This is a story about a ritual. A Chinese tea ceremony. It's used as a means to connect. Connect with the past, with people, with another land. Joshua Drake Wu invited me into his home to experience the joy of Chinese tea. I learned a lot of surprising things about tea, hospitality, and my neighbor. Make yourself a cup of your favorite leaf and listen.
Also in this episode are the rituals of two of my podcasting colleagues Jonathan Hirsch of ARRVLSand Vannessa Lowe of Nocturne. They are two great shows you should check out.
Special thanks to Jason Goforth and Dan Burns for some of the music in this episode.
What happens when you try to help someone out, It goes well, but then they end up right back where they started? Jakob channels his inner Sisyphus and goes to the Parthenon to interview strangers about when helping seems futile. Neighbors contributor Tasha A F Lemley brings us a story of a street chaplain who helps one man recover from addiction and injury only to find that he's back to his old ways.
This episode is more of a meditation than a story. When Barclay was 25 he traveled the country in a van. Out under the open sky he bought an astronomy book, looked up, and had his sky stolen from him. He wasn't ready for what he saw. Close your eyes and soak up this very meditative edition of Neighbors.
Bobby Hopkins wakes up one day and decides to change his life. Within two years he's entering his first 100 mile Ultra Marathon. I go along as part of his crew to help him along the way. Will Bobby finish? Will I do a good job crewing?
Also a special release of Service Unicorn's "Water Color War Paint."
Teddy and Cynthia Iselin had almost finished remodeling the house they bought when two angry squatters, who got kicked out of a property behind them, lit their old residence on fire. It spread to Teddy and Cynthia's. What Teddy did next was inspired by his father, who produced the movie The Santa Clause.
After a five week road trip across beautiful America, I'm back. I'm bringing you a story I did from before I was gone. It's called "Bringing Wes Home". The tale of a family who took their son's body and prepared it themselves. If you've never heard of a home funeral this will enlighten you and bring tears to your eyes at the beauty that this process can provide.
If you live in Nashville you've probably heard a lot of flood stories from the May 2010 flood. This one stood out to me, as a true example of neighbors being neighbors. Jeff Jones the owner of the local Dairy King shares his story about surviving the flood and quite literally moving further down the road.