Friday, November 3, 2006

Where Am I?

This past weekend, Oddwalk had the great fortune of being booked into two dioceses, Ogdensburg, NY, and Sioux City, IA. While we consider ouselves blessed, arranging travel for those few days was a bit crazy. It would have been even crazier, but Orin was only able to make our booking in Iowa on Sunday. Here is a summary of the weekend:

On Friday, October 27th, I flew from St. Louis' Lambert Airport, through Chicago O'Hare, to Ottowa International Airport. That's right, Canada. I then rented a car and suddenly discovered that my first ever experience in Canada shouldn't have involved navigating the roads by myself as well. After a lot of driving around in circles, I headed about 50 miles south to the Canada/U.S. border, got the O.K. to cross and entered the U.S. in Ogdesburg. This was also the location for the youth rally the next day. Due to the fabulous directions provided by Yahoo! Maps, I proceeded to turn what should have been a ten minute drive to the conference center into a 45 minute drive. Thanks Yahoo!

I finally arrived at Wadhams Hall, the site for the event the next day, in time to catch the last three innings of game 5 of the World Series; the Cardinals World Championship-clinching game 5 that is. Suddenly, I felt much better about the whole day.

The event the next day went really well. Rose Morgan, and the rest event organizers, were anticipating a low turnout. This was based on a total of eight registrations that came in by the deadline date, eleven days earlier. When the final numbers were tallied on the day of the rally, they had been blessed with an attendance of over 250 youth and adults. God is truly good! Thanks to all of the diocesan staff and event organizers who stuck with the event even through an anticipated low turnout.

When I was done speaking at 3:15pm, I had about 15 minutes to pack up my stuff, talk to a few people, sell some merchandise, and get on the road back to Ottawa. Once on the road, I raced up to Ottawa, turned the car in, and barely got checked in on time for my 6:05pm flight. During that span of time, Orin finished the wedding he was playing for and pointed his car (wife and all) toward Omaha, Nebraska.

From Ottawa, I flew through O'Hare to Omaha's Epply Airfield. The plan was for me to get my bags and meet Orin and Erin at the airport. All but the bags part worked out perfectly. When I got to baggage claim, my two bags hadn't shown up. When I say "two bags", what I really mean is one suitcase and one guitar. My guitar didn't arrive! AHHH! The baggage office told me that the bags would likely come on the morning flight from Chicago and they would be delivered to me. All I could do was pray.

Orin and Erin picked me up and the three of us traveled about two hours north to Le Mars, IA, home of Blue Bunny Ice Cream.

The next day came but the bags didn't. Therefore, armed a new wardrobe from Wal-Mart and a borrowed guitar (thanks Heath), Orin and I keynoted the youth rally for the Diocese of Sioux City, IA. The event drew almost 800 teens from all over the diocese and was highlighted by Mass with Bishop Nickless and performances by SevenGlory and Heath McNease. It was a wonderful day and Oddwalk felt blessed to be part of it. Kudos to Jessica LeFleur, the diocesan staff, and all of the volunteers for engineering such a wonderful opportunity for the teens to learn what it means to be "Catholic to the Core".

After a dip in the hot tub and pool on Sunday night, the Oddwalk "party-on-wheels" headed for home. After a brief stop at Epply Airfield to pick up my suitcase, (still no guitar...they think it's lost for good) we drove 450 miles to my house where my wife Erin treated us to a wonderful dinner and dessert.

It was a very crazy, but a truly wonderful weekend. God has blessed this ministry abundantly!

Yay God!


  1. the poor guitar, at least it wasn't the oddwalk keytar, that would have been very bad to lose that

  2. That's amazing. Thanks for the sympathy.

  3. Wow Shannon! What a trip! That stinks about your guitar though! What a bummer!

  4. *cough* you forgot the best part of the trip (and really the whole reason I went)


  5. How's that cactus bread for Erin S. doing in the back of your car? ;)