Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day

Cody called today from seven miles west of Artesia, NM. He was hoping Artesia, a town of around 10,000, would have some sort of restaurant open today. In contrast to Thanksgiving, he actually has enough money to purchase more than a double cheeseburger! He has PB&J as a fallback, I’m sure.

Lindsey is planning on writing about her time with Cody, but there are a couple of good stories I haven’t written about yet. One of the most touching stories took place in Alamogordo last Friday night. A lady had seen Cody walking several times, and then saw his stroller parked outside a Taco Bell. She went in and asked who the stroller belonged to—when Cody owned up to it, she told him to wait five minutes. She ran home and returned with winter gear. The gear had belonged to her husband, who was killed in a peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan. Cody told her he was “homeless” by choice while he walked across America, but she said she wanted him to have the clothes—she was glad to give them to someone who was trying to make the world a better place (referring to Cody’s fundraising efforts). She also was going to give him a gift certificate for a fast food restaurant, but Cody didn’t feel right taking that. The lady also had a son injured while in the military who was still in the hospital, as well as some teenage daughters. Cody certainly didn’t feel worthy to fill these clothes, but was honored to be given them.

Cody spent Saturday walking east of Alamogordo. He met a friendly guy who was on his way to the Mountain Mercantile store up in Cloudcroft to buy pies! This man must have stopped because he recognized a kindred pie afficiando! He offered Cody a ride up to Cloudcroft, and when Cody refused, he drove up to Cloudcroft, then returned to talk to Cody again. He brought him some sausages, a reconnaissance report on the road ahead, some money, and an offer for Cody to camp out at his house. (He had all his kids home for Christmas, or he would have had Cody bring Lindsey and LaRae to their house to stay.)

Cody had planned on hitching back into Alamogordo for Saturday night to meet up with Lindsey, but he didn’t find a ride—he ended up walking almost all the way back! So he walked double the distance—but at least he got exercise instead of resting for the day.

For all the folks out there trying to reduce their tax bite in 2008 (as I’m sure most of us are), you have a week left to donate your tax-deductible contribution to Doctors Without Borders through Cody’s fundraising site. Thanks to all your generosity in that regard, and enjoy the rest of your Christmas day!