The Walk

It was one of those three in the morning awaking’s. Something or someone was talking to me. Walk to Greenville, South Carolina, this time it is for you! Greenville, that is the Silicon Valley of the east coast and the Buckle of the Bible Belt. Wow.

Of course my mind said, are you nuts! The 100 mile walk to Atlanta with the dog was one thing, but this. That trip to Greenville is over 200 miles and I am in the Heart Attack years. I am no longer young, I am over weight, and I am out of shape. After saying my usual Brat excuses to this thought, I conceded and said YES Sir.

Being obedient has been a lesson in my new found life with the LORD.

I was just told that my graphic and SEO services at DotCom Computers in Macon, GA. were no longer affordable to their budget. No big deal, I thought. I had been interviewing with some worldwide computer software and hardware companies. Trying to convince them to invest in a guy in Macon, GA. was rough. I kept trying to tell these companies that Macon was becoming a suburb of Atlanta.

The job market for a former President of International Software Companies is hard. A President can be removed a lot easier than a regular employee. The position of a President gets the blame for everything that is wrong with a company. I also forgot all about a thing called a golden parachute.

ScanSource is in Greenville. The largest POS and technology distributor in the world. I have given them millions of dollars in business over the years. I have been in the POS Industry (Point of Sale) for over 25 years and became the number one salesman in the USA for many software companies. I single handedly out sold their dealer channels. Surely, they will hire me in a New York minute.

Here is where I was putting two and two together. Don’t do it when it comes to GOD’s plan!

So, I fired off a few emails to the old heads of that company I knew. I let them know that I would be coming to the Greenville area and would like to discuss my employment with them. I informed them that I had no clue how long the trip was going to take and that I had no clue what shape I was going to be in when I got to their office. No response.

Packing was not a problem, because I didn’t have much. All I was going to need to fill up was my backpack was a few things for me and a lot of things for the dog.

I was just let go from my part-time employment. I had no furniture. However, when it came time to go through a large pile old t-shirts. Well, that was an issue.

Have you ever tried to throw out t-shirts? Ones that you have memories attached to them. It didn’t matter that I had not worn them in years, they meant something in my past life. The only thing that saved me was the small capacity of the backpack.

Day One

Every storm cloud has a Silver Lining! The day I broke my big toe.

It was starting to get late in the afternoon. About 4: 00 PM.  I managed to create a pile that was three feet high on my porch of clothes for the Salvation Army. I had the rest of my things that I could not part with on my neighbor’s porch. A small pile. My backpack was full of dog things and two changes of clothes for me. I made as many goodbyes as I could to the few people that were at home at that time on Ridge Ave in Macon, Georgia.

I flung the backpack over my shoulders and grabbed the dog on her leash. We were off on our 200 mile journey. We started walking along the direction of a printout from MapQuest.

After ½ mile, on the lawn of a local church, I had to stop. My 290 pound body was sweating, huffing, and puffing. 290 pound body, wait until you find out what I weighed in at Greenville. 190 pounds! Don’t try this diet at home. How in the world were we going to make 200 miles, when I was worn out after only ½ mile; I thought.

It was now about 6:00 PM and there was a little convenience store up the road just another ½ mile. I could get her some water and craw behind the bushes in the back of the store and rest. Sounds like a plan.

We made it there and I was out like a light in a matter of a few minutes. I seemed like hours, but it was not very long when I felt drops on my face and heard thunder. All I could think about was trying to get Daisy out of the weather. I knew we had walked by a few places with overhangs in their Architecture.

First we walked backwards to the Scotches’ Rites building, but the wind was picking up and the little overhang was not going to provide much shelter. Wait I thought, there is a covering at a local church called Vineville United Methodist Church. We will go there for the night.

The wind was really picking up as well as the thunder. Plus it was getting dark. This was one of those storms that crosses Middle Georgia from the Gulf of Mexico. As they say in the South; a gully washer.

We made it to the side to the church building where there was some shelter from the storm. However, it was really dark. All the lights were off. So what, I thought. I knew that there was a side walkway that we could get out of the approaching storm somewhere in front of us.

We made it to the side and went for the little overhang. However, I didn’t know that there was a flight of concrete steps in front of us. I took the first step. There was no second step.

The dog and I, with a full backpack, must have fallen over 10 feet down until we were stopped by the bottom. It seemed like it took forever, but it did not. Pain started to shoot up my leg when we hit, but all I could think about was her safety.

GOD looks after dogs, because she thought it was fun. Daisy was moving around like she wanted to do the fall again. That is when I tried to stand up. If you think you have felt pain before, think again. I could not get up. Oh great, I just messed up my only mode of transportation. My legs.

The rain was coming down very hard. The lighting and thunder was hurting my ears. Plus is was very dark. We unfurled the plastic tarp that my landlord had given me and crawled under it to make a bed. I tried to sleep, but the pain would not let me. There was no way to see the damage to my foot until daylight in the morning.

I was just going to have to deal with the throbbing and the liquid filling up my shoe. Maybe it was just the water from the rain. I wouldn’t know until the morning light.

Day Two

What an awaking!

I could not believe it, but the rain was coming down harder and would not stop. We must be in some kind of Tropical Storm, I thought. I turned my head and saw the flight of stairs that I had fallen down. Wow, did it look large. It was. There must have been 15 steps.

I could have killed myself and the dog with that fall.

As I turned my body to get a closer look, the pain made itself known. Pain like I have never felt before shoot up my right leg. I hurt so much that I failed to notice the large bump on my head. I have had concussions before and made it through them, why not now. More importantly I failed to notice that my vision was blurred. I hit so hard that I had detached my retina.

The dog did her best to heal me. She was licking me all over to make me feel better. I tried to remove my right shoe to get a better look, but could not. My foot had swollen to the point that removing my right shoe was impossible. I thought that the color difference in the shoe was from the rain not blood.

I had worldly thoughts going through my mind. Thoughts like why this has happened to me. GOD, why did you allow this to happen to me? Am I being punished by you? There were more and worse thoughts, but I will not go into them here.

Funny thing about being PRUNED and His Plan; you have no clue what is going on or for what reason. His will not yours!

I tried to stand with one of those folding seats that a person would use in a line as a crutch. I could not. I was exhausted from lack of sleep. When you are in pain, it will not let you fall asleep. No matter how tired you are.

I managed to fix her a bowl of dry dog food and get a bowl of water from the down spout. I turned the backpack full of dry dog food into a pillow. I was going nowhere. So all I could do was to settle in and try to rest by the side of the building. I did. All day and night long.

Day Three

The starting of the purpose of his trip!

It was just after 7:00 AM in the morning, when the Church crew woke me up on the side of their building. “Hay, we cannot having you lying around here. There is going to be a Church Service in a few hours and members are going to see you here”, they said.

I gathered up our things and cleaned up the area. Daisy and I were able to move to the front of the Church. I planned on attending the service, because I needed to hear the word of GOD. Little did I know that HIS plan was getting ready to unfold?

Time went by and I tied the dog and my backpack up to a large Magnolia tree by the side of the Church. I managed to limp into the service and made it to the second row of the back pews. That was as far as my leg was going to take me. I sat down. A lady sat next to me and asked if I was OK. My response was not really. I didn’t know that she was an elder in that Church.  I don’t remember much about the service with only one exception. Standing was almost impossible. Looking towards the pulpit was as if everything was underwater looking through Swiss cheese. I didn’t see much!

When it was over, the lady asked me to join her downstairs in a study group. It took forever to get down stairs, but I made it to the study group. They had me sit in the front row.

The study had started when a person in the back yelled out that is the guy! That is the guy from the Internet who writes books in the front row. They remembered me from taking all the photos of stain glass windows and Church steeples. Yes, I wrote a book called “Spirit of Macon. Well the whole group started to point at me. Next thing I know, I was talking to a group of 100 plus people from the podium.

I talked for over an hour on being obedient to GOD’s wishes. I had the whole room on the edges of their chairs.

When I was finished talking, I was given a tour of the whole Church in a wheelchair. A Doctor even got his bag from his car and took me into a room a fixed my foot. That is when we founded out that I had broken my big toe and lost the nail on it. You don’t need an X-ray when the bone is sticking out of the skin. He fixed me up the best that he could do. He even gave me a walking cast. Guess what, a walking cast was not made to go 30 miles or even 200 miles. That cast is somewhere in a trash can along the 20 mile walk to Gray, GA.

The one thing we did not check out was my eye. Maybe that is why I am in Greenville living on Social Security Disability for being legally blind.

I was told that the next stop would be a Hospital, but I explained that I was on GOD’s journey to Greenville.

I was given so much food and money, that it would have choked a horse. I could not believe that support and generosity these people were giving me. It was not until I heard a few of them off to the side explain that it was all an act. The congregation was afraid that I was going to sue them for my injuries that occurred on their property. Apparently the reason for the side of the building being so dark was that it would save on the power bill without the overhead lights. The lights had been turned off on purpose.

It was not Christians helping a fellow Christian, but a way of not being held liable.

I politely excused myself and gathered up the dog and our things. We were back on GOD’s journey to Greenville, SC. It took most of the day to go just another ½ mile, but we did.

