We left this morning to a clear sky. We came to a large nursery where a family of migrants were working. Only the father spoke some English. I did my best to answer his questions. He was as excited as a school kid at what I was doing and amazed at the distance and time of our journey. After we spoke and I was walking away, he called for me to wait while he brought out the proprietor of the place--who was much less enthused but polite. I think she was more concerned with the business at hand so I quickly told her mine and left before she docked the beaming South American man any pay.
The Robbinsville police paid us a visit up the road and brought us fresh water which I appreciate on these sunny and warm days on the open state roads when shade is at a minimum. Many people stopped to learn our story and pulled off the road to talk. One young couple stopped in traffic and turned on their hazard blinkers thinking little of the trucks and cars behind them. These type of people are dangerous so I quickly answered them. Thankfully, they were not hurt or in an accident.
As the day progressed, I came to a place in the shade where two men came from across the road to talk during their break. As I explained myself, a woman trucker stopped to give us a drink. At this point I was trying to coordinate how I was going to pick up a UPS delivery at a store I had passed yesterday and still keep some forward progress. The Robbinsville Fire and Police had given me their phone numbers and the store clerk had said I could authorize them to pick it up, but there was a holding fee. As I juggled phone calls, I mentioned to the trucker I was doing this for diabetes. She pointed at the insulin pump on her side. We talked a little more and she left. About five minutes later, the trucker pulled-up, having found a spot to leave her trailer so she could drive me to pick up my package. That puts a whole new twist to freight delivery.
When I opened the package from D.E.S.A., on top were some wrist bands with the signature phrase of the D.E.S.A. organization, "I run on insulin." I gave one to my special delivery, insulin pump wearing, third generation trucker, first generation owner operator / road angel. She's wearing it now. When she dropped me off she thanked me for walking for people like her. Yes gentlemen, I teared up...Again.
For those that don't know my story, I'm walking because I lost my mother to diabetes, and always stress to you to take care so you can be around for your grandchildren. This walking for diabetes idea is the result of my walking with my -then seven year old- son in the park when the World was too large for our own back yard. The park had a large hill where people would walk their dogs and we would roll the World off the top toward the dog walkers. We called it bowling. The pins always moved, but it was good fun for a seven year old. After a couple months of play many people would come to me asking if I were walking across the country, or where I was going, what cause was I representing. Fun and merriment with my son was just too simple and eventually the idea took hold. These walks are the result of peer pressure and playing with my son in the park.
My boy is nineteen now, he never knew his Grandmother. He called me today and is going to take the money he is earning by helping a man paint his house to buy a bus ticket to come walk with me and Nice (the dog). Even if he has to hitch-hike some of the way, or hop a freight- whatever it takes. Yes gentlemen...
Thank you for being so good to Nice and me New Jersey, and goodnight.