During the days walk on Saturday as the World dried from Friday's rain I watched the paint wear away. With blustering Saturday wind each push twisted away layers and loosened some patchwork. I have two grades of paint. The thick artist acrylic dries slow but builds up well to add a sort of tread for the World. The house exterior acrylic dries fast, sticks firm, but doesn't hold firm when wet. It has rained so much here along the gulf coast since I began in early January I have Used mainly the house paint. All the new patchwork and the trouble areas, not quite ready for patches, wore down to bare fabric from the twisting friction of wind, and gravity against the Worlds surface. Sunday morning was too cold to paint, I glued a few loose edges, bundled up for a second cold windy day and rolled the weather beaten ball away for another thread bare day. As Sunday progressed from choppy winds that changed directions often, to a wind where I was able to keep a good pace but with a motion that gave twist, a grind if you will, to the fabric World with every step. This is the only World I've got. If I don't take the time to repair the damage and maintain what I can, I may loose my World forever. (Double 'awn 'tawn 'dre!). Sunday night I got a little paint to some trouble areas, in the dark. The wind dried the house paint despite the cold temperature. A light rain Monday morning just reversed the winds help. I need to be patient, for the Worlds sake.
Sunday I left with just what I needed. I had been well fed at Landry's (sorry if I misspelled) Saturday night and wanted to walk off that and the barbecue,beans,jumbalia, desert "The Kind Folks of St. Mary Parish" brought me after we settled in for the night. I brought a few bottles of water, dog food, two pieces of fruit, a clif bar and "emergen-C" powder in case I need a good boost. I left the truck stop by the restaurant and started down the frontage road. I hadn't gone far when a man came from his home, helped me chase the World across his yard (coyote wind), before I left I was carrying thre more bananas, two ensure energy drinks, an eight pack of apple juice boxes and a warm heart. The freezing wind played with me as Nice (the dog) bounced in his morning tug-of-war with his leash. All day, like Saturday, I could almost count the steps I took between each time I was stopped for a photograph and a conversation. On the frontage road or the four lane, against the flow of traffic, or rolling in the pull-off lane with traffic, I was talking all day. Taking a few steps, then talking some more. The time for forward progress came when I passed over "the hump", that's the over-pass in layman's terms, and waiting for me at the approach and descent were people who either knew what I was doing or wanted to ask. In this manner I progressed maybe three miles in five hours. I wasn't setting personal goals of getting to the next truck stop, but the next speed limit sign. Late in the day a port-o-potty appeared just ahead. After the juices, the bananas, the pizza, the fresh off the oven home made cajun gumbo with the neck bone and several bottles of water, I needed to relieve myself.(Hey people --I am walking for diabetes awareness-- I can't be rude and turn anything down, but please...) Twenty minutes later after dozens of conversations I made it to the green plastic sanctuary, threw off my back pack and shoulder bag (the were now filled with water, beads from the carnival parades and other gifts of tasty food) as a woman pulled up camera ready. I was living the dream, a day not measured in miles, but in getting the message to walk for your health to as many as I can. (Be careful what you wish for, you may get it.)
As the sun set we were two miles from the nearest place to stop for the evening when the St. Mary Parish police officer who had spoken to me in the morning after getting a call a man was rolling a Carnival Parade balloon down the highway. We agreed, as several people stopped to talk to add to the small group that was already gathered, that I would not get to the next "hump" by nightfall. As he pulled away one of the many well wishers came with a covered plate of jumbalia, barbecue, a blanket, two bags of provisions and ultimately a ride to the truck stop two miles ahead and then a lift beck to the van. I had turned down a ride forty minutes earlier at the Port-o-potty but it was still in sight and my load was now too great to make it any farther. I took it as a sign that we were being looked after and helped rather than stubbornly trudging into the night out of pride that I must walk every inch. We made it to safety without walking in the dark.
It has rained again but the clouds a letting the sun shine through here and there. The world needs to rest while the paint dries. A little. Then we will set our sights on the next "hump".
Enjoy your parades!