Monday, January 31, 2011

Help from 'a far'

I want thank my next door neighbor back in Louisville who called me last night that my house was leaking water. When I re plumbed the house the only copper I left was three feet behind the shower and though I turned off the toilet I neglected to turn off the water stop valve to the shower. My helpful neighbor got the water turned off and by the time I return the dirt basement should have absorbed the water. Believe me when I tell you that there will be no great damage that I am unable to repair. I am carpenter and usually am the person who is called for the jobs noone else will take one. This is something I can look forward to when I return from saving the world-one diabetic at a time.
Giving my neighbor a man hug will be the first order of business when I return home.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Some Days : part two

Have I mentioned my cohort, my buddy, my mascot and protector of the World- Nice (the dog)? As this day began I was not the most enthusiastic puppy in the litter while Nice began the day spending most of the first two miles happily playing with the leash as I rolled along the roadside. Usually he does this for a few minutes and then settles in to a quiet pace by my side, today he tugged and jumped back and forth till I couldn't help but pull myself from the fog I was walking in. The first people to stop and talk to us gave me their phone number and agreed to be our support team for the day. As they pulled away I felt relieved to have the ride at the end of the day so soon taken care of. Nice, still frolicked with the leash but stopped suddenly to sniff a small feather in the dew covered grass. I pick up all the feathers I find along the road and they usually appear at special personal moments, like when the dog is cheering me up. I was not paying attention to the ground under my feet and Nice pulled the veil. As I put the small feather in my hat the fog lifted and the sun broke thru, I had indeed been walking in a thick fog.
The day then opened up to lively conversations with many people all day until I made my way to Big Planet Pizza Pub who were happy to let us stay in the parking lot for tonight. The man (a diabetic) we had met first thing this morning came and we retrieved the van, his wife sent Nice a care package and a few things for me, I was able to do a good bit of touch up on the world before the sun lost it's warmth. All in all it was a great day that I owe to my companion who would not let me be sullen on Sunday. We walked over eight and a half miles so we aren't to far off pace, life is good!
"Don't worry, be happy!" As the song goes..

Some Days

I know while I walk for diabetes I should post something daily. Today I think I am a little thread bare. I added the miles we have walked since we began on the tenth of January and we have averaged the ten miles per day I tell people we travel. Today being Sunday and the World in need of some patch and paint maintenance I hope I can find a stopping point and a return ride to get the support van early in the day.
Then perhaps I may have more time to write. Until then please enjoy your Sunday and get some exercise for the fun of it.

Friday, January 28, 2011

This is one of those...

People ask me where I am heading for on this trip. I began in Fort Lauderdale, I have sixty days to walk before I need to return to Kentucky and take care of my spring chores so the place I end this walk for diabetes awareness is wherever I am at the end of sixty days. The saying goes," It's not the destination, it's the journey." This journey is one of those. Each days travel is different. The wind, the terrain, the people I talk with all determine the distance. The goal is to get folks to realize that exercise can help prevent the onset of diabetes and help diabetics control the disease. Contributions to the website will help find cures.

This is just one leg in the journey I have dedicated myself to. Please commit yourself to the cause in your own way.


Just past the Titusville marker I rolled into the parking lot of a diner where I met a woman and her boyfriend. She asked my purpose and when I told her I was walking for diabetes awareness. She gave me a hug and lifted her shirt enough to show me the tube in her abdomen for the insulin pump. After she went back in the diner her botfriend stayed and talked with me of how he tries to help her with her condition. He said even though she wears the pump she still "crashes" often and sometimes despite his efforts to help he has to call for the EMT because she becomes disoriented, fights his attempts to get her stable and goes into diabetic shock. This man really loves his girlfriend and the anguish and fear of loosing her was written all over him
It is keeping me awake this early morning. What can I do except to raise awareness and donations toward cures. With help we can "change the world" for diabetics.
But as I lay here unable to sleep I feel pretty useless.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What's important.

