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June 29, 2010 / teamoperationprogress

Eve of Day 6 into Day 7 – A different perspective

The president of Operation Progress, Johnny “Jay” Coughlin and I arrived at LAX airport in Los Angeles with a replacement wheel chair in tow.  We were set to board a red eye flight to Cleveland, Ohio where we would drive 4+ hours to Blanchester, Ohio to meet up with Team Operation Progress.  Our plan was to drop our rental car and crew with the team into Annapolis, MD.

We were getting text warning us not to come. Telling us not to come.  Saying it would be “like joining a Haitian Refugee Raft…NO ROOM!”  We thought they were thinking of our comfort and sanity and laughed it off as we boarded our plane. We later found out that they did not want us to come and take up any of the coveted sleeping quarters.  We learned people slept on there knees with their head in a chair seat, others on the floor by a door.  We decided to keep the mini van and while it was on errands, I found a cozy foxhole under the dash, on the floor of the passenger side seat  of the motor home and rested my eyes for 30 mins.

It was hot and muggy but that did not stop the Blanchester Police Department from showing up in full force with a smiling crew of Officers there to greet the team and take pictures with Kristina.  We exchanged Police Patches and every one grabbed a quick bite at the McDonalds and then we headed off to the next time station.

The day turned slowly into night.  It was 9PM when I sent a sunset picture home to the West Coast via my iphone.  The team had a magnificent dinner prepared by Sal, Max & Carol.  Fajitas and Refried Beans and Tortillas.  Carne asada was amazing as well!  Quite a treat and everyone headed for the RV for a quick nap!

Johnny got a hotel room for the RV drivers once he heard they had slept very little and we were in for a long haul.  Almost 4 hours to the next time station so we sent them to shower, and rest up.  The snoring symphony had begun in the motor homes and a few stragglers unfolded their cots near the field of fireflies and took a quick nap before we packed up the crew and headed out once again.

I found Monica on the side of the RV on her hands and knees washing Fran’s riding clothes so she would be ready for her next ride.  People improvised as needed and only a few ever really complained.  An amazing group.

Johnny, Kim and I slept in the mini van and then headed out with the team ahead about 4 hours to the next time station.  Saturday blended into Sunday….


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