Trip Start Apr 15, 2013
357Trip End Oct 31, 2014
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John and I left their campground early afternoon yesterday (quite sadly because we didn't want to leave) to venture forth and conquer Carney’s Point. About five minutes of driving around Carney’s Point, we realized that everyone had gone elsewhere to celebrate Memorial Day and we were left with an almost empty town with parking spaces not quite large enough to accommodate our Idris (the RV…not sure if folks reading this have caught onto her name yet). We ended up at a park near the river (which river, I have no idea) and we set up camp there for a while, ate lunch, and strategized
As soon as I identified us on the phone and explained the situation, we were told to get ourselves back to the campground and park ourselves back on our same camping spot with full hook-ups…completely on the house. The woman on the phone said she was worried when we had told her we were trying to find a place to stay in Carney’s Point because she knew there wouldn’t be anything, so she said they wanted to help us out.
At this point in the conversation, I started tearing up a bit because I had just been telling John that it was hard to be out on the road sometimes when it feels like we have no connections anywhere and we have no one immediately around us who care about our well-being. And then we did. It was quite a humbling moment.
We made our way back to the campground, after making some phone calls to some sponsors and our friend Pat (who we’re meeting up with next week), and the folks in the office had already left for the day, so we drove back to our lot (#148) and settled in
This morning, we woke up at 6:15a (rather dejectedly; it’s been really nice having a few days to sleep in!) and settled into our regular morning routine: I get dressed right away, lay out his clown suit, and get his shoes, wig, and hat out for him. He shaves and begins his make-up. Once he gets to a certain point in his make-up, I can’t walk around the RV anymore (it shakes too much), so I try to get as much done as possible before that point. I took care of filling up our fresh water, dumping grey & black water, and throwing our trash out. By 8:15a, we were on our way.
We met up with the sponsor contact who told us that she had someone else set up to drive us: Allison, a young woman who works at the YMCA along with our contact. Allison got us into her car and we were off! They had quite the schedule for us today (yay!) and they had even typed it up and printed it out for us to reference too…so handy!!
One adult day care, one nursing home, two schools, and two after school programs…whew
Good appearances overall…we’ve found that at nursing homes, the best use of our time is simply sitting and talking with people; making that personal connection with as many of them as we can. They’re not looking so much to be entertained as they are for someone to talk to, so we’ve toned down the program content and have made time to go table to table, which seems to be going over a lot better. We’ve both held many hands, heard many stories, and I even helped a lady finish her crossword…we talk about the circus too and that usually leads to stories of younger years and when they took their now-grown children to the circus. We’re very blessed to be the vessels for so many cherished memories and stories.
One thing we’re realizing in schools/daycares right now is that the kids are restless and they’re ready for summer vacation! Haha…it’s getting harder and harder to keep their attention in assemblies and even though the kids are raving about the program as they walk back to their classrooms ("That clown was crazy funny!!" “I wish the clown could stay with us all day!” “He can’t because he has to visit OTHER kids too!”), it’s hard to tell during the assembly if they’re even listening. Oh well, I remember getting to this point in the school year and having a hard time concentrating also. J
We ended the day at an after school program and this group of kids just absolutely made our day. They wanted to ask J.P. lots of questions before he did his program, so he went ahead and let them ask their questions. The questions were some of the most insightful ones we’ve heard from adults and kids alike: “Why do you have a black dot on your chin?”, “Why do clown noses look different on every clown?”, “This is more of a comment than a question: Sometimes when I see clowns in circuses, they’re annoying.”, “Why are your pants so baggy?”, and “Why do some people think clowns are weird and scary? I don’t think they’re weird or scary at all!”
John loved it…he answered each and every question and the kids were really interested and excited about the answers. He was able to do a little bit from his program, we handed out flyers, and he was able to make a lot of kids the heroes by having them tell hilarious jokes AND one kid told John he wanted to teach him how to balance a broomstick on his hand. John went along with it, grabbed a broom, and the kid showed off his mad skills. John pretended not to know how to do it, so he encouraged the kid to teach him, and the kid couldn’t have been more proud.
What a fabulous way to end the day. A good reminder of why we’re out here…