A few things. We’ve now been on the road for 1 month. We’ve traveled 4,066 miles. We’ve traveled through Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington – 11 states. And we’ve slept in the driveways and parking lots of 13 different hosts, not counting the odd nap here and there along the way.
We’ve lost a few things along the way, like water bottles and wash cloths. We’ve gained new appreciation for things like washers and dryers, hot showers, and refrigeration. We’re becoming leaner, more efficient and more organized at every stop.
Yesterday was our 3rd national pie event.
We got a lot of attention at Westlake Park yesterday.
CJ, our local host, said it looked like we were being swarmed by piranhas – but very polite piranhas!
Shalosh was alert and on guard for dropped crumbs, as always.
After only 45 minutes, all 5 pies were gone. We packed up our equipment and hiked back to CJ’s car with a considerably lighter load.
Today we’ve been resting up, scrubbing the pie goo out of our folding table and clothing, and planning our next move. And we got an incredible surprise from our local host – on top of letting us use their driveway to park in, their bathroom to shower in, their kitchen to cook in, and all the materials they’ve already provided, we are now the proud owners of …
A COUNTER TOP SUCTION CUP MAGIC APPLE CORER THINGAMAJIG!
I’m so excited! Peeling, slicing and coring enough apples for 1 pie is a chore by itself. Multiplied by 3 pies, or even 6 pies? It’s a big sticky mess. It’s usually my job to peel the apples, which Chris cores and slices. I think our record for one day is 40 apples. Now with one hand-cranked machine, we can do all that in probably under 30 seconds per apple.
Being on the road is changing us in big and little ways. We launched this trip in order to give, but we’re also learning how to receive. It’s tough! I feel awkward taking things from people, using things that belong to others. I think I might have gotten a little too much of that Mid-western reluctance-to-inconvenience-other-people-with-my-mere-presence thing. (Please, other Mid westerners, tell me you know what I’m talking about).
When I first started giving away pies in Ann Arbor, it was almost more of an intellectual exercise. When I told people to “pie it forward,” I had this vague notion of them doing kind things for other people, but certainly not for me! That would be weird, and selfish, right? But over and over again, as people have offered us things, they tell us, “You’re doing something really powerful, and I want to be a part of that.”
It’s hard not to argue. It’s hard to just accept the gifts and say “Thank you.” I wonder if this is what some people feel like when we offer them pie?