Friday, May 14, 2010

The Roses, the Shade, and the Man

It's Saturday morning and the sun has just come over the trees. I was far too tired when we finally settled down for the night to write.

After walking and talking all day Friday from Bridgeport's Firehouse to the Vergas Station (I hope I spelled that correctly), we were tired and got to our destination just before a thunder storm. The day had begun cloudy and misty, but the cool mist soon broke into a very sunny and hot day with us taking time to cool under shade trees a few times. Whenever we would stop we would soon be met with several visitors who had already heard of our trip from D.C. to Maine or were curious to know what we were up to. Like our first day In New Jersey, we were never wanting for water. We had so much given to us our packs were almost too heavy by the end of the day. Nice (the dog) was given a variety of treats, both dry and canned food, which added to our load.

As we walked, I took the time twice to stop and smell the roses, literally, that were in full-bloom next to the road. I tried to write a quick post under the next shade tree stop, but we had so many visitors I had to post the title first and then edit one sentence at a time as we walked in the hot sun later in the day.

rose At the first rose sniffing stop, a bearded man came to his fence to get his little dogs that were barking at the gate. They were protesting our presence at his blooming bush. I told him I was taking a moment to smell the roses as I walked through the northeast for diabetes. He smiled and said to take all the time I needed. The aroma hung in my senses far down the road and the old hippies' reaction left a smile on my face much further. I meet so many different people on the road.

The law enforment officers are all understanding, some are speechless, others get a little tick or twitch in their face, and on occasion, one will be stern about me staying off the lane of traffic, which I am very practiced at after walking over a thousand miles in fourteen states and the District of Columbia. The one police officer who had this stern attitude yesterday may have been so because of my answer to his first question. He asked "What's the point?" and I can never resist... "There is no point, it's a ball." In the end all was good with the world and we were on our way.

Everyday I meet so many people who are diabetic and more whose family members are (or died from) diabetes. I wish it were an unheard-of ailment that I had to describe to everyone, but it IS epidemic. At one of our shade break meetings I met a man and his son. Later as we walked along the road, another man pulled-up who I thought to be the man I had seen earlier, but it was his brother. He got out of his truck and told me his brother had told him he saw me and that I was walking for diabetes. He shared that he had just been diagnosed a few days ago with diabetes and that I was, to him, a sign from above. Now I'm just a guy pushing a big ball and walking his dog... He and I talked and exchanged phone numbers. He was my GPS (good people support) at the end of the day to help leap-frog the support van to the volunteer fire station. All things being connected, his brother and cousin are members of the volunteer fire company, and I will keep in touch with this new friend and hope he keeps the enthusiasm to lose the weight and turn around his life. I am a large (read: fat) man, and if he can get down to my weight there is hope.

I have been taught it's rude to turn down an offer of hospitality, and have been invited this morning to have breakfast at a family's home. So, after breakfast, I will get my World together and walk-off the meal. I can't loose weight on these walks, to turn down a kindness is just rude.

Have a great weekend New Jersey!

Sent from the good people at Gibbstown F.D.:

Gibbstown N.J. Fire Dept.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What you are doing is great! I bicycled by you a day or two ago on a bike trip across the US and you stood out enough that I looked you up the next time I had internet access. Good luck!