I have been posting earlier lately but the man who has been helping me the past two days had me over for diner, a shower, a bit of laundry and lively story telling. I guess I couldn't stop after he laughed his beer thru his nose when I hit a punch line while he was taking a drink. It was after midnight when I got back to the World and settled in for sleep. This morning I had to get rolling bright and early so the morning shift at the fire and resue could have the parking space they let me use for the night. I can't repeat enough how grateful I am for the help of our countries' fire and police for their help.
Of all the things I wanted to say last evening before I wondered off in story telling I'd like to relay a theme of many people I have met recently. Many have told me of friends and family who have taken time off or altogether left their carreers for service to others because they felt life was too short and wanted to give something more important than accumulating wealth. This keeps coming up in talking to people I meet and I wonder why.
I guess it's time to leave this comfortable seat at the liars table in the BP station by the expressway and head toward Georgia.
Get out, step out, be happy.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

" Good luck, you can go back to sleep now."

I awoke with a start from a dream remembering every detail and character. I sat up and wondered what it meant when a bright light appeared. It was the local police checking to see why a purple van with a large world attached to its rear was parked there. I produced my identification and explained I had gotten permission from the business owner to stay the night and that I was walking to raise awareness for diabetes, that I had begun "this trip" from Fort Lauderdale, that I roll this globe about ten miles each day. Just as I had explained how I get rides from strangers to shuttle the van each day to the officer his commander rolled up and after attempting to explain it to him the patrolman referred the job to me. As I was filling in the blanks the dispatcher called over the radio giving them my name and that I "apparently" was in a purple van, and was walking for charity. The dispatch had been informed of this by the firemen at the station I had stayed by last night, her confusion was quite evident by the tone of her voice. Hearing a woman finally awakened Nice (the dog) as he really likes girls. Seeing the Oh-so-cute dog seemed to soften the commander and I no longer had to continue my story.
Somehow I understand the dream that I had last night - the fireman extinguished this without a drop of water or a turn of a wheel.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Monday in Melbourne

After the strong winds of the weekend I got some relief from the wind as I made my way through much of Melbourne. The busy workweek beginning and the city sidewalks helped give me space to make up some miles. All day I talked to maybe three dozen people. Busy cities are like that. When I spent the day in New York City though a million people took my picture only a few actually stopped to talk. Some cities are like that. When the day was coming to a close I got some help from a guy who went ahead of me to ask for sanctuary at the fire station on the road that parallels US1 one mile inlan
d so I was safe for the night. It turned out the man who had offered a ride the night before works just one stoplight up the same road and was available to get me after he left work so though I didn't speak to a great number of people I was graced with the support I needed for the day.
The highway bay the intracoastal is about to loose it's sidewalk and get more desolate for many miles until the next town so I am going to take the advice of the GPS - good people -and stay inland for some distance northward. The miles added I will make up by having sidewalk. And the barrier from the wind off the water.
The forecast is for heavy winds and bad weather today and Wednesday. As I write this in the wee hours on Tuesday the wind is picking up and slapping the rope and flag on the flagpole outside the Fire station. I will have another challenging day before the heavy rains roll in this evening, if the predictions hold true.
I will put down the Blackberry now and go back to sleep for awhile. Maybe that disturbing dream that awakened me will have cleared from the dreamy slate. A firehouse with no water- boo- scary.

Monday, January 24, 2011

When the wind Blows...

The weekend began with the cool breeze bringing the cold down from the north all day Saturday. Because of the angle of the wind I had to use the same arm all day. The people were great to talk with and though the wind grew stronger during the day the trenches by the road helped cradle the world. I ended Saturday at the Liars bar and Marina. There I called the man who supplied the ride and other help. Thanks Big Al!
Sunday the breeze hadn't changed. I think it increased speed as the arms really began to feel the effects of one motion. The cold air helped me forget I was in Florida and to put sunscreen on my face, now my ears feel like tiny cauliflowers. One leg aches from having to push one way. Still the wind always leads me just where I need to be at the end. Though I strained to get only six miles according to my odometer I had good day talking to passers by and took the advice of a nice woman to stop when I got to Ozzie's Crab House where I met a lovely couple who helped with a ride after the owners and staff welcomed us for the evening. I was blown away at how nice everyone was to me, and my little dog too. Like the fairy tale said, when the wind blows you far from home you can find help in OZ zie's!
As I listened to the two piece band and watched the last sunday game a man called me to pull up a chair, he brought me back to the reality of why I am here. He told me of his good friend and neighbor who is going to dialysis three times a week, and this week he had to go four times because of his terminal diabetes. What could I say to reassure him, nothing.
That blows...

