Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Shake it like an Earthquake

Last night I played in the most exciting basketball game that I've ever been a part of. Seth, a friend of mine from church, works for the Southwest Philly Community Development Center, and has gotten to know a man by the name of Earthquake through his work. Earthquake is a former boxer, a garbage collector in SW Philly, and a community activist who works toward non-violence. He started a basketball league that plays in a gym at a Baptist church on 70th and Woodland, and invited Seth to get a team together from our church to join in the league. The three other teams were made up of athletic teenagers from the neighborhood. Then there was our group of out-of-shape 20-and-30-something white guys.

Picture this scene: a loud, cramped gym that is about 2/3 the size of a normal basketball court where the walls are about 18 inches away from the out-of-bounds lines on all sides. Earthquake gathers everybody for prayer at center court before the games start and asks God to bless all of the "ballers" and their families. Basketball players and fans line the court and erupt onto it with shouts and yells every time a big play happens for either team. A lone ref with his whistle does the best he can to control the chaos and call an honest game despite lots of fouling and protests on every call.

Somehow, the old white guys keep up and send the game into overtime and double overtime. Thirteen seconds left - they're down by two. Jay Hiatt gets the ball in the post, is double teamed, goes up, hits the shot, and the whistle blows. And one. The crowd goes wild. The clock shows four seconds left. Something happens, and all the sudden the scorekeeper is coming after one of the players on the other team. He gets held back, but the scoreboard is unplugged. Five minutes later the scores and time have been replaced. Jay goes to the line, having had five minutes to think about this shot. He puts it up, off the backboard, and it rolls in! The VCC Ballers Shotcallers pull out the improbable 2OT win!

Earthquake was loving every minute of it, and I'm sure the smile on his face was partly because of the exciting game and partly because his goal of getting kids off the street and involved in healthy competition that ended with everybody shaking hands and congratulating each other was playing out before him. I had to rush home to meet people at my apartment to watch Monday night football, but I think I would have been speeding down 30 blocks of Woodland Ave. with my windows down and music blaring even if that wasn't the case because I was that pumped up.

Monday, September 17, 2007

A Night with Philadelphia's Finest

So this will be a short post, I promise. Tonight I was pulled over for the first time ever for violating a traffic sign. I really didn't see the sign and I was straight up lost in the middle of North Philadelphia. I must admit the officer was very friendly and after seeing I was truly lost and unaware of what I'd done, he helped me out with where I was going and didn't give me a ticket. I was truly grateful, a little shaken up, but you better believe I obeyed all traffic laws on the way home.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Long Time No Post

Since it's been a month since our last post I thought I should give a quick update about what we've been up to. Honestly we've been quite the traveling fools, we spent an awesome, relaxing weekend with Nic's family at Indian Lake back in August. Cool weather, boating, Mabel in a life jacket, awesome produce, and time with family made an incredible experience. Then Labor Day weekend we traveled down to Historic Williamsburg, VA for Micah & Jess's wedding; it was such a fun weekend and not to mention we were in the great state of Virginia so what could be better. Nic and I danced our hearts out, probably more than we ever have before but it was so worth it! And now we're back to the present day; I have a new job at Dignity Housing, a transitional housing organization for women and their families, which I'm so excited about. Nic is doing well, quite busy at work and very excited that NFL is back on! Go Bengals! We had a college luncheon this past Sunday after church and had a great turnout; Nic & I were both super encouraged and excited what God is going to do with that. So that's all for now, I promise to update way sooner than another month. Come on fall!

Nic and me at the rehearsal dinner.

Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds