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What Kind of Man Leaves His Wife By the Side of the Road?

natchez Jack

I adore Andra. Two days before she left for this 444-mile walk we had a surprise celebration for her at The Belmont in Charleston, the first time I had successfully surprised her since the day 10 years before when I made my proposal to her that she be my wife for life. These ten years have been my best years, so far.

How could I possibly let her wander of into the dangers of the Natchez Trace? Throughout history, the Trace has been a haunt of notorious highwaymen, robbers and murderers. Even Meriwether Lewis, who survived traversing the continent through hostile Native American lands and untamed bear-infested wilderness, even he was vanquished along the Trace.

Of course she has her traveling companion, her father Roy. Lewis had a companion as well on his trek up the Trace; those who lean towards the ‘Lewis was murdered’ theory of his demise often speculate that his agent and guide might well have been a conspirator of his murderer. I am confident that Roy’s only conspiracy is to divert Andra’s attention from her pains and puss by putting on his usual Roy Variety Show at various roadside stops and restaurants.

Here I am back in Charleston, keeping along like all of her faithful and freshly-hooked readers, Facetiming when possible, but also looking forward to our upcoming Embracetime. But still, the image of her walking along the side of the road as cars whizz by, of her stopping off in the woods for a little whizzing of a different sort, these are not images that this husband takes comfort in.

It might have been easier to question the sanity of this walk if her publisher or her publicist had cooked up this stunt. But it was not; it was Andra herself, and I am certain she is not crazy—just crazy-smart. And I know she has a great book to sell with a great story to tell. I believe in her, and her brilliance.

So I have been and will be her virtual wingman on this trek. When she needs a link made or a video uploaded, I’ll carry the load ; when she needs to feed a missive into social media, I’ll be the social misfit doing it; and when she is too worn out to write one out, I’ll hunt-and-peck the keys to come up with a post to keep you all up to date on her pilgrimage.

So as she finds herself in some cell-hole in the middle of Mississippi, here are the best photos from Day Five of my Natchez Trace 444-mile walk: Andra Watkins Tumblr

Tweet, Facebook, type and review your way to Charleston, South Carolina in the To Live Forever Journey to Charleston Contest. Click here to find out more: Support My Aching Feet.

You can finish the book before I’m done walking. To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis is available in paperback and e-book formats at these great places: Click to Purchase To Live Forever.

And now, for today’s Reader Question………….

32 Comments Post a comment
  1. And Andra is lucky to have you supporting her journey.

    March 7, 2014
  2. Okay. Nancy got the answer to my question yesterday. (How long does the 15 miles take? Four and on half hours.)

    March 7, 2014
  3. MTM, the answer to your question “what kind of man leaves his wife by the side of the road?” is . . . A good one. <3

    March 7, 2014
  4. Andra cheats in this video! She answers two questions – how do you keep your phone charge, and how long do you walk each day. Cheat, cheat.

    And MTM – I hope that while the wife is away that you have put that coupon I slipped into your pocket at the party to good use. Wouldn’t want you to be lonely! ;)

    March 7, 2014
  5. I’d be seriously challenged to maintain a pace of 15 miles in four and a half hours. I’d be half jogging behind you to keep up! good work!!

    March 7, 2014
  6. I was wondering about your phone Andra, good question Nancy!

    March 7, 2014
  7. A better love note was never written.

    March 7, 2014
  8. Behind every good woman is a good man … well, it could be another good woman, but definitely in this case, it’s a good man :) Andra is truly lucky to have you in her life.

    March 7, 2014
  9. MTM, she’s lucky to have you and she’s said so many times on this blog. Maybe she’ll answer your question on her next video. :)

    March 7, 2014
  10. Yay – you said my name right! Well, right as in, the way I also say it. Which is wrong, actually, :-) The correct (Portuguese) pronunciation phonetically would be Te-sher-ah — and it pisses me off that so many people know that now. I blame it on that damned New York Yankee player. How else could all these people know?

    So now people correct ME on the pronunciation of MY name. Hmph.

    Anyway… (Oh hi Em — I say that all the time too) – I definitely need to buy a Mophie. My phone dies way too quickly. Thanks for the tip Andra.

    p.s. 4.5 hours is a blistering pace for 15 miles. You are practically running! Go you! Bad ass extraordinaire! xoxo nancy

    March 7, 2014
  11. p.p.s. MTM, you are a gem! Andra is lucky to have you. And you, to have her. Such a beautiful pair, you are!

