Tag Archives: carriage-driving

Mondays

Sheesh, has it really been three days since I last updated? I didn’t really think the weekend had been that busy, but I suppose it was. How about some highlights?

  • Friday night was Halo night. Terrible night for me. I have absolutely “zero game”:http://www.bungie.net/Stats/PlayerStats.aspx?player=Demag0gue. Dunno what happened. I guess we all just have our off nights.
  • Saturday involved guests over in the morning and early afternoon, followed by carriage driving downtown for the evening. Nasty little thunderstorm made for a shorter night, so we were home early, horses fed, and in bed by 2AM. Quite nice by comparison to most Saturdays.
  • Sunday was my day to complete my third flash challenge at “Liberty Hall”:http://www.libertyhallwriters.org. It’s funny how being able to complete one of those challenges always gives me a sense of accomplishment and productivity for the weekend, no matter how badly other things go. Over 1000 words for this one, and another story that, with some expansion and polish, may be submission worthy. I’m starting to get backlogged on stories that need polishing…
  • Then, of course, this morning everything gets wacky. How is it that Mondays end up being the days where so many things go wrong? The horse feed this morning was done in the pitch black, in the pouring rain, with thunder and lightning all around. Plus a large tree branch fell while I was out there and sprawled across my car. I had to move it before we could leave for work this morning. And wouldn’t you know it? Just when I go inside to get cleaned up for work, the rain stops.

Busy week ahead. Much to do today and tomorrow. But the bonus is the upcoming 3-day weekend. That’ll be a nice relief.

More from the Driver’s Seat of a Horse-Drawn Carriage

“GenCon”:http://www.gencon.com/2006/indy/ weekend in Indy is always an amusing and interesting time to drive carriages. The things that you see downtown:

  • Apparently the years have not been good to Darth Vader. He’s both shorter and rounder than his last appearance. Spending too much time in the Los Eisley Cantina, perhaps?
  • This one is _not_ related to GenCon attendees – a grandma leading her three grandkids into the mall? The grandma’s outfit? Shorts, and just a bra beneath a large-weave fishnet top. I think I could have gone all my life without needing to see that.
  • Also not related to GenCon – a group of four adults came up to pet my horse. Afterwards, they all broke out the hand sanitizer and proceeded to ‘bathe’ in it for the next five minutes. Honest, folks – my horse had a bath before coming out to work.
  • I had to do a double-take on this one. I’m used to seeing homeless people with their cardboard signs asking for handouts (“God bless”). So when I first saw the cardboard sign next to the convention center, I almost waved it off. Then I noticed that the text was different – “For sale: Longsword, shield chainmail.” Only at GenCon.
  • Apparently, the night before, there was an epic battle between Jedi along the Canal Walk district. And from what I hear, time has not been especially good to the Jedi, either.
  • R2D2 was captured by Boba Fett and then taken to a nearby parking garage. Not word on what happened after that, but there was quite a bit of squawking, beeping, and squeaking coming from the 2nd level.
  • Fairies, pixies, pirates, and anime characters abounded. Swashbucklers, fire jugglers, and knife throwers also were present.

As I said, good times. It was a very entertaining evening that passed by very quickly. I only wish I could have had the time and money to buy a pass to the convention myself. I can pretty much guarantee I would have been geeked out.

Observations from the Driver’s Seat of a Horse-Drawn Carriage, Redux

For several Saturdays running now, I’ve been back driving carriages in downtown Indy, and as usual you see all kinds of interesting things during the hours spent circling the streets. Here’s a few of the things I saw last night:

