Monday, November 30, 2020

Mary's New Hat

This old hat has seen the nation.
Dry and rain-soaked, it's seen it all.
To hear it's tale, study it's fashion.
It's feather, band, chinstraps ribbon , and faded brim. 
The fingered hole, dirty crease, missing liner and all.
The greatest gift, is of the stuff I never thought I'd share with another; the love I've locked away.
Every old hat has once been a new hat.
Let us start anew, begin again...
In the darkness, what do I find?
Strength of character, is that just a line?
Pushing hard meets only resistance. 
Gently shouldering, stepping softly,
helping the world move ahead.
It helps me in kind.

Meaning more, saying less.
What life gives me is just a test.
A stumble, a fall bears so much more
than none at all.
I walk the darkness with calm,
and find the light that is always there.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Every Step

Take a step
Make it good
Tomorrow is not promised
Each step counts

Friday, October 18, 2019

The new world

Time has passed since I last tried to update this website. More than a few adventures have come and gone. Pictures of thousands of people and places stored to FB. Of all the things that have happened, the most important thing is that I have found love, and a good friend with Mary.
There's a poem in this picture...

Friday, September 8, 2017

Gone Down East

I post on Facebook because my I phone and google do not play well together .
I have begun walking from Main Street in Lubec Maine. For now I am walking to Acadia .
Love yourself and walk is my message.
Erik Bendl from Louisville, Ky on Facebook.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

A Moment Worth the Effort

Few destinations I have journeyed toward have felt so satisfying as the stroll from the mailbox at the end of the driveway in Louisville to Hopkinsville where, at the total eclipse of the sun four weeks later, beside my big sister, we watched the world turn to darkness beneath clear skies in the afternoon. We laughed and cried in awe under the amazing sight hand-in-hand, free of a lifetimes' ills, for two minutes and forty seconds. Afterwards, while the moon slowly relinquished its shadow, we enjoyed watching children frolic with the world in an open space perfect for play. Making the memories we will have all the sweeter in years to come, of the day when we stood before the world, together for a moment.
The children truly will inherit the Earth.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

A Differerent Dawn

 Once in lifetime, they say, you may be able to travel to the path of a solar eclipse.
When I am older I'd like to remember getting there.
I'm walking to the path where the moon covers the the sun... for two minutes.

 The first people to stop and talk with me after I rolled past the mailbox at the end of the driveway were two sheriffs who seemed inordinarily happy that I was walking for diabetes awareness; spreading my little message to take care of yourself, walk to help control-prevent-manage it. One quickly got out asking to have our picture taken by his partner. He just as quickly stiffened and labored to the little ditch with running water, a foot or so across. As he sidestepped down the berm he told me he had just returned to duty from bypass surgery on both legs from his diabetes. Apparently I was a reminder he took to heart (perhaps only for two minutes) enough to move the parts he wanted to keep. He shook my hand and called me an angel...Leaning more comfortably with "idiot", I was encouraged that this journey will have more memories than two minutes of darkness and a new dawn in the middle of the afternoon.
As my friends' Grandmother always said,  "Self praise is half scandal."
I'm heading to the path where the moon eclipses the sun around Hopkinsville, Kentucky.
I hope to prevent the ravages of diabetes, and for me, walking has helped.
I update pictures and comments on Facebook, Erik Bendl from Louisville, Kentucky.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

No words

No words can fully express what I have felt since the third weekend of January, when Nice (the dog) passed away.
We somehow had stepped in fourty eighth states, walked thousands of miles before he decided to get old and pass quietly. The decline was swift. Especially in the weeks from Election Day, when we had walked to the Petroglyphs in Albuquerque, New Mexico to the weekend of the Presidential Inauguration when it was time for Nice to leave the world.
The time for mourning has passed.
I must shed the collective weight of all that has occurred in these few months and continue as best I know how. Keep pushing.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

From Home to Eternity

On the strange chance this app will stay open long enough to let me post I will attempt an update
I have not been able to use my phone to post here while I have traveled across the nation since the beginning of October. Either I lacked signal when I drove around many National Parks and historic sights or the "app" would simply not properly link with my device. During this extended jaunt from my home in Louisville I also completed a walk over the high plateau in New Mexico from The Pecos to The Rio Grande River in Albuquerque. Then I drove back across the South revisiting thousands of miles that I had walked through the years before returning briefly for Thanksgiving celebrations in Louisville. I then traveled to Northern Florida and began from the west side of Tallahassee heading east through the city. On the second evening I received a call telling me of the passing of my dear friend Dennis Allen.
 Dennis and I met in our teenage years and kept a close friendship over the years despite his living sometimes in Kentucky and much of his life in Florida. We traveled together hitchhiking to California in our twenties, worked with one another at times professionally. From his home in Florida I have begun two walks rolling the World ball to promote diabetes awareness. Few people in life have I known to be as good and true a friend, Dennis Wayne Allen.
All that said I am now in South Florida with his family to see him off and celebrate his life.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Posting problems