    March 7, 2014
  12. tarakianwarrior #

    Swoon! MTM – I wondered how you were dealing with it, and now I know. Hang in there. And you’re absolutely spot on with her book. She’s so very talented and I thoroughly enjoyed it…and I’m looking forward to the next one. Fan for life. You two are one of my utmost favorite couples. You make me believe. Andra, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the tree to the side of you as you were answering your daily question…not a climber tree, but looks like a great conversation tree – a bit young, but I bet it has some stories to tell. :)

    March 7, 2014
  13. Good on you and yes the book is just fabulous

    March 7, 2014
  14. Glad you started it off with how much you adore her. I’ve learned that’s the best way to lose all of my arguments with my wife and 3 daughters.

    Hope y’all are having fun, weather or not?

    March 7, 2014
  15. Kudos to you MTM.! Andra is a lucky woman :)

    March 7, 2014
  16. I like the environment you as a group have created around the book, and Im sure its a good landing platform for strange people to get interested and close.

    March 7, 2014
  17. What a great wingman you are, MTM! Un esposo muy bueno. :)

    March 7, 2014
  18. “What kind of man leaves his wife by the side of the road?”

    Two kinds, last I checked. One wants to do this all day while she’s walking back home on that long road:

    The other kind, well… he’s the forgetful type and it was an accident. Really. He won’t miss her until about an hour after the drive home when he absent-mindedly looks up from his paper and asks “Honey, have you seen my glasses?” when they’re on his head.

    I think you’re not the second case at all, but Andra has posted stuff about naked holidays and such, so I bet you’re wearing out LPs sliding across the living room floor. She does 444 miles in a month, but you’ll do that sooner one you get to the James Brown stuff.

    Have fun, sir! Your secret is safe with me.

    March 7, 2014
  19. I know you are so proud of your girl. I have recently finished reading the book and I feel that I TOO must immerse myself in the depths of the Natchez Trace! Bravo, Andra!

    March 7, 2014
  20. MTM, you are so sweet. I love seeing two people so much in love and so supportive of one another. I hope the word does get out about Andra’s book, it’s absolutely amazing.

    March 7, 2014
  21. Yay yay yay!! I was hoping you had thrown her a launch party of some sort. Surprise parties rawk.

    March 7, 2014
  22. MTM, It is not easy letting your best friend/wife go on such a journey when your natural instinct is to protect her. I faced this problem when I was working on the biggest project of my career, at least so far, and my wife was face with 16 weeks (8 rounds) of chemotherapy. I opted to be there for every appointment. You may be wondering at this point what is the connection or parallel between your situation and mine? It comes down to trusting God to keep Andra safe while on her journey. Godspeed, Patrick

    March 7, 2014
    • One more thought…buy Andra the best pair of Keen hiking boots for the rest of her journey. They have a wider toe box and will make a huge difference on the wear and tear on her feet.

      March 7, 2014
  23. Debbie #

    I love that you have her back!

    March 7, 2014
  24. Good to know your Andra’s #1 wingman, MTM (though I was pretty certain you were).
    Enjoying the book and hope to blog about it sometime soon.

    March 7, 2014
  25. Good man MTM! It’s nice to know that Andra has you there holding down the fort!

    March 7, 2014
  26. Best, Wingman, Ever! (And, she KNEW your support would be there the moment she conceived this “crazy-smart” stunt)!

    March 8, 2014
  27. You surprised the woman who claims to hate surprises! Very cool, MTM. I’m sure her send-off party was a truly festive and enjoyable evening. She’s an amazing woman, and I am sure she really appreciates your “wingman expertise.” All this social media buzz is a new learning curve for me…but I’ll continue to support in any way I can!

    March 8, 2014
  28. Thanks, MTM, for this post. I’m glad you’re so supportive. So glad you have each other.

    March 8, 2014
  29. What a sweet and romantic post. Made me teary. Cheers for Andra ! ( and you)

    March 8, 2014
  30. Ah that’s lovely and so supportive ;)

    March 11, 2014
  31. and what a wonderful team you make )

    March 12, 2014

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