I stopped at a Flash Food Convenience store and bought a water, candy bar, and a drink for myself. Daisy and I sat in the front outside part of the store to rest. A Lady came up to us and loved on the dog. She then commented on the fact that Daisy was without a flea collar. I was miss-treating the dog and should give her up for adoption. Wow! All that from a two minute meeting. I said that I was so sorry and would take care of my oversite during our trip. She became irate. The next think I knew was that the assistant manager came out and asked us to leave the property. If we didn’t leave right then and now, she was going to call the Police and have us removed for upsetting a customer.

It took about two more hours to make it to another Church that was ¼ of a mile away. We found a place to hide and rest. So I thought.

The associate pastor found us and brought us some more food. It was then explained to me that services were over and the dog and I had to leave the property or the Police would be called. There was a Homeless Shelter just down the street that we should go to. I guess that I didn’t look very good at that time. Daisy and I did as requested. We made it down the street to the shelter where we meet a man.

This man was outside of the shelter ready to hit a crack pipe and down a 40 ounce beer. We sat next to him. He offered us a hit of both, but I shook my head. I explained to him that in the day, I had done more than my fair share of both and it only got me in trouble. We must have talked for over an hour. The pipe and beer remained untouched.

When it was time for him to go into the shelter, he handed me the untouched pipe and beer. He thanked me for sharing my story with him. He also said that if where not for meeting Daisy and myself that he would have taken a quick escape from reality and wouldn’t be able to face his issues.

He explained that the shelter would not take dogs and that I was going to be out of luck for the night. He wished that he had a sofa for me and her to rest on. However, there was a reality business down the street near the bridge with a porch. We could stay the night there if we were quite. Well that is where the dog and I head to.

Along the way, I did put the pipe and beer in a trashcan. I had already served two masters in my life and it does not work!

We made it to the porch and settled in for the evening. Even with the pain from my foot, I still could not stop thinking about getting the dog and I over that bridge in the morning.

3.2 miles into our trip in three days. What a pace. Only 197 plus more miles to go.

Day Four

The Busy Bridge, the Hill, and Food!

I woke up after a full night sleep, but still in pain. I didn’t think or dream about the soft beds that I had been in at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in NYC. I sleep like a log. For some reason there was a song going through my mind. No it was not a top 40s hit, but a children’s song. One that has words in it like; I think I can or something like that.

Daisy and I rounded up our things and were off to cross the bridge and meat whatever awaited us. It only took 20 minutes and we were at the start of the bridge. Just a few years ago, we would have been swimming across this 40 foot high bridge. A Tropical Storm had dumped a load of rain that caused a 3 week flood in the area.

Walking across a bridge is tough enough, but with a dog. It was a full workout!

Drivers of cars don’t care about a pedestrian. Particularly one that is limping and having issues seeing. It took some time, but we made it. I kept thinking of how much water use to be there. It is hard to imagine when one looks down 40 feet at the Ocmulgee River and sees grass growing on parts of the bottom.

Our first stop was to a Family Dollar store to get Daisy a flea collar and me some rest. Who am I kidding? It was a chance to get out of the 100 degree sun as well. After buying the flea collar Daisy and I rested out of the sun in front of the store on the sidewalk.

An older Blackman pulled his car up by us. He got out and sat beside us. He explained that not too long ago he too was unemployed and homeless. Hang in there, because GOD has a plan for you. Don’t give up, he said. We must have talked for an hour.

He explained that in his current situation there were issues with his marriage. His biggest problem was that they forgot about GOD. I listened to every word without responding. When he finished, it was my turn to speak. I informed him that I was single and didn’t have much advice to offer. However, a friend of mine named Calvin had written an article about marriage and GOD. It might be a good idea that he and his wife read it. It is called A Zero Zero Relationship and can be found on a website called Church Connect Magazine. He said that they would and departed with a thank you for my help.

I know they read it, because of an email I got later saying that that article saved their marriage.

Daisy and I were off again to walk up one of the largest hills in Macon, GA. That children’s song went through my head again. I kept putting one foot in front of the other. Limping as well. Cars would stop and give us money. I must have looked bad at that point.

We made it to the top and saw a restaurant called Old Times. There were bushes along the side of the building where I could hide and rest. We did so. I unrolled the bedding and fell fast asleep for a few hours with my dog around my head.

After my nap, I got up enough courage to go to the front of the building. For many years I would take people from Church there for food after service. Surely they would give me something to eat, I thought.

I asked for the manager, who should have known me. He did not. He gathered up an on the house to go plate of fried food and told me to enjoy. If my former Doctor knew that I was eating fried food there would have been a seen.

After I was finished, he did not want to see me there again or he would call the Police. The last thing I needed was to have the Police picking me up for being homeless and take Daisy to the pound. She would be given 7 days to get adopted or be put to death at the pound.

