A fulfilling, enjoyable day in Fort Pierce
January 17, 2024

By Michael Amend

We woke up to a sunny day in Fort Pierce, Florida,  on the floor and in the pews of the Community United Methodist Church with 33 of our newest friends.

Two of our new friends had returned home. Ben left due to illness, and Keeley left as planned to return to her kiddos.

We started the day packing our clothes, cycling equipment, and electronics into our duffel bags and moving the bags and the bicycles out of the sanctuary before we ate a delicious breakfast prepared by some amazing and gracious church members.

Unlike most days, we did not get on our bikes and start riding after breakfast. We each grabbed a broom, a dust pan, a rag, a sponge, a bucket, a squeegee, a vacuum, or a rug shampooing machine, and started to deep clean the sanctuary.

Mark, Everett and Rick were vigorously working on the vestibule windows and trim work; LeeAnn, Larry and Karen were cleaning the wall of floor to ceiling sliding glass doors; Diane, Rene and Patty were on their hands and knees scrubbing the finished cement floor under all 40 pews; the “Four Mikes,” Judy, Frank, Teresa and many others were cleaning, polishing and vacuuming the wooden pews and their fabric seats; Bob was vacuuming; and Paul and Neil were running the rug shampooing machines. 

It was the biggest, happiest, most energetic cleaning crew I have ever seen. The teamwork was so incredible that we finished by lunch time.

In the afternoon, many of us cleaned and lubricated the chains and made mechanical adjustments to our beautiful rides. Judy had the pleasure of changing both her tires as she hit a hole so hard she damaged both of the tires on her bike in one attempt (Few people accomplish this feat in the cycling world).

The laundry team headed to a local laundry mat. Four people backtracked to where they had mechanical or physical issues the day before and rode the end of the route. They were fortunate to ride the last 20 to 36 miles from the day before without a head wind and rain;)  Other team members were fortunate to visit the Navy Seals museum.  The luckiest, and possibly smartest, riders took a nap.

After a day of cleaning, riding, and relaxing, our spaghetti dinner was especially tasty. During dinner we had the pleasure of participating in the opening of a Girl Scout meeting by saying the Pledge of Allegiance with the young ladies. As dinner was wrapping up, Neil surprised David with a birthday cake. We sang happy birthday (out of tune, of course), and then inhaled some birthday cake and ice cream.

Although our original service project of building a handicap-accessible ramp had been cancelled at the last minute, we had a fulfilling and enjoyable day in the beautiful city of Fort Pierce.

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