If you have been waiting to hear if we ever saw a Gator, we regret to inform you that we did not. I guess it only confirms that we will have to get back to the South. We are currently about as far from the south as possible. The last two weeks have been spent in New York City and New Hampshire.
In New York we had the privilege of playing for and staying with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. The Franciscans model their lives after St. Francis of Assisi. They each have taken a vow of poverty, which means they don’t technically own anything, and they live lives completely on the limb of providence of God serving the poor and sharing the Good News of Jesus. Staying with them felt like you lived with a bunch of loving and authentic brothers, and they generously welcomed us into their home. We loved sharing meals, hearing their stories, and playing our favorite game with them. They were so fun that they had Elizabeth stay up until 2 A.M. and if you know anything about her, that is a miracle!
It was incredibly refreshing to work our way further north to quiet and peaceful New Hampshire. We were blessed to stay with my cousin Brian and his family along the way and we enjoyed some quality family time including a game of soccer. It was confirmed that my future is not with MLS (Major League Soccer) considering I was being outplayed by a barefooted 12 year old! In New Hampshire we played at Dartmouth College and felt like we were home in Minnesota, surrounded by lakes and trees (with the addition of mountains). We couldn’t resist the opportunity to camp and hike, so we spent a few days in the White Mountain National Park.
I can now sing my lyrics “I can climb mountains, I can swim oceans, I can run anywhere I please…” from my song, “The Champion,” with a deeper appreciation. We decided to hike Mount Washington, apparently the highest mountain on the East Coast. Needless to say, we didn’t quite approach the hike with the respect the mountain demanded. We showed up with our running shoes, a few layers, and granola bars. We talked to the park ranger and she kindly informed us that we wouldn’t be summiting because there was still ice and drifts of snow, and we were not sufficiently prepared. She said we could try and see how far we could get… That was all Elizabeth needed to hear! Eight hours later, a lot of prayers, and totaled shoes (Mill City Running, we will be heading your way when we get home) we made it to the summit! We were brimming with relief, and might I say pride, until we saw a parked car and realized people can drive to the top! The Lord sure has a way of keeping us humble! Not only that, but every step we take, our quads remind us of our overzealousness.
Despite lots of exerted energy, we both feel refreshed and excited for the next couple of weeks. We have been playing a few house concerts this week between New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Boston. We will be playing a Memorial Day Service down in Virginia Beach and look forward to the special people we will be playing for, including family and military.
From both of us, we thank you for your support. We hope you have a safe and blessed Memorial Day weekend. We especially thank those that are constantly defending our country, so that we can live in freedom.