I am a little drained this morning. I wish I could say more and express it better than I do. Have a great day.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The grinder...

I'm not talking tasty hoagies or subs! The wind coming from the north has been giving me a challenge for each step. I was able to get my quota for Saturday but it was a blister popping day. This sunny cool morning is no different. When I find my way close to Melbourne Fla. Sometime today I will make time to thumb a little more.
For now it's back to the grind!!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Kindred spirits, an anniversary, and hope.

The day of walking was short because it rained. Any other day I'd have left earlier and walked farther. This day had me land at Suzy's Tiki Bar, Suzy asked me to stop by for an appetizer at her place by the Indian River in Sebastian. The hour was getting late and the sky was boiling with rain clouds so I asked if I could stay in her lot for the night, she was happy to oblige. A man who was getting his daily exercise on his bicycle had given me his number earlier and when he was giving me a ride to relay my van to Susi's we discovered one thing we had in common was we had lost one of our parents to diabetes and they were the same age of 54. We were about the same age and I could tell the sadness was still just below the surface after many years, as is mine. Loosing anyone is hard and if they could have maybe taken better care of their health the loss is sharper in a way. I tell of my losing my mother and it had been good therapy, but often still the heartbreak is, as I said, just below my eyelids. I am not just "whistling dixie" when I ask folks to take care of them selves for their loved ones sake.

When I returned to Suzy's Paradise, the tiki bar was full inside and it was raining. But, there was an outside window on the far side of the bar sheltered from the weather where there sat a man. So, I sidled up to sit next him at the window. He was not there to celebrate, but to honor the anniversary of his sister who, far too young, he had lost this day to diabetes. Our conversation was personal, but in the end my story took his fresh sadness to hope that diabetes may someday be a memory rather than commonplace in our culture.

The wind and rain pushed me to sit at Suzy's and be inspired by a kindred stranger. Another day I'll cherish because of the rain, not despite it.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Rain works in Mysterious ways...

It began to rain hard this morning so took a nap and when I awoke and was about to put my gear on and walk a young man came up to ask what the world was about. Then he said two years ago he was diagnosed type2 and now had turned it around with diet and exercise and was free of medication. "Did it happen overnight? No, but with hard work you can turn it around and God will reward you." That's a quote to wake up to!
End of sermon.

From Vero to the other side of the coin.

When the paint finally dried from touching up the world and the live radio interview was passed I began the days trek north and was approached by half a dozen folks before I left the parking lot. This was how the day went as I talked to nurses and pharmaceutical reps, business owners, women with their children, and many appreciative diabetics.

I had to chuckle to myself when a tall young man dressed to look cool tried to get far enough ahead of us to take a picture with his phone, but because he was wearing his pants down around his thighs he couldn't quite get the distance he needed. After I turned and shot a picture of him he got the message and pulled them up over his butt and got out in front. He still looked cool enough to walk the streets of Vero. ,

The progress up US1 was steady despite the television, newspaper, internet reporter and also Vero Beaches own Twitter sensation - Vero Chicky who took good care of us with a tasty Subway meal that was right on time.

A nice old woman brought a bag of dog food and apologized for it's size because she was so old it was as much as she could carry. One time I was thankful for old age as my backpack is heavy enough with the things I may need through the day. A private ambulance driver revived the World with a shot of air to keep the earth rolling and we even received a traffic flag from a road crew so I could wave cars over as I crossed a narrow bridge (I wish I had that one day sooner). I came to a fire station and had to decide whether to keep moving or stop for the day. So, I flipped a dime and, as chance would have it, we ventured on.

