Wednesday, July 20, 2011

NEWS FLASH - Read All About It

Today, in a parking lot near Vallejo, California, the kind of thing I live for happened.

I was just getting to the junction of I-80 on CA-37 around the top of the bay, and was getting sleepy on the bike.  So I got off and immediately found a Middle-Eastern donut and espresso shop in a strip store.  Perfect.  I got a medium Latte with an extra shot and a chocolate grazed chocolate donut with chocolate sprinkles.  But this is NOT what I live for.  It was OK.  Sugar and caffeine work at all altitudes.

Front of Tee Shirt
Back of Tee Shirt
It was also warming up so I decided to change the layers I was wearing from the moderate cold stack to the hot and cold stack as I would be crossing hot low-lands and then climbing up to over 7000 feet for Lake Tahoe.  As I took off and put on clothes at the bike in the parking lot, and re-packed them in various hard bags, tank bags and whatever a lady walked up to me and said  "Your shirt made my day."  I was wearing, as usual, a Not Alone Tee Shirt which has the logo on the front and "Find Your Strength" on the back along with

She paused while I told her what Not Alone is about, and with near-tears in her eyes just said something to the effect that this is what she needed today.  Wow.  We exchanged names and she went on about her business.  I wanted to give her a tee shirt but both of my others were in my dirty clothes bag, not such a good gift!  If she reads this (I gave her one of my blog slips) I hope she sends an email to with her address and size and I'll send her a new one.

I have no idea what her issue was or how these few words informed her direction forward, but it did it.  Thanks to the Not Alone graphics folks for desiging it and allowing me to wear the shirt that helped a complete stranger in a place I have never been before and will likely never go again.

As the invisable rules of life would have it my next feeling was that I should check my tire pressures.  I saw a gas station with a air pump that took credit cards!  Things are different in California.  Anyway, I wheeled over there and checked pressures, they were both perfect.  As I got up, a homeless guy stood with a beer in hand, and a shopping cart half-full of empties.  I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that he was collecting cans to recycle,  and that they were not all his dead soldiers. He had a tale of woe and asked for some money as usual, but he too picked up on that small Not Alone logo.  I again talked to him about the work of this organization and he seemed to get it. He was not a veteran, but he did have a large scar on his head from going through a plate glass window someplace and I got to hear that long story.  Anyway, two very different people in the same parking lot seeing this tiny logo and relating to it in some way.

I hope that you have responded to the Not Alone cause as well.  They would love a donation to support the work, but even if you chose to not do that, if you will make it a point to learn about this work and talk it up with those around you it will make the world a better place for returning woman and men that have defended your home place and their families.  You know, 'Homeland Security' is a fairly new term, but it is full of meaning.  Think about that.  You and I can do a lot to be prepared here, but others have to go to do the job over there.  Always has been that way.  Please join me in whatever way you can to be a part of the solution.

Lessons Learned: Don't feel constrained to follow the plan to the letter.  If I had stayed in 'Frisco two more days I wouldn't have met those people.


anilia said...

so great.

pattianne053 said...

I have been talking it up and handing our flyers with your blog information. Our shirts came for Saturday and they are way cool but we hope it just helps our soldiers.

Thanks Ron for doing what you are doing.