  • Inevitably, there are always a handful of bums and homeless people on the streets. And, also inevitably, they tend to exhibit some of the most peculiar behaviors. One gentlemen, early in the evening, began to serenade one of our female drivers, who then looked like she could have crawled under her carriage and died. Another fellow randomly walked up to a couple of mall employees, who were outside on their cigarette break, and without saying a word, began dancing in front of them, glaring all the while. Then he walked away, leaving those of us watching stupefied and moderately amused.
  • There are always people downtown begging for money. Maybe about half of them actually look like they need it – filthy clothing, matted hair, actually look like they’ve been living on the streets for an indeterminate amount of time. Another quarter of these people attempt to earn their income by playing various instruments, the saxophone and guitar being the most common. The rest, however, look like they got out of bed that morning, took their daily shower, put on their nice clean clothes, then grabbed their plastic cup with two or three quarters in the bottom on their way to stand out on the sidewalk to beg. Near as I can tell, most of this latter group of people _should_ be able to get a job.
  • And speaking of the guys who play sax downtown, one last night was really good. He seemed to really know how to play jazz and was jamming it up. The other guy I had to wonder about – has anyone ever told him that what he was playing were the saxophone accompaniments to larger works? Apparently he couldn’t tell that his ‘music’ held very little melodic value, which made sense, considering he _wasn’t_ actually playing any melody. Oh, the amusement level there was high.
  • I stopped at a light at one point in the evening to see a kid of perhaps 10, 12 years of age rolling across the crosswalk. No big deal, right? He was probably roller blades. Actually, he was wearing roller sneakers. I’ve never seen anything like this – he had a wheel in the heel of each of his tennis shoes and would lean back on them whenever the ground tilted downward.
  • Lamborghinis are old hat by now. Same with Ferraris, Porsches, and every sports car of every variety. These vehicles are all too common downtown, especially on the weekends and especially around Formula One. (I don’t even think those cars are all that pretty.)

That’s just a taste of what I usually see in the course of an evening driving carriages, and it generally only gets more exotic and interesting after 11:00, when the night club crowd hits the streets in force. One never lacks for entertainment, that’s for sure.

More Observations from the Driver’s Seat of a Horse-Drawn Carriage

Last night was my last night of the carriage-driving season (though certainly not for the company). And with getting settled into my new job, it may have been my last night as a carriage driver, ever.

As is typical of spending a lengthy shift traveling endless circles around downtown, you see a lot of interesting or amusing things. Here are a few that I noted last night:

  • Rows upon rows of parking meters, tied off by the city police as ‘No Parking’. Of course, every single one of them had a vehicle parked at it, none of which had special parking permits.
  • A woman driving past my carriage with no less than three dogs sitting in her lap, barking out her window.
  • The irony of using a power sprayer to break up and remove ice from the steps of Monument Circle — in 28 degree weather.
  • Inner city kids crossing the street against the light, standing in front of cars to prevent their passing through the intersection and flipping them off for getting so close.
  • The guy playing the saxophone on the corner, who switches Christmas songs in mid-tune because he suddenly realizes he doesn’t know how to play the rest of the current tune.
  • Automobile drivers who, ironically enough, become _less_ pleasant and _less_ respectful of carriage drivers the closer to Christmas we get.

All in all it was a great night for carriage driving. Riders were more than generous, the weather was cold but not windy, and it was my last night of the season. Change is in the air. It is almost palpable, and I can’t wait to see all the changes that the future holds.

Crossing the Denominational Divide

The quadrennial national Nazarene convention is in Indianapolis this week. Since I am currently driving carriages downtown most nights this week, I frequently take a group of people for a ride who are a part of that convention. Last night, I loaded a group of six, and because space was tight in the carriage itself, one of the gentlemen in the group sat up in the box with me for the duration of the ride. We quickly established a common ground of discussion when I mentioned
that I am a pastor’s kid and he is a pastor. For the next 25 minutes, we had a very enjoyable discussion about all manner of things Christian.