Within a few minutes a young man pulled off and as I rolled up he unwrapped a didgeridoo from a sheet and asked if he could play for us. I have been blessed on the side of the road by priests, pastors, Buddhist monks, families, and individuals who stopped for prayer. So a Rainbow Kid with an Australian wind instrument couldn't hurt. He blew a lively didg and circled the World as I spoke to an old woman who was as delighted as I for the experience.

Just as the sun set we made our way to a CVS store where the night manager agreed to watch the World while a woman I had met in the morning came and whisked us to the van thirteen miles south. When I returned I was approached by many people before I could roll the World over to the van. The day ended as it began, filled with happy conversation and interesting people.
What will today bring as I wonder, I wonder?

I see lightning! Maybe a day for rest.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

It wasn't a bad day - or easy.

First I want to thank the Firefighters of St lucie County for the Nice treatment and breakfast. The rain lasted just long enough to get my rain jacket on an get sweaty. The road to Vero soon opened to highway without a pull-off lane and the world pressed hard against my progress all day. I had to keep off the pavement and with the high wind the temperature slowly baked me despite my drinking lots if water and the occasional dog imposed shade break. I stayed on my feet during these breaks which may have helped drain my reserves. I haven't been so glad to get to a sidewalk at the end of the day. Cold chills signaled I should get out of the sun and end my walking for the day. Today I am wearing long sleeves, I would rather sweat than bake off my energy. After the pummeling of the wind and the sandy grass berm of the highway I was able to get my ten mile goal for the day. No one said this would be easy.
I touched up the worn spots of the world last night before I passed out so I have to wait for the sun to rise and dry the world.
Work hard and enjoy life!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I met a man today...

This afternoon I was standing in the shade after Nice (the dog) had stopped to lie down for a few minutes when a man pulled off the road to thank me for bringing awareness to diabetes. He was a struggling carpenter with a nine year old daughter and he told me he was an insulin dependent type 1 diabetic. He was on his way to receive a check from a customer so he could get his insulin. We talked about how close some researchers are to finding cures for type 1 diabetics. I offered to give him the $25 so he could go to Walmart and get his bottle of insulin, he wouldn't take it and instead wanted to give me the little change he had. I wouldn't take his money. He was living hand-to-mouth without medical coverage but thought it important to give.
All the work walking and talking I do to encourage exercise for control and prevention is nothing compared to the dedication diabetics MUST have to stay healthy, and still it sometimes is a losing battle. If you can find a way to give to the cause, please do. Whether it be the American Diabetes Association or another organization of your choosing. I will keep walking for this world-wide problem and for people like the man I met today. Please do your part.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Port St. Lucie Kept the World Safe from the Storm

The rain and threatening weather helped push me from the Roosevelt Bridge all day as the clouds grew thicker and loomed ominous in the early afternoon. Heavy rains were predicted and I took the advice from a man with his family to seek refuge at the new Beautiful Civic Center at Port St. Lucie. I asked if I could just leave the World out of the rain under the grand porch area while I was given a ride to get the van at the bridge. The maintenance crew went a step further and let me take the World in the maintenance warehouse for the night. The whole staff were very warm and helpful. For that I am very grateful.
I did not experience the heavy storms they did farther south, but it rained enough to warrant an afternoon of rest for Nice (the dog) and me. When I did shuttle the support van to the Civic Center and settled in, I had the longest continuous sleep without waking up since I began this adventure, thanks to the helping hands of Port St. Lucie.
We walked only Seven miles but the short day had many good moments. We were invited to a restaurant for lunch and I had some delicious chicken soup and a good conversation with a man who has trained Olympians and champions from around the world. His advice from experience aside from activity was simply to eat broccoli and sweet potatoes. You can't disagree with a champion trainer.
Eat healthy and get moving!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Walk for Your Health

It's a simple thought. I have met hundreds who have taken this simple "step" to improve their life with dramatic results for the better. I meet people each day on my walk who have gotten healthier with this simple function of life. Give it a try, you won't regret it. Step Out!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

"If six turned out to be nine, I don't mind."

