Two Joseph’s Across America

You never know where some days are going to take you.

Today my boss yells from her office “Colleen where’s your cabin?”  as she heads in to my office (okay it’s a cube but I act like it’s an office, call me Les).

She has her friend on the phone.  He hosted two young men last night.   Their names are Joseph and Joseph.   He was reaching out to her to see if she knew anyone willing to host them for tonight.   They are Riding Across America For Disabled Veterans. 

My ears perked up.   My heart skipped a beat.   I didn’t know why she was asking me about my cabin but I’m listening.   She thought they could stay in my cabin we have in the country.   That will not be convenient.   Mostly for me because if they are at the cabin they will not be where I am and I need to talk to them.   I got on the phone with her friend.   I told him to have them hold on I will get in touch with Husband and have Husband call him.   I call Husband.  I text Husband.  I call Husband.   No answer!!   I am not losing out on this opportunity.   I make an executive decision, call my boss’ friend back, talk to one of the “boys” and tell him to head here.   We’ll make sure they have a place to stay.

They are two young men.  Both named Joseph.   Riding across America to hopefully raise money, but most importantly raise awareness of disabled veterans in our country.   They can be found on Facebook , they have news stories.   And now they’ve made my blog.   How much better can it get for them?  Probably a lot.   I do hope you at least check out their site regarding their cause and information.   And I’ll share with you our evening with them.

I finally got to talk to Husband.  He didn’t have much say in the matter.  I appointed myself decision maker and him, well, he is the best Husband ever so we all know he does whatever I want.

I couldn’t hardly let two Joseph’s riding their BICYCLES across America come to my house and it be dirty.   So I asked the boss who suggested this if I could take vacation to clean my house.   With very little effort at controlling her rolling eyes she said yes.

I go home.  Clean the house.  Then I decide the best way to greet the two Joseph’s is to meet them as they roll in to town on our own bikes.  Wearing our USA jerseys.   We’re classy like that.    So I call and arrange to meet them.   Do they want us to cook?  Do they want us to take them out to eat?   Personally I just want to sit them down, let them stuff themselves with whatever they want to eat while I ask them all kinds of questions.

Husband and I ride to where we know they have to pass.   I am too anxious to sit still so I ride my bike back and forth on a half mile stretch.   Then I fear I will miss them when they roll in to town.  So I stand with Husband.   Bikers going by on the trail, cars going by on the highway.   Then I see a biker stop his bike and look at us.  For quite a long time.   I wasn’t worried.  But I could tell he wondered what we were doing just standing there.   Suddenly he rides his bike over to where we are.

One of the best comments of the day “you guys look like bikers” was the first thing he said.   Why yes, yes we are, so I give him my biggest and most stupid smile because he made me so happy.    He wants to buy a new bike so he thought we might be able to give him suggestions.  He was great.  We talked about bikes and bike stores.  We told him why we were standing 100 feet or so off of the bike trail, next to the busy road.  He was impressed.  I look up and there they are!

I quickly motioned them over and they rolled in the grass and we all introduced ourselves.  Our bike advice asking friend graciously waving as he rode away.  We met the two Josephs and talked until Husband ushered us away.   Joseph rode with me, while Joseph rode with Husband.

Come on!   That was funny.

My Joseph and I rode in front.   They had on their bike kit, made special for the trip.   They had their gear attached to their Trek bikes.   And my heart was aching just a little bit.  I told them I was jealous.   I knew as soon as I saw them that I was not going to get enough time to talk to them.   This was going to be a great night.

Before I get all mushy about our evening with Two Josephs Riding Across America can I digress for just a moment?    Thanks.    America could we please come to our senses.  These young boys could be doing anything.  But they’re doing something good.  I’m so tired of the nay sayers and criticizers of the world (and specifically the USA) saying everything bad and nothing good.   Husband and I spent this entire night talking to two young Josephs who are doing something they don’t have to do, something that is good, not bad.   Something to bring hope and benefit to others.  Something unselfish.   Positive.   Etc….   Add your own uplifting adjective here.

If we all start acting positive we will induce positive.   Trust me on this one.

Thanks, digression over.

When we get to the house we know what the Josephs will want.  Anyone who has ridden a bike for ten minutes in the weather we are having knows what they want.  Showers.   Cleanness.  Rest.  We get them what they need.  I hope they felt as comfortable as I wanted them to feel.   It’s not every day you bring two “strangers” in to your home.   Funny enough, I didn’t feel like I didn’t know them.  It didn’t matter which Joseph I was talking to, there was a lot to learn from them.  They showered.   They were asked a hundred times if they were hungry.  Thirsty.  Husband headed to the store with a list of foods for Josephs, he returned and I made dinner.  Joseph put a load of laundry in.   Joseph helped me on the computer and my blog.  Joseph is going to be a doctor.   Joseph is going to Afghanistan.

Joseph and Joseph sat in our house.   They made us laugh.  They made us want to go to Flagstaff, Arizona to ride our bikes.  They made us want to do something good and considerate of others.

We talked a little bit about everything.  The reason for their ride.  School.   Military.   Family.  Biking.   Computers.   Blogs.   Experiences.   Biking and sweating.

No matter what we talked about I found myself wanting to know what they thought.  Where they are going.  What they are doing.  I found myself wanting to tell them things.   And there just wasn’t enough time.   They’ve got a mission.   And we were glad to be part of it.

At one point Husband heads outside to get things ready to lock up their bikes for the night.  He says quietly to me that he should get the high wheelers out for them.   I ask Joseph and he surprised me with a great laugh and burst of enthusiasm.   When the other Joseph returned he told him.   We go outside.  And the two Joseph’s who have been riding since July 3rd and were so looking forward to rest for the evening were like two boys with their first bikes.   It took a few minutes to get the hang of it.

Don’t let these pictures fool you.   These guys are biking experts.   They practiced wiping out.

So they would know what to do if they really wiped out.

The smiles on their faces as they rode the high wheelers were priceless.

They acclimated quickly and became pros within minutes.

I was more than excited to share this kind of excitement with them.   I was sitting right there, in my very own house, with someone who is riding their bikes across America.  They are doing it.   They have no idea how much this impacts and sings to my ideals of living.   And how much I respect that they dedicate it to those who have done so much for us.   While each is in their own life training to do even more for us.   One as a doctor.  One as a serviceman.

God is good.  I got up and went to work today.   My plans for the day were good and solid and living today was good enough for me.   But for some reason I was given something unexpected and thrilling.    I was gifted with being part of a journey across America.  A trip of a lifetime.  If I can’t make the journey myself, what’s to say that being part of someone else’s journey isn’t just as important.   Just as valuable.   These Josephs will go on.   They’ll ride more.   They’ll take this trip with them where ever they go through out life.   And where ever they go, they’ll take a little bit of my world with them.

This day has taken me on a journey I had not expected.  But am very honored to have shared in.

Thank you Josephs for riding across America.  I wish you safety.  I wish you health.   And I wish for the good of the country to see the good of our country.  You represent U.S. well.

Thank you for sharing this journey with me.