Once I dropped them off and began my next ride of the evening, I noticed a curious phenomenon — I actually felt both energized and hopeful for the first time in a very long time. It was the first time I had left the presence of Christians (who are not part of my inner social group) feeling refreshed at the fellowship shared and hopeful about the state of the Body. And then I chuckled when I remembered that the group I had just fellowshipped with was Nazarene. While I do have some theological differings from the Nazarene Church, I was overjoyed to rediscover that it is possible to cross the denominational divide and enjoy good, Christian
fellowship anyhow. Sometimes, I think we in the Body can get so wrapped up in the idea that “so-and-so is part of that denomination, so I can’t fellowship with him” that we miss out on some of the greatest blessings of fellowship. Personally, I would love to see more people putting aside or ignoring the denominational divide and spending more time urging the Body to work together in fellowship and unity. Ultimately, I think it would benefit the Church as a whole
and might undo some of the damage done by the extremes that always seem to make the news and give Christians as a whole such a bad name.

Blessings!

What a great and awesome God we serve! Right after I posted the information about our burglarly, I checked our online bank statement and found that the problem there has been, for the most part, rectified. So we have access to our money again, which is a huge praise!

Elizabeth and I were able to work hard on Saturday night driving carriages, and God allowed us to earn enough money to replace what cash was stolen.

We have also had a couple of friends who were gracious enough to send us some money to help out in our time of need. To you, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You have blessed and encouraged us more than you realize.

And now, for the most amazing part of this so far! Last night, I received a phone call from my band director from high school. He teaches a Sunday School class at a little church in WV. He told me that something new occurred this week — he was asked to teach both of the adult Sunday school classes in a combined setting. One part of the lesson talked about questioning your faith. Apparently, our story (and how we looked to God rather than blaming Him) impressed him enough that he felt led to share it with his class as an illustration. He did not ask them for anything, and yet, when class was over, people began coming up to him, handing him money to send to us. From a little 70-80 member church, they collected nearly $275! I share this story, not to impress you with our faith, but to boast in the faithfulness of our loving, compassionate God and the grace of His Body in reaching out to complete strangers in their time of need. Elizabeth and I have been so humbled by this, that God could choose to use us to encourage other believers and to, in turn, encourage us 10-fold.

We still do not fully understand God’s purpose in allowing this, and perhaps never will, but we can, at least, see how He uses all things for His own glory and for the edification of the saints.

Our sense of peace and security is still shaky at this time, so we continue to ask your prayers for this need. It is hard to feel safe in your own home when it has been so rudely violated, but we trust God to protect us.

Thank you for the many emails and phone calls expressing your love, encouragement, and support. It has meant so much to us.

Robbed!

It is now nearly 4 AM on Saturday, and Elizabeth and I are only just getting to bed. We arrived home from carriage driving in downtown Indy at about a quarter to 2, just a couple of hours ago, to find that our townhouse had been broken into, burglarized, and ransacked. It was an obvious smash and dash job, though the burglars had time to completely destroy our living room and upset our computers in our upstairs study. All told, it could have been worse…. they made off with only Liz’s new stereo system (that she received for her birthday last year), our DVD player, a handful of Sega games (but NOT the Sega Genesis itself or my Playstation, all our remote controls, and $160 in cash. The cash itself was crucial to us, as it was the way in which we were going to pay the vet bill for our horses this coming Tuesday, so they could get their annual vaccinations. We called the police, who came and took a statement, and then we called a maintenance man from our complex to come and temporarily fix our back patio door, since the locking mechanism had been broken when it was jimmied open. Needless to say, neither one of us feels very safe tonight. We are sad and discouraged at this setback and wonder most of all why God would allow this to happen to us.

To add insult to injury, a significant bank error has occurred this week that has frozen us out of our primary checking account. To make a long story short, a $28 check that we wrote on Wednesday was mistakenly deducted from our account to the tune of nearly $3,700, overdrawing our account by $2,600!! We are working with our bank to rectify the problem, but it will probably be into next week before we are able to access our money. Needless to say, with tonight’s burglarly, we have no money to get us through until our account is accessible to us again, other than what meager tips we earned from carriage driving this evening.

Your prayers are coveted right now. We know that God has His reasons for allowing this to happen to us right now. We only wish we knew what they are. Lord willing, this will be the extent of the testing He has for us. Pray that we will learn what we are supposed to from these trials.