God sends us human ‘angels’ in our most pitiful moments. Such was the case the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. We had been riding 6 or 7 days in a row. It was too much. We are all too worn out to manage more than 5 days in a row now. We are barely making our 15 mile goal each day and the horses are barely walking 2 miles an hour by the end of 5 days. Richard and I were walking down460, taking a break from being in the saddle, when Teresa drove by. She pulled over and said, “You guys look pitiful and exhausted. Do you need a place to stop?” Hit the nail on the head there, sister.
We couldn’t have been more blessed by her and Glenn’s hospitality and kindness. They invited us to stay through Thanksgiving, or as long as we wanted. We had to make a physical and conscious effort to turn off the phone, avoid computers, and just rest for Thanksgiving. There are so many details to plan as we come to the end, but they will all come together in time. A holiday for thankfulness is not the time to be working.
We spent actual Thanksgiving day with Cory, Katie, and their son Trotter. We met them back in Lexington, KY and have stayed in touch over the last several months. Cory is a vet and has hooked us up with vet needs as we’ve headed east, and we’ve been planning, if at all possible, to do Thanksgiving with them when they came out to visit family since we’d be so close. We had a wonderful visit and a delicious all-natural home cooked Turkey meal. We also spent quite a while on the phone with our families, which has come to be a Thanksgiving tradition.
Back at Teresa and Glenn’s, we had a second Thanksgiving meal and got to hang out with their friends and family. They really made us feel quite at home, and it was a blessedly relaxed holiday stop. Even Bella made a new friend with their little dog, and they played incessantly during the time we were there.
We also got a surprise visit from one of our PA friends- Emmett and Kathy. I used to train their horses when we lived in PA, and they were in the area and swung by to see us! We haven’t seen them in several years, so it was good to catch up.
On the day we were planning to head out again, we had started to pack up when we lower back started spasming. Both Teresa and Richard wouldn’t hear of me trying to lift stuff and ride, so by ‘doctor’s orders’ I was slathered with icey-hot, fed ibuprofin, layed on my back on a heating pad with my feet up, and stayed there pretty much all day. We watched an NCIS marathon, ate leftover Thanksgiving food, and I don’t think I’ve hardly ever sat still that long in my life! But it worked- by the next morning I was feeling tremendously better and we continued on our ocean-bound way.
On a Thanksgiving note, we have to share our thanks!
First, I am blessed to have Richard as my husband. What other woman finds a man who is willing to give up years of his life to pursue the childhood dream of his wife? But he took it one step further- he literally adopted the dream as his own, invested himself in it completely, and has no regrets in doing so. What a loyal, supportive, and honorable husband.
Second, we are grateful beyond words to have such a trail of people behind us who have loved us, supported us, and helped us in so many ways- those who did not let any excuse stop them from being kind to a stranger. We have so many new friends, and some of our most cherished memories are with the people we met. Many of you may never know just how much we needed you at that very moment, how much of an angel you were to us. This has not been a journey of two people, but a community effort across the nation. We couldn’t have done it without you.
And last, we are thankful to know Jesus, to have him as our strength and protection. After writing in my journal what I shared with you yesterday about my dreams, I read in my bible, “Not a scratch was found on him, for he had trusted in his God.” – Daniel 6. I knew this was a reminder for me yet again that God is trustworthy and has kept us safe in so many dangerous situations. A lady recently told us that she was proud of us, to which I replied, “I am proud of us too.” Shortly after, I thought about that and realized that was an incorrect statement. I have very little to be proud of. We have only succeeded in this journey because of God’s help and because of the people he has put in our path right when we needed them. We were the ones on the journey who put out the effort, but the glory goes to God and the real heroes in this story are the ones spread out in a suspiciously straight line from California to Virginia!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, AND THANK YOU!