I knew that a Church, that I was a member of, was down the road just a few miles. So we headed to Real Life Church of Macon, GA. The walk was downhill and we made it by dark.

Daisy and I unrolled our bedding at the backdoor of the Church for a long nights sleep. She crawled around my head again as a sign of love. I hope she did it a sign of love and not that I was using the backpack as a pillow and her dry dog food was in it.

8.9 miles into our trip in four days. Only 191.1 more miles to go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day Five

A most needed Bible Study group!

 

Boy did we sleep through the night. It was about 6:00 AM when the sound of the backdoor being unlocked woke Daisy and I up. She crawled back inside of my blanket to keep me safe and warm, even though it was time to get up.

A small group of men were going to have their morning meeting and a Bible Study in one of the many rooms. I was asked to join in.

It took a while to put the walking cast back on and tie my dog up to a bush that was by the backdoor. It took longer to find the room the morning meeting was in, but I did. Real Life Church in Macon is very large.

There must have been 12 guys in attendance. Most of them were Architects and Engineers. I knew only one person, but that did not matter. The subject of the meeting was all I needed. We all circled around and listen to each person’s take on life. When it came to my turn, I just said that GOD had my back and not to worry. I must have looked really good that morning, because they were so concerned about Daisy’s and my wellbeing.

The subject turned to a building theme. One ordinary person pulled out a set of plans for a Church building. He then explained that without a plan that the workers could not accomplish their task. He went into further details that just had me ribbited.

Then he tied GOD’s plan for a person, the Bible, and how a building was made altogether. Wow! I was amazed. I had never heard it put that way before. It started to make so much since to me. This was better than any sermon that I have listened to.

He closed with the Beatitudes or the Sermon on the Mound as GOD’s plan for people. I just hugged him when he was finished, because I was speechless. I learn more in small groups than I do at formal services. Maybe I am just weird.

When the meeting was over and the group of men had to go to work, we all made it out to the backdoor. That is where GOD’s children went to work for each other. Helping one another the best they can with whatever life throws in your way.

The group’s attention turned to Daisy and myself. They wanted to know if they could do anything for us. I explained that we were just fine and GOD had our back. When I was asked where we were headed, concern filled the circle of men. Greenville that is over 200 miles away. You had a hard time just walking down the hall, let alone to South Carolina. Why don’t you and Daisy stay with one of us, was said. I thanked the person for the offer and added the following remark.

No, I explained, we are on a journey from GOD and I don’t want to be disobedient towards his commands. He has a plan for me and my dog and I want to be obedient.

All right then was said by the group as they opened their wallets and gave us money to get something to eat on the journey. I never solicited or Panhandled for money during the whole trip. It was freely given to us.

Oh there was one comment about me losing my mind or something along that drift. How in the world do you expect to walk 200 miles? You need a car. My response was all things are possible if GOD is in control. We then said our goodbyes and Daisy and I were back on the road again.

There was not much of anything down the road to Gray except for Pine Trees. After a few miles or so we came to a convenience store. There were trees along the side that I could rest under. I went inside to get an orange drink and ask about water for my dog.

As I was talking to the clerk when some pretty rough looking young men came in. They went right to the clerk at the front. They were acting very different. Then all of a sudden they left without buying anything. Well that was weird, I said to the clerk. She explained to me that the store had been robbed a few time in the last month. I could also use the faucet around the back to get water for my dog. I did.

As I walked towards the side of the building, one of the rough looking young men came up to me. He said that if it was not for the three people in the store at the time, they would have robbed the place. It was just me and the clerk.  I don’t remember there being a third person in the store at that time. Go figure!

After we rested under the trees for a while, Daisy and I made our way down the road. We only walked about a ½ mile when I started to feel exhausted and in pain again. Just ahead was a very big and empty complex. Maybe we could hide there and I could get some much needed rest. All I could think about was getting that walking cast off my foot and laying my head down. The walking cast was not holding up very well at that point.

I did not read the sign in front of the large and empty place we were walking in to. Church of GOD – Southeastern Headquarters it said. There were two large buildings and the last one had some kind of overhang or drive up. I could rest there if we were quite. I did.

I unrolled the bedding and took off the cast. It took me maybe five minutes and I was fast asleep in the shade of that drive through.

10.9 miles into our trip in five days. Only 189.1 more miles to go.

 

 

 

 

 

Day Six & Seven

I got your back vision!

When I woke up I decided to take a tour of my surroundings. I couldn’t believe that such a large complex was empty. I looked through one of the many windows and saw an inside that was plush. Someone had spent big bucks on decorating this place. It must be only used a few times a year, I thought.

It didn’t take long for me to feel exhausted and in pain again. I made my way back to the drive through and laid my head down again and got off my feet. There was not much of the walking cast to take off this time. It was falling apart.

