We were unaware Jason Vorhees lived in Slate Hollow
At this point we were downright frightened and we hailed him with as many "farwood"s and "y'all"s as we could spit out, praying we didn't get shot. Somehow I got out "Rick Buckner sent us to get some firewood for Diane". "Who's Rick?" the man said. If before, we were scared, now we were pissing our pants. I thought poor Colleen was going to legitimately cry. Here we were, at the top of Slate Hollow at dark, apparently at the wrong place facing a man dressed head to toe in camo who didn't know the person we had been sent by. There was a legitimate feeling that we weren't coming back down from the mountain. When we explained that Rick was a pastor at a local church the man seemed to soften a bit. He led us down into the yard and we followed tentatively, not knowing if we could be relieved yet. The irony of all ironies was that when we went down into the yard we saw that the woman had a sizable pile of wood next to her house.
Where the hell were you on that one, Alanis?
The man interrupted our zombie-like wood stacking by asking if we wanted to come meet Diane. Honestly, going inside that house was the last thing I wanted to do. All I wanted was to throw the rest of the wood into the pile and get the Hell outta Dodge before anything worse happened. Of course I didn't say this but accepted the invitation. Naturally there was a giant Huskie chained to the porch when we went inside. Oddly enough, when we stepped inside, the tension seemed to melt. The woman couldn't have been nicer (she was skeptical at first but seemed glad when we told her there was no charge for the service) and we were introduced to her two friends (one of whom was camo man). They were her neighbors who came to check on her because they knew she was alone. One of them was truly fascinated by us and the Farm. He kept repeating "That is really cool of y'all" and seemed genuinely astounded that a place like the Farm existed and would do something like this. We then grabbed the rest of the wood from the back of the truck and put it in the pile in silence, all of us still kind of shocked by what had just transpired. As we walked back up the hill toward the truck, I broke the silence by saying "Well... that turned from terrifying to heart warming in about 2 seconds". Jamie and Colleen numbly agreed with me. Of course, as luck would have it, another truck tried to make its way up the mountain as we were going to leave. We had to execute another 45657389 point turn, this time with the other driver waiting to slide past. Colleen claims that the driver was the infamous Goat Man of Slate Hollow (Scroll to Vanceburg) which I think is ridiculous seeing as how that story is clearly a hoax. But who knows? After that experience I wouldn't be surprised.
The experience was certainly a bonding one and was yet another reminder of how you should never judge things by appearances. And although I wanted to seriously injure Rick for sending us on this crazy adventure for apparently no reason, I'm glad it happened. If nothing else it showed this woman, who has a husband and son in jail and who cannot leave her house, that there were people out there who know and care about her. Even if we didn't serve her through the physical means of the firewood delivery, we certainly performed ministry of presence that day.