All I'd heard was the Roosevelt Bridge was five or six miles from where I began this morning. As far as I could tell that was the longest six miles I had ever traveled. It being Sunday, and the seventh day of walking for this new venture, I was going to have a relaxed walk and just get over the bridge, find a safe spot and call it a good day.

The sun rose higher, then passed over to the West as I walked from Hobe Sound and thru Stewart. The few people I asked confirmed the bridge was just a short way but still the bridge never came into sight. I didn't mind as I met scores of people and enjoyed the day fully. Kayakers, teachers, retirees, bikers, homeless, church-going Jamaicans, the founder of The Love Yourself Movement (more love to come at a later date), an enthusiastic young man happily told me something I had forgot, "You're livin' the dream!", and more.

The day was full and the miles passed without notice. When I finally arrived within sight of the bridge I had a plan to take the old Dixie Highway drawbridge and as luck would have it the bridge had been closed for the weekend due to a boat show at the opposite side. This made it very easy for us to cross without having to hurry or get in the way of traffic. A policeman had called ahead, and I was welcomed thru and was able to go around the show by way of a grassy drainage trench. When I got back to US1 the sun was almost setting and I made my way to a safe end spot and the man who had offered me a ride to the van pulled up. The day couldn't have gone more graciously. Like the man said, "When you love yourself the world loves you back." So, the best things in life are free and Loving yourself doesn't cost a dime.

I know,that has nothing to do with walking to help prevent and control diabetes...Or does it?

The six miles turned into eleven and a half, but was worth every step extra for the people I met.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Twelve Miles from Jupiter

First came the drawbridge and then after a short stint of side walk the sandy edge of the highway. Many stopped to talk, more than usual on such a road than I would ever have thought. Connecticut , New jersey, Massachusetts, Florida, Wisconsin, Maine, and even D.C. were represented as the day progressed. Nice had a great time as a five year old girl bounced on his back, played with him and patted him all over. I found someones checkbook by the side of the road just before the guarded entrance of a country club so when the guard called out to me and praised me for what I was doing I asked if he could make sure it was returned. The house security had a cart come get it moments later and I felt the matter in the best of hands. A transient with a backpack passed. As this was happening and Nice did not approve of his demeanor. Had I not found the checkbook, well, I am glad I did. The only time I sat down by the road and rested at a guardrail several stopped, one after another. Nice enthusiastically dug a frog hole shoulder deep, his head and neck buried while we talked. Walking along the Hobe Sound reserve was interesting and then into the town I was welcomed with many good people of all ages and type. When I arrived at the van which we spotted ahead this morning a hot meal was waiting for us,but with meals like these as gifts I will not loose any inches from my waistline. It is just rude to turn it down. After a few more visitors I would judge this a great day. I even found a small hawk feather for the hat.


All plans get changed and I have been rerouted to begin at Jupiter Fire station to walk up US1... Wish me luck.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Saved by Networking or FB SOS

I found myself walking near dark with no sanctuary near and after stopping to talk to a few people who were walking along the beach front road I took a leap of faith and posted on FaceBook that I would need some help. At the same time I accepted a couple new friends that had just looked me up online from the URL I have painted randomly on the World. A few minutes went by and my spankin' new social friends came to my aid. One came to load the world in a pickup truck while another talked with a nearby fire station to see if I could keep the world safe in their building. It all came together just as darkness fell. I let some air out of the ball so we could strap it safely and then was shuttled back to get our support van, had a long visit in my new friends home before going to sleep in the van. When the sun rises my newly found friend will again help by transporting us back to the place on A1A where we were rescued.
If that doesn't give you pause to praise you might want to think again.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Hard Days Can Be the Best - if you let them.

