted that the entire process of 9 sets of two windows would take 10 years in total, and since all the labor was volunteer, the church would only spend a fraction on it had specialists done it instead.

After his demonstration Ron began to talk to us about the effect that our cause had on the people we would meet and thanked us. He said to us “What we are doing with the windows is a small thing, but what your group is doing is a big thing. What you are doing is inspiring others” Another point Ron stressed was the importance of meeting and talking with people along the way. He even described his experience talking with a waitress the first time that he ventured west, was what he remembered most about his trip. Finally, my favorite Ron quote from this short meeting was “if you learn to like each other you can get a lot done.”

One more day in New York.




Comments (1)
  • Paul Benson says:

    Minimalism? I have yet to witness that especially when I was moving your oersonal possessions from your 3rd floor bedroom in Champaign to fall 2917 house in Champaign.

    Love, Dad

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