This app keeps kicking me out to my home screen. Posting on facebook.
In Tallahassee now after walking to Albuquerque then driving home for the holiday.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Second Attempt

Three years ago I attempted to walk from Lubbock to Albuquerque. I pinched a nerve and had to go back home.
Now I am back, taking up where I left off.
 I was about twenty miles East of Fort Sumner on Friday when I started at about four in the afternoon. I walked about four miles, then walked back to bring the van forward. This is a new twist, walking back after a short distance, rather than walking all day with the faith that I will somehow get a ride. When it gets dark, I will start walking back if I haven't found help.. This worked out fine for Nice (the dog), he liked the change in routine.
Saturday morning we walked the remaining two and a half miles into Tiban. The only commerce going on there anymore is in the Post Office. The church, a hollow shell,on the edge of town where the road was widened and sidewalks laid down from the post recession stimulus. An attempt to uplift the town, but it was not enough to save Tiban. The woman at the Post Office watched the world while I returned for the van. After that I was able to get a few rides so at the end of the day I did not have to walk back for the van. Even at the end of the day, as I was about to start back, I sat down to change my socks and a nice family picked us up.  Today, Sunday, I met Tom, in his ranger convertible, who gave me a ride once I made my way into Fort Sumner. I am staying at the RV Park next door to The Billy the Kid Museum so I could have some electricity and water. I took some time to repaint the world before the long miles ahead without a town for a great distance.  I hope I will not have to walk the distance twice. It may have to be. The nights get cold and I'd rather keep the purple van, filled with blankets and dog food, within a couple of hours walking distance.
I am having trouble getting the app to let me log onto this blog, for now updates will be mostly on my facebook.
 Erik Bendl, Louisville, Kentucky.
When I need help I will ask on facebook.
This is, if I have a signal.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Following Tracks

I successfully walked from Tampa to Naples. I drove down a few days before Christmas picking up my 24 year old son in Pensacola. He is traveling and he wanted to see me. We drove along the coast around the Big Bend stopping to see Manatees and visiting Cedar Key. Igot my son whatever he wanted, a "hobo ice cream", a "po boy sandwich" and gave him a change of clothes (whether he wanted them or not). I also gave him my Carhart jacket. We walked together for a few days rolling from Tampa, south. Spending Christmas with my son in Bradenton, we had breakfast by the beach at Anna Marie, dinner was Chinese carry-out. We visited the beaches and saw a movie. Having had enough of the walking and the media (people were recognizing him even when we were not with the ball) I gave him what he wanted for Christmas, a ride to the highway. I took him a hundred miles north, out of range of the television viewing area that had caught up with us the day we left Tampa, and the local newspapers along the way...I guess it was time. The next day another TV station came to film the story and when I had rolled through Fort Myers the NBC affiliate had there coverage on Good Morning America (again). That would have really disappointed my boy's desire to go "low profile". I hope he finds happiness wherever he goes.
When I had walked through Naples we, Nice (the dog) and me, we're a half of a mile from the end of the sidewalk, before the narrow roadside into the Everglades, when the dog, after rolling in the grass to scratch his own back, threw his shoulder out. He couldn't walk. I, thankfully, got a ride back to the van from a woman we had met the day prior. When I got Nice out of her car he stretched , (downward facing dog), and popped his shoulder back into place with a loud snap'. Along with the Fortune Cookie I got the night before which said, "Why take two steps when one will do?", I decided not to walk my old dog across the Everglades or through Miami. Another time perhaps.
We the drove to Pompano to visit my good friends Dennis, Meribeth and Seamus (the dog) in Pompano Beach.
Over a week later both of us were thoroughly recharged. Five mile walks to the beach each day were just not enough for my old hound. The weather above the Panhandle had turned cold and harsh, I have decided to continue my vacation with a short nostalgic walk up the coast, retracing our walk of five years ago... At least until the weather breaks.
Maybe Nice (the dog) can see Patti in Jupiter who he fell in love with and then searched for her along every road for years.
Wherever the road, I meet good people, some with miraculous stories of diabetes management, some with heartfelt loss from diabetes and many who stay healthier with a little daily walk.
Love yourself a little, enjoy a stroll with a companion.
Have a (Nice) day.