I fixed Daisy two bowls. One with food and the other with water. The little dog curled up next to me as usual. She somehow manages to finish off the bowl of food during the night. Every night for the last five years. I was fast asleep in no time.

Now don’t get me wrong, but I know my body. When I dream, I wake up. I wake up having to go to the bathroom. Number One. I had a soda earlier that alone guarantees that I will wake up to go to the bathroom. At my age this happens about three times a night. Hay I am no spring chicken anymore. This was different.

I woke up after two days. So did Daisy. How do I know this? The two bowls were still full as if I had just placed them. Second, it was not until we got to a computer store in Gray, GA. That is when I found out I was missing a whole day.

What I am about to write is something that will put a person in a rubber room for life. I have not lost my mind.  GOD is real. John has not gone off the reservation. No there was no green light from a UFO. I was not taken for some strange medical experiments or an implant.

This happened.

The colors that I saw were in a realm that is hard to describe. The colors were not something you see here on Earth. I did not see streets of gold or walls/gates made of pearls. I did not see people that I knew who had died. I felt them. I don’t know what I saw. It is very hard to describe. It is so much better than here. Also, there was no since of time. I can tell you that much.

To make a long story short, I woke up in the morning and my toe was healed and had a nail on it. I did not need the walking cast anymore. More importantly, I was given the since that HE had my back and everything was going to be Ok.

It was a since. I was told this. Not in an auditable way. You know not billowing voices. I can’t describe it. I just knew.

The only way I can describe the place in my vision was that it looked like an iridescent cloud of colors. Colors that I have never seen before.


10.9 miles into our trip in seven days. Only 189.1 more miles to go.

Day Eight

Gray, GA.

Daisy and I woke up and I didn’t need the walking cast anymore. It is in a trashcan at the Church of GOD complex somewhere on Gray Highway. My toe was back to normal. So I put my old shoe back on.  I have no clue how that happened!

We gathered up our belongings and were off down the Gray Highway. I may have a healed toe, but I am still in my fifties. We were walking at a 1,300 steps per mile pace. OK, for the fitness gurus that are going to jump all over me for stating that fact. Try walking with a dog that has to smell every inch of the side of the road. We were not racing against any clock.

It was not long before we can to a convenience store along the road. It was called Creekside Grocery & Gas. The owner, a Pakistani American man, saw us coming and had pulled a few items from the shelves for us. No charge. Wow. He had pulled food and drinks for me and the same for Daisy. He gave me the package and said that we could enjoy our meal around the side of the building in the shade. Stay there as long are we needed, he said. I have to tell you that Daisy treated a can of Alpo like it was a T-bone steak.

I wished the customers that we passed going out the door had the same attitude. They made it a point to not make eye contact with me. They treated me like I was a looser homeless person. One who was going to ask them for money with some kind of sob story? Their treatment of me made me feel bad.

We rested on the side of the building for some time and then were back on the road to Gray, GA. Of course I thanked the owner for his kindness before we departed.

It took some time, but we made it to the only Supermarket in Gray, GA. We sat down at some tables in front of the store. An elderly couple walked up and asked if we had lunch yet? My reply was not yet. They went in to the store and came out with a full Chicken meal and two bottles of water for me and a bag of dog food for Daisy. I looked at the five pound bag of dog food trying to figure out how to carry it.

When you are on the streets walking weight is a factor. I don’t want to sound like I was not grateful.

We enjoyed our lunch and made it further into Gray, GA. That is where I saw a computer store in a strip mall. I knew that they had an Internet connection. The only question was, were they going to let me use it and a computer to email my friends and the world to tell people that Daisy and I were OK. Joe at Gray Computers did.

While I was typing my email to friends and the world, I noticed the date on Windows clock was different. I ask the owner and he told me that it was correct. He even told me that it was controlled by the Internet Provider. That is how I found out we lost a day before.

What happened next made me sink very low in terms of my feelings! A kid came up to me and asked what it was like going to High School when T-Rex was roaming around. Did I look that bad, I thought. Wait one minute, I thought. I am in my fifties not a few million years and fifty. I looked at the kid and managed to get out one question. Where are your parents, I asked.

Daisy and I finished up and went further into Gray, GA. It was starting to get dark and we found a place to hide. It was a closed and empty vegetable stand along the road. That would do nicely.

I had no clue what was going to happen in the morning. All I could think about was resting.

17.3 miles into our trip in eight days. Only 182.7 more miles to go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day Nine

Eatonton, GA.

 

We got up just before dawn and moved to a local church to finish my sleep. Gray United Methodist. I am not a Methodist. I just know many senior pastors at that denomination and organization. I also did a Christmas logo for one of their Churches in Middle Georgia. It was only a short walk from the vegetable stand and should be a safe place to hide out at. Plus I may even get a chance to talk to the senior pastor.

