Day 16

True kindness

April 11th, 2010

Wendy saw me pushing my cart earlier in the day and, not knowing that I'm walking across the US, was very concerned for me. When she saw me again sitting on the curb in Pleasant Gap, she gathered up a jacket, a newspaper, and some food, and brought them over to me in the bag you see her holding (she apologized for its pinkness). She was worried about offending me, and wanted to make it clear that she didn't think I was beneath her; she just wanted to make sure I was okay.

She also said she was very touched by the sign on the front of my cart (see below). I haven't addressed the sign yet on this blog, so I think now would be a good time. I can't take credit for it; I stole the idea from my friend Bill Wetzel. It just seems like such a perfect reminder of the ephemerality of life. Make the most of each encounter; you never know if you'll see that person again. I also think it's kind of poignantly funny that the vast majority of people reading my sign are zooming past me in their cars, our one brief encounter in this world over and done in the blink of an eye. (Although there have been a surprising number of people who see me a second time and pull their cars over to talk to me.)

The sign on the front of my cart


  1. George Broze says:

    Wendy’s a coomplete princess!

    • Dad says:

      Those who are lucky are given the chance to help someone else. The ones who take advantage of that chance are the real winners. If we could replace 95% of our politicians and 99% of the talking heads on radio and tv with the people you’ve been blessed to meet, our society would be in much better shape.
      Thank you to all those who are helping take care of Matt. I guess the world is really a better place than we’re led to believe.

  2. Thomas says:

    “I had to help you, God placed you in my path …”

  3. Steve says:

    We are all capable of being Wendy. I hope you come upon a Habitat for Humanity build site as you travel, because you will find a hive of people like her. It’s always better to see a sermon than to hear one.
    Keep these coming!

    • Lauren says:

      Woo hoo! I agree with the Habitat for Humanity statement (although I’m partial as I ran our chapter in college). I met some wonderful people through that cause and hope that you continue to meet wonderful people along your journey! Love this journey you’re on!!

  4. justin says:

    i applaude your determination to open peoples eyes to the possibility of true freedom…i wish you the best of luck…i’ll keep you in my thoughts as i grind away at another monotonous day of work good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. naddya says:


    I saw an article about you and the your walk across the US, congrats!!! I so wish I could do that appreciate nature, and people along the way, it’s so great to know good people still exist….

    Anyhoo, when I started looking at your pictures and adventures day by day, I always wondered about your sign… I was very moved when you said, “… a perfect reminder of the ephemerality of life. Make the most of each encounter; you never know if you’ll see that person again…” Cheers for that!

    Best of luck in your travels! :)

  6. Bob Currie says:

    We need more Wendy’s in this world. Genuine generosity and a heart warming smile…

  7. Barb V says:


  8. Liz says:

    What a sweetheart!

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