I awoke from a deep sleep as Fr. Shane came out from the rectory. It was just around sunrise. He told me he didn’t mean to wake me.
He opened up the parish hall so I could use the restrooms, got me a cup of cold water, and offered for me to keep the air mattress! I thought about it, but it was a little bulky and would weigh down the buggy. I already had enough things in there as it was. I thanked him the offer just the same, and for his works of mercy. I hit the road.
I made it to the laundry matt and washed all the dirty clothes I had. I went over to Jack in the Box and ate a breakfast burrito. The staff was very nice, and asked me all kinds of questions regarding the journey! They let me hang out and charge my phone as I waited on laundry.
I headed to the library and met some friends: Jesse, Marton, and Patrick. They were all on the street. Marton asked to use my cell phone charger and Jesse asked to use my phone to call a friend. I was able to help them both out. I had a few goodie bags of candy from a lunch I had back at Our Lady of Seven Dolors in Welsh. They were kind of melted from the heat, but the guys demolished them!
Jesse needed a new backpack, and I was able to help him out. He also needed some other things I was able to give him: a mosquito net, new toiletries, and a sleeping bag among other things. I also gave him some money. He was really thankful. He even gave some of the money to his friend Patrick. Jesse gave me two of his smaller back packs! We called it a trade, it was great!
The guys hang out at the library. They even sleep there. The police don’t bother them and are very nice to them. Jesse gave me a few pointers for around town. He pointed across the way to a place I could fill up a water bottle. We parted ways.
I met Ty and Blanche! Ty is Jude from Welsh, LA’s cousin. He was born a month apart from Jude. They are like brothers! Ty and his wife Blanche had been texting me throughout the day and were able to meet up! They have grandchildren, you wouldn’t know by looking at them!
Ty and Blanche were on their way home to Welsh from Houston. They were dropping off a delivery of crawfish. They found out about me through Jude and Vendi the day before and decided to meet me in Beaumont! They brought me to a gas station and bought me cold waters, and even gave me a donation!
We headed to the Saint Anthony Cathedral Basilica for the 4 p.m. vigil Mass. We passed through the Holy Door of Mercy together.
After Mass, I spoke for a few minutes with Fr. Jerry. His anniversary for his ordination was Sunday, 36 years! Turns out he is from Natick, Mass! We talked about home, it was great! Fr. Jerry has a friend named Kevin who is currently walking El Camino del Santiago in Spain.
Ty and Blanche took me out to dinner! It was a great suprise that Jude and Vendi from Welsh, LA would be joining us! I even got a phone call from Fr. Alan back at Our Lady of Seven Dolors. He told me to stop stealing his friends, haha! It was great to hear from him.
We headed to Papadeaux’s just off I-10. The place was packed! I think it was graduation or the prom or something. There was even a live band!
It felt so good to be among friends, it even somehow felt like family! Blanche’s mom once had a restaurant back in Welsh. There are lots of good cooks in her family! We ate like kings (… or Cajuns): frog legs, alligator, crawfish, and I had some gumbo too! We talked about all kinds of things: the journey, life back home, and cultural differences between the north east and the deep south. We even talked about Pope Francis!
It was such a great time. We laughed and chatted as lightening, rain, and thunder hit Beaumont Texas. What a great time with Ty and Blanche, Jude and Vendi!
Ty and Blanche put me up in a motel! We all felt thankful that I had a place to stay as the storm hit. We parted ways with Jude and Vendi and hit the road.
Ty gave me his cell phone charging block! It was great because I had given mine to Marton earlier that day. Blanche gave me yet another donation! They also offered their help if I needed anything further down the road, they have lots of friends all through Texas. With a few hugs, we parted ways.
I retired to the room feeling thankful through the stormy weather. I skyped with my sister Jen until my phone died. Kind of a weird way to end a video call, haha, but I plugged in my phone and and fell fast asleep. What a day!