July 16

Goodbye llinois. 11 down and 37 to go

Last nights camping spot. Walking the edge of the corn field, and looking through the stalks I spotted this bare spot right in the thick of the corn. And a small path to get to it, never harmed one corn stalk. I must’ve interupted a nightly game trail, I heard pissed off deer snorting several times during the night. And I heard a racoon fighting with something?? THAT, will wake you up.
Think I only did 10 miles today. I crossed the Mississippi again and am now in Iowa at Keokuk in a motel room. When I leave Keokuk I’ll go but about 4 miles and enter Missouri for just a few miles and then I’ll head back up to Iowa. I’m going to take off at least two days because I have a good room at a great price and I need to finish mapping out the rest of my route.

Sunday, walking through Quincy, Illinois, an older lady in a really beat up early 90’s T-bird drove past pointing at me all excited and was saying something, but I was unable to hear her. There were wooden wedges keeping the power windows from falling down. A few minutes later she pulled alongside me. She had to be at least 80. Her hair was dyed jet black though. She offered me a ride which I turned down. She was very sweet and kept asking me was there anything she could do for me. She was very frail and just did not look healthy at all. And all of a sudden she said, “What would you do if six attorney’s, two judges, and your family members turned on you?” I immediately said, “Forgive them and get on with my life.” She said, “This has destroyed me.” I said, “Fight back.” She said that she was fighting. I said, “I’m not talking about that kind of fighting, I’m talking about fighting to get your joy back so you can love life again.” She looked stunned, like she had never even thought about that. I told her I had lost both my babies and she put her bony little hands over her heart and told me how very sorry she was. Neither of us said anything for a minute, then she said to me, “But they have my money.” I told her that I once lived with a lady who was worth several million dollars. And that I became quite unhappy in the situation and just put my backpack on one day and left. I was 60 at the time and even though the backpack was at least 50 pounds, I jumped up in the air and clicked my heels together while climbing a steep hill! I was free, I got my joy back. She laughed with delight at my story. I said, “Look, I’m not telling you that you shouldn’t try and get what’s rightfully yours, I’m simply saying, get your priorities straight. Your joy and having peace of mind is worth more than any amount of money. And when you are at peace within yourself you think much clearer and things just plain old go much smoother. Just forgive everybody and get your joy back.” She just was totally delighted and said, “I knew I was supposed to stop and talk to you. I’m going to try, I’m going to really try. Thank you very much!” She offered me a ride one more time and then drove away smiling.

I didn’t give her some great revelation, I just spoke a simple fact that we all really know to be true deep down inside us. Life is so very simple… the reason I LOVE LIFE so very much.

Goodbye llinois. 11 down and 37 to go.

Goodbye llinois. 11 down and 37 to go.