Saturday, February 15, 2014

Stories from the Mission... bit 48

  Now that I'm in transportation I get 2 days off a week, something I haven't had in 6 months. Now that I have the free time I've been trying out the other churches that the mission brings guys to on Sunday, besides Crawford that I have been attending. Broadview has an amazing choir, a lot of women, but it felt sterile to me, the building is so industrial. Moody has all kinds of ambiance, red brick, lots of wood inside, a wide variety of women... but I'm afraid that the two times I went, I feel asleep during the service... not a good sign. Today I went to Christ Bible church and really liked it, the choir is good, lots of women and the message was great. Pastor Ford is a really good preacher, no doubt. I've been to New Eden about 5 times now, a real experience. The bus has a podium in it and they preach to you on the way to church! Loudly. I'd call it a hard line southern Baptist church, situated in what used to be a home. If you want to see what church was like in the 1850's, go there in the summer when the AC isn't working. I still haven't found a church that feels right for me.
   Random thought that I've been meaning to write, the guys that ran the conduit in this building where masters! It's run like art! I find myself looking at the exposed pipes and am impressed, I even found one pipe that has 7 bends in it! (In the stairwell, second floor, above the door).
   7:00am The smell in the bathroom of dorm 3014 reminded me of the farm. Must have been back in 1996, the Bulls where starting the second three peat, I'd get up to the farm on a Friday night with no one around. I had a favorite tiger of mine, Kiesha, that had a cage in the main barn. She had been abused by a guy in a red baseball cap and would go nuts if anyone walked by in one. I mean, she would let out the chainsaw from hell roars! I was one of the few that could calm her down by saying her name loudly and chuffing to her. She'd look at me, chuff a bit, get mad at the red hat person again and so I'd talk with her more till she let it go. I've always loved hammocks, so I set a couple of big hooks into the beams above the walk way in the barn in front of her cage. On those special Friday nights, I'd hang the hammock, turn on a radio softly, listen to the game and talk with her for hours. Eventually the game would end, so I'd turn off the radio, lay back in the netting, close my eyes and explore the farm with my mind and senses. I could tell by the sounds of each big cat where they where, I had gotten to know them pretty well over the last 3 years. The occasional Ruh ruh ruuh of Chloie the Jaguar, the moans of one of the tigers betting up, the cougars getting playful in the cage at the end of the barn. The best was what I call the chorus. One tiger or lion would start, a low groan and then ruh ruh ruuuh ruhhhh. He'd repeat it while a few more joined in and it would build till all 30 plus cats and even the dogs would join in, each distinct, roaring, ruuhing, barking and howling, declaring to all the world within ear shot that this is their territory! Sometimes it would last 3 or 4 minutes, but seem a lot longer. Magnificent. It would happen mainly in the evenings and hit some notes that where sub sonic, traveling through the ground for miles. I know as it would vibrate my air mattress when I was sleeping in the tent. It might wake you up, but it was never a bother. I was doing what most people only see on TV. Another thing I would take in while laying in that hammock where the smells. They where heavy, musky smells that would tinge towards nasty if they didn't come from loved ones. That was years ago, as I swayed in the hammock on a far off farm on a Friday softness... and the memories come flooding back due to the stank in a mens bathroom... LOL.
   Another graduation tonight, they have three a year and 10 to 12 guys make it at a time. I've seen probably 500 guys come and go so far, so the odds are not high for anyone to make it through. I try to not think about it that way.
   I've been riding with Cleveland lately, which started out great, but he has just been crabby lately. Seems like anything I say is wrong, so I've been getting crabby too and just trying to not say anything. That is one thing I am getting better at, not responding to irritating people. I'm becoming one of those zombies.
   I have an inventive streak and sometimes I have big, outlandish ideas. What Chicago needs is a gondola ride and today I figured out where it should run. You might laugh, a gondola ride in the harsh Chicago weather? Think though, they have them at ski resorts all over the world, in much harsher conditions, all the way to the tops of mountains. If they can survive there, they can work here. I propose to run one from Riverside plaza on the south branch of the Chicago river, up to Wolf point, turning east towards Marina city, Trump tower, all the way along the river past Dusable park, heading northwards to go out to the end of navy pier. It would clear some of the traffic from the lake front and give incredible views of the breath taking tower tops along the river. I would have the run in one direction up high enough to be able to see the spires and the other, using the same towers, only about 40 feet up to be able to see the people and traffic along the river walks. Eventually, another run could be made from the pier to Soldier field and the museum campus. The views would be spectacular and it would become a world attraction to Chicago. Dear readers... if you have any connections to make this so, go ahead and run with it. It's one of those things where I just want to ride it too, lol.

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