Sounds like a solid plan right. Well the Church secretary didn’t think so. I just got to the back of their building and unrolled my bedding, when the Gray Police SUV rolled up. It took a while to find and show all my IDs to the officer.

The Officer went back to the vehicle to call in the event and to check his computer. I am going to go to jail for being Homeless and I could say goodbye to Daisy is what I thought. Well he came back and asked one more time where we were headed. I said Greenville, SC.

I don’t know if it was GOD or the opportunity to have another county deal with me, but he said that he was going to take us to Eatonton. Wow!

I gathered up our stuff and put myself and the dog in the back seat of the Police SUV. That is when I looked at the computer in the front seat of the vehicle. It was on the Internet and had all the books that I had written on it. Sgt. Jacob Hunnicutt got in the driver’s seat. He turned his head and said that he was not use to having two celebrities in his car.

I didn’t know that a local Church and many people in Georgia were following our progress along this journey on the Internet.

We sat back and enjoyed the 25 mile ride in air conditioning to a new county. When we arrived in Eatonton, Georgia he alerted his fellow police men along our route to our presence.

The drop off point looked so familiar to me. Daisy and I sat down at an outside covered picnic table. It didn’t take long to figure out that the area and convenience store were a stopping point I made years ago. I was headed to upstate New York via car filled with computer equipment. I was going to Rochester, NY to get a certification for software with a MICR printer. You know the ones used by Walmart and in most Supermarkets to read checks. Daisy was with me at that time and was just a pup. How time passes!

I sat there watching a man selling and making boiled Peanuts. He had a laptop at his place of business. At one point he came over to talk with me. He used to be in the service and was doing this job as a way to earn extra money. He had to do so, because he had so many pets that they were driving him broke with their upkeep.

I was told that when he finished work he could drive me deeper into Eatonton. I was not going to pass up a ride and waited. The dream in Macon, so long ago, said nothing about getting a ride to Greenville. Plus I am in the Heart Attack Years.

I have to tell you that there are some strange foods eaten in the South. When his work had finished, we jumped into his truck. He handed me a bag of fried Pig Skins to eat. They looked like the treats that I would buy for my dog. Guess what, I was so hungry that they actually tasted good. I am sure my cholesterol numbers loved them. I had to fight off Daisy.

He took us another 10 miles or so to the Jet Truck Stop for the night. At one point he came back with a bag from McDonalds. What a treat! Daisy and I found a broken down truck and setup our camp next to it.

It was not long before I was fast asleep. All of a sudden there was light in my eyes from flashlights. The local Police were around me to see what I was doing there and if I was OK.  After a wonderful time of finding my IDs again and a map printout of where we were going. One of the cops noticed something strange. He shined his light on the backpack while the other cop shined his light on my head.

Apparently, a hive of Red Ants were next to the broken down truck. They had engulfed the backpack for the dry dog food and had bitten my head and face. Insects and I don’t get along. If I get bitten just by one bug, I swell up big time.  My face must have looked like a Cabbage Patch Doll. Thank GOD that there was not a mirror for me to see my face. The cops wanted to take me to the local hospital. I refused. They left me.

Sleeping outside under the stars is great. If you can somehow figure out how to keep the bugs off of you. However, there is one thing that is a constant in the morning. The dew. There is only one way to not get soaked every morning and that is to have cover. I didn’t.

I moved away from the ant hill and left the backpack. There was a few more hours of darkness and I managed to go back to sleep for a few hours.

40.3 miles into our trip in nine days. Only 159.7 more miles to go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day Ten

The snake in Eatonton, GA.

 

I gathered up our stuff and made it to the side of the building where there was a few picnic tables. I tied up the dog after giving her some water and some breakfast. I went into the store to get us some provisions for the upcoming walk. As I went to pay for our provisions, I became so embarrassed.

I kept reaching into my pockets to find out that I didn’t have enough money. The bills must have fallen out back in Gray when I was sleeping. Yes, I do toss and turn at night. I left our goods with the clerk and walked out of the store with my head down.

The same cops that had woken me up in the middle of the night were still there. They saw everything. Guess what happened next? When I got back to the picnic table where the dog was, one of the Policemen came around the corner of the building with a bag. He gave it to me. It was all the items that I had left with the clerk. Was I ever so thankful to see that bag!

He sat down with me and reviewed the map printout. His suggestion was to forget the map and use the Bypass that was in front of us. He also suggested that I should see if one of the Truck Drivers was headed to Greenville and see if the driver would give the dog and I a lift. My response was is that not hitchhiking which is an illegal act? I don’t want to go to jail. He explained that it was not and would be OK. I should have taken his suggestion.

