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49 Cents and Holding

The hill town of Lucca with its wall/ramparts still encircling the entire city and church bell towers still looming above tile colored roofs and narrow streets, the city of Pisa with its magnificent white marble Duomo and Baptistry with gold ceilings and brilliant paintings and mosiacs and the leaning tower–I climbed it and the marble steps are worn on different sides depending on which way you lean as you climb the spiral staircase to the top of the viewing area amongst the big bells at the top with sights of rolling hills and snow covered mountains–were just too much for Kathy and Melisa Standly to handle today.

As Randy and I climbed the tower, they decided they needed to use the restroom. Finding it, they discovered they needed money to buy a ticket to use it. Here is the problem–they had no money since Randy and I had it all in our possession and we were in the tower and would not be returning as soon as they needed us to. They went into a holding pattern as they searched Kathy’s purse for any thing loose within its cavernous interior. Each ticket would cost 50 cents, European. You guessed it, only 49 cents. Crossed legs were not going to do it. What to do? Kathy went begging for a penny–promising that when her husband returned, she would repay. A kindly older gentleman held out his hand filed with money and said, “Little lady, take as much as you want.” She took a penny. Here is the problem–they needed to buy two tickets and now had money for only one. Holding pattern again, but Kathy noticed that the ticket was for a certain time period and so she decided that she would go fast and give Melisa the ticket to use the remaining time. Melisa was hesitant when Kathy returned quickly, wondering if it was legal and Kathy insistently growled, “Take it and go!” Melisa made it and when Randy and I returned, they both wanted money in their possession from now on. The husbands replied that they were only too happy to share. WEG



  1. Mary Cooper says:

    Hello Pastor! I enjoy each evening reading your daily blog. I was watching TV last night and a commercial came on about the car Fiat. It showed the car driving off a cliff into the ocean. The next scene was the car coming out of the water like nothing happened. Somehow I thought of you. Please drive safe!

  2. Al & Eva Gerhardt says:

    this is what I told you that Eva and I found out.

  3. Nancy McCollum says:

    Oh my! Poor Kathy and Melisa. You guys may never live this one down!!

  4. Al & Eva Gerhardt says:

    Eva wanted to know if you go the photo of you or Kathy holding up the leaning tower of pisa with both hands… I have several of those types of photos. The day we were there I think everyone was trying to get that photo to send home. You did better than me since my legs were barely good enough to get from the bus to the tower and back. I am proud of you for making it to the top.

  5. Bob & Linda Schaefer says:

    Oh too scary. At this season of my life when
    ya gotta go ya gotta go!!! I learned early carry
    my own $. Love hearing about your encore life. We prayed for all of you tonight at Small

  6. Phyllis Behrend says:

    So glad to hear you got to Pisa! We didn’t try waiting in line to get to the top so glad you did!

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