DAY 49 of my walk halfway across America to raise awareness to the plight of the more than 30,000 children aging out of foster care and into homelessness, each year in the US.
Kelly worked at the hair salon in Mena. She’d heard about my campaign on the country radio station that she and the other ladies at the salon listened to all day long.
I’m still not sure how she managed to get in touch with me. Maybe it was at the Skyline Café or the coffee shop that morning before we headed out to the spot where I’d stopped walking the night prior, on highway 60 in Oklahoma — just a little over the state line.
Either way, she offered me and my support-car driver a place to sleep for the night in her little farm-house, right off Highway 8.
Although her house was a little over 40 miles in the opposite direction of where I was walking, my support-car driver had to drive back to Mena that night anyway and stay in a hotel room, just up the road from her house.
There wasn’t a hotel ahead of us on Highway 60 for at least another “who knows how far?”
I could’ve pitched a tent on the side of the road and my support-car driver could’ve picked me up the following morning and taken me back to the hotel in Mena so I could’ve showered — I had absolutely no problem with that. But, when someone offered me a room for the night I usually took them up on their offer. It allowed me to share my mission with them, and hopefully they would share it with everyone they know. So, we skipped the tent and the hotel and headed for Kelly’s house.
“What’s this persons motive?”
I asked that question many times during the walk. I learned that most of the time the person genuinely just wanted to help with no strings attached. Imagine that.
But, sometimes a person's motive is getting joy in return. In other words ... by helping you it brings them joy.
It might make them feel closer to God.
Maybe their motive is, "self-healing." By helping you, they're helping themselves heal from something that happened in their past. The walk sure healed me in many was.
Kelly’s motive was very simple — she just wanted to help.
Of course the extra trade-off was always a few songs in return. I stayed up till 1:30 AM playing guitar and singing to a group of Kelly’s family and friends. After walking 20 miles that day, I was cooked.
Speaking of "cook." Kelly was a very nice lady and a very good cook. Her homemade vegetable-beef soup was out of this world. It was hearty and filled with big chunks of ground-beef. I ate two whopping bowls filled to the brim.
She asked multiple times if I’d stop by the salon so she could give me a haircut. No matter how good of a cook Kelly was, I was not about to let her get those scissors near my head.
I did need a haircut though.
[The photos were taken are on highway 60 in Oklahoma. The second one is the road behind me where I'd walked that day and the third photo is the road ahead of me and where I still had to walk]