Instead we were off walking down the bypass. It was about five miles long with nothing on it. I mean nothing!  Two passing cars stopped at the most opportune time and delivered us food and drink. There were even a few passersby that stopped and gave us money. Go figure.

We were walking along the side of the road when I got hit. I got hit in the shoe and fell forward on my face. I could not figure out what had happened. All I heard was a ruckus behind me. When I turned over and looked around I was in awl. A 4 foot Copperhead snake had bitten and gotten stuck on the back of my shoe. What was more astonishing was that Daisy had bitten the snake in two and killed it. It was not until later that I found out that a Copperhead can kill a Human Being.

What a good girl!

I managed to get back on my feet and continue our journey. She did not get a chance to see if it tasted like Chicken.

It must have been about 3 more miles when we can upon an Ingles Supermarket. The two of us managed to crawl behind the gas station in the shade to rest. That was enough for one day, I thought.

That is when a truck pulled up next to us. I was asked where we were going. My response was Greenville, South Carolina. The driver said that he couldn’t help with that kind of distance, but would take us to a shelter in town. I thank him and asked if we could go to a local Church instead. He agreed.

He took us to the Eatonton United Methodist in the downtown area. We got out and found all the buildings locked. Even the Church offices. There was a stairwell along one of the buildings that would get us out of the sun. I headed there. Just as I got the bedding unrolled a man came up to us. He said that he was the Youth Pastor and had been watch us walk around the campus. He picked up his cell phone and called the Senior Pastor. The next thing I knew was that Daisy and I were in his car headed to a local motel for the evening.

Guess where the local motel was, just a few yards from the Jet Truck Stop. We made no progress that day. Eatonton, Georgia is not very large. It didn’t matter the room had air conditioning and a shower. Boy did I need a shower.

I must have taken a shower for over an hour. Funny for a guy who has experience with the US Navy and was taught to take a shower in one minute or less. I even shaved around the ant bites. There was no point in keeping the clothes that I was wearing to wash later. They could have walk on their own. They became property of the circular file cabinet in the bathroom. Especially my socks.

I crawled into that most wonderful bed and was fast asleep with the TV on CNN. I had not watched TV in so long. Sorry to CNN for falling asleep during your show.

It was not until checkout time the next morning when I woke up.

40.3 miles into our trip in ten days. Only 159.7 more miles to go.

Day Eleven

The lady with cancer.

Everyone who has stays in a motel must experience the wonderful treatment you receive when it is 11:00 AM or checkout time. It is like being woken up in boot camp and having the Drill Sargent become your Mother.

Just before this incredible treatment, I had gathered our things and was ready to go. This time we were going to walk into the heart of Eatonton and not do the Bypass route again. Plus I just don’t want to step where I had stepped before. I was not afraid of running into another snake. Not to say that the guy who has a nickname of Braveheart wanted to avoid the bypass on purpose, because he was afraid of that area.

We must have walked about 3 miles when I saw some kind of clinic or hospital. I knew there should be a spot to get out the sun somewhere on that campus. So we headed there and found a bench to sit down at. I fixed Daisy a bowl of water.

As we were enjoying the shade while sitting on the bench a very thin and bald Lady came out of the building behind us. She sat down at the same bench next to us.

You are not going to believe how one’s words and outlook on life change when you know that there is an expiration date for your own existence here on Earth. Just enjoy the following conversation. I did.

She opened up with how short was the time she had left here on Earth. If the medicines in that building have their way, her time will be shorter. Do I have regrets? Of course I do, what to hear them?

I regret not being a better person for GOD, she said.

I would have thought more about him instead of me. Are you ready to throw up on that one, she said to me? Of course I would have taken the warnings about smoking more seriously and maybe not shrugged off the warnings that I got from my family about smoking. I might have given my five husbands more than just the time of day or what I could get finically out of them.

I guess one of my biggest regrets is the fact that my life was all about me. What was in it for me? What I could take away from a relationship for me? I was and I am now not a very nice person to be with.

It is funny thing about our life here in the world we call reality. It sucks. We get so caught up in the here and now and the material things. We overlook what is truly important.  I sat in silence and just listened.

Take for example, my kids. I raised them so worldly well, that they want nothing to do with their Mother. I am a worldly looser to them. Maybe they are right. Maybe they are so really wrong. I think back at my late Mother. I didn’t listen to a word or anything that woman said. In my mind, she was just wrong on everything.

I wish so much that I could tell her to her face how wrong I was. How about just to hear her voice again. I know that I didn’t come with a set of instructions, but I did not have to be such a jerk to her. There are a few husbands that I didn’t have to be such a jerk to either.