The wind gave no grace to the weary today. Pushing against the force off the inter coastal as Nice pranced happily on the wall along the water was a labor I thoroughly enjoyed. The walk over the drawbridge to Royal Palms was windy, but the trip back over after seeing the pristine beach was more challenging than any bridge I have crossed. I had to hold my hat band in my teeth so it would not blow away as I had to do when I was defeated by Mount Washington last summer. Then the wind resembled the gail forces of Havre de Grace in Maryland while I labored for every foot northward, and Nice (the dog) alternately pulling me forward or stopping to "read the news" of every palm tree. As always the wind had me end up meeting people at appropriate intervals and finding myself just where I should be in the end. Humbled.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Feeling the Burn

The past couple of days the wind has been at my back or over the shoulder but today the North wind was showing it's mean side. I had a day of struggle with no rest and the wind in my face. I forgot the lesson that with hardship comes reward. Without the wind I would have walked past the spot where I met the woman who helped me at the end of the day, instead our paths crossed and I would not have been given a few words that saved my day and my faltering resolve. I may have passed the school yard before the children came out for recess and been cheered on after they asked my cause. Or the thankful response of their teacher who told me she was diabetic. And when I pushed the world aside for the morbidly large guy and cheered him on as he kept a determined pace. Moments like those when my arms are aching and the dogs are barking in my boots keep the world moving.

Courtesy: WPTV Facebook fan, Ann Barson Waltzinger

Day three begins

I didn't have much to say, yesterday after walking from Boca Raton thru Del Ray, most of Boynton beach. I appreciate the conversations I had and the help I received at the end of the day. Thanks to the people at The Inlet Inn for the great conversation and the parking spot.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Boca Raton and salty Air Beats Brined Roads Back Home

After spending Sunday with my good friends in Ft.Lauderdale resting and troubling where a good place to begin our walk to springtime I realized we were just where we needed to be, we'd start from Dennis' house which is much more hospitable than The National Mall in D.C. Which is where I launched last year when we walked through the Northern states to Acadia Maine. We took some pictures before I left and I remembered again how I dislike myself in photographs- not that it matters when people stop to snap a shot of the world and Nice (the dog). I was anxious as I usually am before I begin but once we started walking and got onto Federal Highway the wind was at my shoulder and it was smooth sailing. The day went well and we found enough shade and nice people who gave Nice (the dog) extra water so the warm sun didn't cook us. The Captain at the Boca Raton Fire Station is allowing us to stay the night on the property. I am so glad firefighters are the best public servants in any state I find myself traveling thru.
Thank You Boca Raton!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

scayred' south

I couldn't just sit there on the sidelines hibernating for the rest of the winter watching The Biggest Loser and my waistline expand as it has the last four years. I return from my little walks fit yet still far too fluffy and gain the weight back by Christmas. Then pack on a few more for good measure by Spring when I leave again. I have to break this pattern on my own, I have no 'Hard Headed Woman' to" make me do my best" as Cat Stevens' sang. So I paid the piper and here I am in Florida about to burn off some bad habit rendered fat. Walking around my town with Nice(the awesome physic dog) is too little work for me. Years of construction has made me so I can hardly bend over, but I can walk. The gene puddle requires me to be active constantly else I get fat. I have lifted more weight than many who go to the gym daily while working with my hands and after decades of that I can hardly bend from the nerve damage. I became a Carpenter so I would have something to fall back on when I grew up and found a career but life,family and my love of sweat and hard work delayed that plan. I have the brains to sit by a desk and be a success but my back won't allow me to sit for long hours. Or I could be an advocate for prevention, control and curing diabetes, a cause I am passionate about. Still be active, do some good while keeping my weight off, bring the world closer to finding cures for those who suffer from diabetes by helping to raise funds and coax fellow fluffy folks to fitness instead of disease.
I came to Florida for fear of gaining too much Winter weight and it will be too hot in spring in South Florida so I have two months to make a difference.

Once again I have much to say and only two thumbs to say it with...more tomorrow.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Following the Cannucks

I haven't said much about my next pedestrian project. It is cold an snowing in Kentucky so I put my domino line to the South land and am following the exodus of great white campers and goose neck trailers from Ontario. They are flocking for their winter roosting grounds. Who needs a map with them blazing trails?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Going to start walking soon...

Of course it's for a good cause, to raise awareness for diabetes and perhaps inspire some to get fit and healthy. I am doing it to save myself from myself. If I wait until spring I might pop!