Day 50 – Next Door Neighbors
The beauty of this country is becoming part of me. I feel more detached from life and somehow gentler…I have always been unsatisfied with life as most people live it. Always I want to live more intensely and richly. – Everett Ruess
John-Michael’s parents wanted the “hosting” experience, and the close proximity of our walk was too tempting for everyone involved, so the previous night, we loaded up our gear and headed to Mike and Connie’s. In the morning, they overfed us before driving us back to our previous ending spot.
Just after we started walking, we saw a sign that reminded us we would be home tomorrow.
Passing through Putnamville, we were approached by Daryl, a jolly character who was an expert on the history of his town. He wanted a break from working and we needed a break from walking, so we exchanged a few stories before heading back to our respective daily tasks.
After a few hours of walking, we saw a man and his dog in the distance, waiting on a corner shielded from the persistent rain by a large umbrella. When we finally got near, he introduced himself as Bill. Bill is the top commenter on our blog, and a good friend of John-Michael’s parents. It was nice to finally meet the man behind all of the great comments and quotes.
On our way through the friendly town of Brazil, IN, we saw Ida again. She offered us more goodies, but we couldn’t accept, as were still eating the stuff she gave us the day before (well, the bread anyway, since the donuts didn’t last as long).
We also had a surprise roadside visit from Jeremy, Jessica, Layla, Piper, and Barrett. They are friends from Terre Haute who went out for an evening drive just to find us and cheer us on.
Just before arriving at our destination for the night, we were stopped by a man who told us he had been watching us all day as he ran errands along our route. He asked about the purpose of our walking. We told him about our attempted journey, and then he explained that he felt compelled to give us some money to “buy a hamburger or something.” We explained how much we appreciated it, and Tara told him that, although it’s just the two of us doing the physical walking day after day, we feel that people like him are accompanying us on our walk each and every day. Charlie got emotional at this sentiment, apologized (unnecessarily of course), and said he had to hurry off to work. Slightly stunned by this exchange, we were silent for a bit as we finished the day’s walk.
When we arrived at Amy’s, she warmly greeted us with hugs and her always serene smile. Amy worked with John-Michael for several years. They were next-door office neighbors, and tonight, we would be next door neighbors. Amy owns the house next door to hers, so she let us have the entire place to ourselves! She stocked the refrigerator with food, drinks, and chocolate milk, in addition to giving us some cookies, granola (Wizeharvest no less), and energy bars. She stayed and talked with us for several hours, getting us caught up on the old workplace happenings, as well as life happenings.