I guess the biggest thing facing me is the lack of knowledge about if I am going to hell or heaven. I have been raised and tried to live a GODLY life here on Earth. I have no clue if I did it right. Oh, the Pastor says that with just one prayer all things are changed. How does he know?

The Bible says so. The Bible this. The Bible that. Nobody knows for sure. I do know this, my life was all about me and not for someone else. I don’t think that is in the Bible.

I bet that you and your dog are homeless and don’t have a place to lay your head. Want to use my old trailer. No one is there right now. I thanked her for her kind offer, but we are headed to Greenville, I said. She said Greenville, South Carolina? Where is your car?

Having said that from her mouth, someone’s head stuck out the door of the building and requested that she return to her treatments. She got up from the bench and departed. I didn’t get to say much.

Maybe it was supposed to be that way.

It was getting late and Daisy and I needed a place to hide for the night. We walked down the road a piece. Southerners will love that I just wrote down the road a piece. Well we travelled down the road about 2 more miles. There was a convenience store to the right to get something to drink at. Sounded like a very good plan to me.

Just across the street from the convenience store was something. Something strange. This might be the place for us to spend the night at. I could not figure out if it was a collectable, antique, or junk store. You need to visit www.whogotjunked.com to see what I am talking about. Who cares, I thought. There might be a safe place in the back that we can spend the night at.

This is where I meet Roy and Ann or as he is listed on Facebook Herman Andrews. The business is called “The Got Junked Market.” This place is great. You have to stop by and see it to believe it. I was greeted by Roy and asked him if Daisy and I could find a place around back and stay the night on his property. He said yes.

Roy took us around the back and show me an AstroTurf covered section from a golf range. He said that we could spread our things out there. Little did he know of my dad’s history with AstroTurf! He might of thought twice about reaching into his pocket and handing me money.

My late dad ran the company that brought AstroTurf to market and filled the Astrodome with it. Monsanto filled many stadiums with AstroTurf back in the day.

Roy came back to the tee with the world’s greatest ham and cheese sandwiches from Ann. What a treat. Of course I had to share a small bite with Daisy. I would have lost an arm if I did not. He also said that they found my work on the Internet and were impressed. How about we put you into the only local motel in Eatonton for the night. We will pay for it. My response to this kind offer was a polite no. The tee was just fine. I did not want to go into the details. We were fast asleep in no time.

40.3 miles into our trip in eleven days. Only 159.7 more miles to go.

Day Twelve

Roy’s kind gesture of a ride to Greenville, SC.

The light of dawn woke me up. It might have been early, but I didn’t know. I did not have a watch. It was lost back in Macon many moons ago. The first thing I did was to open up my backpack and find the pad of Miniature Schnauzer note paper and matching envelopes. I had to write a thank you note to Roy and Ann for their hospitality. I did so. I gathered up our stuff and left the note card on the tee. We were off to parts in front of us that were unknown.

I headed towards downtown Eatonton. There was a sidewalk with shade to keep Daisy’s little paws cool. We walked about one mile to a McDonalds where there was the most welcome site. It was Roy in his white Pickup Truck. He explained to me that after further thought, it would not be out of the ordinary for him to take us to Greenville. As long as he made it back to Eatonton by supper. I was speechless as I got Daisy and our belongings into the truck.

It seemed like no time and we were in Greenville, SC. Riding in a truck is so much faster than walking. We even had lunch from McDonalds. What a treat. We got into Greenville, when Roy pulled out a very advanced cell phone with GPS. He figured out where ScanSource was. He even found a Walmart for me to get a shirt, tie, food, and other things that were needed. He even paid for these items. Wow!

We found and rode by the ScanSource location. Our next job was to find a nearby motel so I could rest up before an interview.

We found the “Red Roof Inn” just a few miles down the highway from my interview. Roy bought Daisy and I a few days at the Red Roof. He then wished us good luck and was headed back to Eatonton and a very well deserved supper. Thank you so much Roy. I will never forget you help.

Daisy and I settled in to our room. As for me, I took an hour long shower before bed.

225.0 miles into our trip in twelve days, with 0 more miles to go.

Day Thirteen & Fourteen

The Red Roof Inn of Greenville, SC.

I don’t have anything exciting to write here for you the reader. We just watched TV and enjoyed the Air Conditioning for the few days we had at that room. When the time came to go to ScanSource, I downed my new and clean shirt with a new tie. The walk to the location down the road was not very long after our journey from Macon, GA

I am going to make the following short, because it hurts me to relive it. I was sitting in the Lobby of ScanSource when the HR department called security to have me removed from the property. I was doing nothing wrong. I just did not have an appointment on their books.

The following is a copy of an email I received from the company follow my attempted interview:

ScanSource Letter

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