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Message from GM (and Preacher) in Washington DC, Eric Holmes to His Cast

April 22, 2020

I pray everyone is doing well.  I had the opportunity to see and speak with a few CAST Members last week when they were picking up their fruits and vegetables. Then, over the weekend I spoke with a few more. One called to check on me and my family; one wanted me to pray with them; and another was feeling anxious about what was going to happen with our business.

After I got off the phone with her I thought about the story of the Potato, Egg and Coffee Beans. Instead of calling her back, I thought I would share it with you all.

There was a daughter who complained to her father that her life was miserable, and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it through adversities and challenges in life. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed that just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.

Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot. He then let them boil without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter moaned and impatiently, wondering what he was doing.

After twenty minutes he turned off the fire. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the boiled eggs out and placed them in another bowl. He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup.

Turning to her he asked, “Daughter, what do you see?” She replied, “Potatoes, eggs, and coffee.”

“Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did, and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.

“Father, what does this mean?” she asked. He then explained that the potatoes, the egg and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity – the boiling water. However, each one reacted differently.

The potato was strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water it became soft and weak. The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.  However, the coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.

“Which are you?” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

Take a look at the sign in the photograph below. Some of you often ask, why I refer to the good old days? It’s because that’s where I draw my strength.


OTT wdc


Old Town Trolley Tours of Washington’s has been around for 34 years. We are working really hard to figure out how and when to re-open. HTA, OTT, ANCT, and WWC are strong and resilient companies. We will emerge from this world pandemic better than ever.

For me the moral of the story is, in life things happen around us, things happened to us, but the only thing that truly matters is what happens within us.

Eric Holmes

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