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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Why The Walk

A VERY difficult moment for me...to share with all, just why I am walking across America.

How much to tell? All the background leading to taking that first step from beneath the Peace Arch? Include others who led me to this?

So many thoughts running through my head.

Consider a bit of a little white lie...or maybe a few stretchers...tell one and another is almost always needed to cover the first; then forget what you told to whom..pretty soon, you ARE living a series of lies and in danger of disaster for yourself and those who believe in you.

I have found that the simple truth is ALWAYS the best...but not necessarily ALL the truth.

So here goes.

Thirty years ago, I and my wife, Christiane, started our Company importing and wholesaling beautiful decorative packaging. Today, May 2010, Christiane is gone, losing her 10-year Breast Cancer Battle. Today, May 2010, our Company is hanging on by a thread ... and losing ground quickly; Today, May 2010, I sit in the DAYS INN Motel in Portland, Oregon asking myself just what in He_ _ am I doing here.

My (totally plutonic) Significant Other, who has not been mentioned in this blog because she TOLD me not to, has many months ago made it clear to me that WHEN my Company failed, I would not be welcome to sit around the house; she made it clear that is her domain and I must find something else to do.

There is the crux of the matter. Clear to me some 2 years ago, our Country was in great peril and so was my Company. I started looking for "something else" to do.

Two years ago , Jim, my younger Brother died. Jim and I had always been very close. We even shared the same cat under the covers to keep our feet warm when living on the Stump Ranch in our house built from wood shipping crates of WWII B-17 Bomber Wings ...a house with no heat ...no running water; Jim's death has been my wake up call...my eyes still get misty and I sure do miss him.

And, so I asked myself what Jim would enjoy if he were still here. I decided he would not like it if I sat on the couch, drinking beer, eating chips, and watching the tube. I must not, I decided, waste a single moment from the time I have left. To do so would be an insult to Jim. I had to find something that would make him proud of me.

And then, Mark came to visit from Switzerland last June. We walked a lot together.
Mark went back to Switzerland, but unknowingly left me a spark...why not walk somewhere ! Walking someplace exotic meeting new people learning how others are faring in these difficult times. That would surely please Jim. That would certainly keep me away from my Significant Other's home for a while.

That, my friends and so dear people, is why I began my saga ... walking into what future I may be granted to live; meeting some of the finest folks on this Earth; finding new friends who I have come to understand are often also looking for "something to do".

I am a simple old man - perhaps not so simple - who has been blessed to have a fantastic life (from time to time, I plan to share more with you) and is "looking for something else to do".

I lay awake for many nights searching where to walk. Corner to Corner; Water to Water; I walked to Blaine and back 3 times just to see if I could do it. I could...I just knew I could walk from Water to Water. I filled a vile with water from Blaine Bay and when I arrive in Key West I will fill another from from the waters of Key West Bay; I will mix the two and have the most precious vile of water...my symbol of what I can do...where I can walk...and keep important people pleased with me.

Thank you for joining me...I do need you ...and hope I am giving back something precious too.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bruce,

Enjoying your blog. Since I am from Bellingham and now living in Portland I was impressed. It seems long driving it. Sorry you have to have such complications with support vehicles. Keep going. Sally

Melissa Keith said...

Great explanation Bruce! Sounds like many things led you to your epic adventure, not just those you talked about in this post - but also your marathon running, your hard work out doors when you were very young, your business skills, and your overall "can do" attitude.

Scott Mumford said...

Now I'm even MORE impressed! Good for you for opening up a little. Feels good, doesn't it? I look forward to learning more about your Adventure--and about *you*.