Short thoughts on London

Erlis Miller and his wife Gesine opened their house to us during our stay in London, and we were very grateful for their hospitality. We have been living out of our car for several weeks now—even sleeping in it—and it was a great break just to have a house where we could make ourselves at home. And we did make ourselves at home. It seemed as if we ate them out of house and home, but they kept bringing more and more food for us. We are very grateful for everything they did for us while we were in London.

In London we took the subway system, called the Tube by locals, wherever we wanted to go. I really enjoy taking the subway. You descend into a hole and get on a train that races off like a horse in full gallop before being reigned in at each stop. Then, the iron horse shoots off for the next stop but you really don’t have a good idea as to where you exactly are because you follow your progress on a sign that shows the stops in a straight line. You then pop up aboveground in a completely different part of town. I had to think about what all things I missed seeing while buried deep in the ground, but it is so convenient to get around and handy to use.

Wednesday night Erlis and Gesine were both away from the house with other commitments so we decided to use their kitchen to fry up some hamburgers, bacon, and french fries. While cleaning up our frying pans, we accidentally pushed their sink’s handle past parallel and broke the washer in the hot water faucet. We couldn’t turn the water off all the way. After about 15 minutes of looking for the emergency water shut-off, we called Erlis and he told us it was in a box accessible through the sidewalk, and we were able to get the water turned off. We then enjoyed our supper, even if it was a bit cooler than we were first expecting. Erlis and Gesine took the news that we had broken their faucet very well and Erlis was able to fix it by putting a new washer in it.

Thursday afternoon Dan Shenk and I went to the Tower of London. They had a special exhibit of Henry VIII, who as it turns out enjoyed attaching guns to anything he could. He had a giant mace with a gun barrel attached to it, pointed the opposite direction of the mace head. I don’t know how he fired it, but I doubt he put it up to his shoulder. He also experimented by mounting small pistol barrels on shields. What is better than a normal shield? Obviously one that can also kill someone.

I had a wonderful time in London, and I really enjoyed staying at Erlis and Gesine’s house. It was great to get to know another of my relatives and experience their graciousness and hospitality. One night we stayed up late and talked over popcorn Erlis made for us, then at 11:30 he took us down to a shop and we got some juices. We were a major deviation from their normal routines, but they seemed to enjoy having us around and went out of their way to make us feel welcome and help us plan our journeys around the city. Their hospitality reminded us of how we want to help out others when we have the opportunity.

David Miller

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