Category Archives: Lost in the Physical World

We’re FINALLY Not in Kansas Anymore

Hello Beautiful People!

Today was a long day and I don’t have the greatest internet connection right now so I’m going to keep this short. I’ll hopefully be able to catch you up on particulars in a day or two, but here’s the short version:

Kansas takes forever to drive through. And it mostly looks like this.

Kansas Countryside

This was the view from the window for most of the day today.

We stopped for the night at this really neat place called the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, NM.

I’m pretty tired and this chair in my room looks very inviting, so I’m signing off for now!

Comfy Chair

Doesn’t this armchair look super comfy??

 

We should reach our final destination tomorrow evening after a mere 10 hours of driving!

JOURNEY TO THE MOJAVE DESERT–DAY 2

HOURS DRIVEN: 13

MILES DRIVEN: 796

STATES VISITED: 6 (Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico)

Current Location: Blue Swallow Motel (On Historic Route 66) Tucumcari, NM

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My Future’s So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades

Hello, Beautiful People!

My apologies for the 6 month hiatus. I haven’t gotten around to typing much since I discovered the connection between Emily Dickinson and Harry Potter. I could give you a detailed account of my life in that time, but I think I’ll just go with, “I bagged a lot of groceries,” and leave it at that.

Now, though, I’m foreseeing LOTS of new blog posts because (drum roll, please ./././././././)

I’m going to spend the next 5 months as a botany intern in the Mojave Desert! That means new sights to see, a new ecosystem to learn about, new plant species to identify, and lots of new roads to get lost on! Oh, and I start on Monday.

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My mom and I left the house at 7AM. One day down, two to go before we reach Needles, CA!

I set off from Phelps, WI this morning with my mother at 7AM. We drove for most of the day and ended up in Des Moines, IA. According to Google, we only need 24 more hours of straight driving time before we make it to our end goal of Needles, CA by Friday evening!

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Rounding out our merry band is my Aunt Glenda who agreed to move me halfway across the country!

The plan for tomorrow is to drive for 13 hours! I’ll hopefully report back then!

JOURNEY TO THE MOJAVE DESERT–DAY 1

HOURS DRIVEN: 9

MILES DRIVEN:507

STATES VISITED: 3 (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa)

 

Crossing Chasms

I am a true professional when it comes to getting lost. I even lost a school bus once, but that’s a story best told in person. Today I want to talk about getting lost in Green Bay. [I was going to say something like “my new city” or “my new home,” but that doesn’t sound right, not yet. GB is not yet home— home is something that must be earned over time.]

In truth I got lost before I even got here. When my parents helped me move down to Green Bay, we relied on my GPS. Unfortunately, it had not been updated regarding the new fly-over ramps that had been constructed last summer. Let’s just say that we got so lost that when I finally called my friend [who happens to have the entire road map of Green Bay memorized] even she had no idea where we were. In the end, I gave up the wheel to my father and he was able to find the highway and follow directions as my friend gave us step-by-step directions over the phone.

After I moved in, it took me weeks to even start my car. It was so much easier to just stay in the apartment and fill out job applications or catch up on my reading list. If my friend left the apartment, I would usually tag along. She even drove me to a couple of job interviews. Finally, though, I couldn’t take it anymore—I needed to find the library.

In truth, I had at least 20 unread books on my shelf. (I still do, actually!) Libraries aren’t just lifeless buildings of books, though. A library is a meeting place for those who love to read—like a clubhouse. I needed to feel that comradery. I needed that little plastic card that said “you belong”.

"Over the years I have collected so many books that, in aggregate, they can fairly be called a library.I don't know what percentage of them I have read. Increasingly I wonder how many of them I ever will read. This has done nothing to dampen my pleasure in acquiring more books." --Marilyne Robinson, "When I Was a Child, I Read Books"

“Over the years I have collected so many books that, in aggregate, they can fairly be called a library.I don’t know what percentage of them I have read. Increasingly I wonder how many of them I ever will read. This has done nothing to dampen my pleasure in acquiring more books.”
–Marilyne Robinson, “When I Was a Child, I Read Books”

So I did it. I examined the route on Google Maps. I entered the address into my GPS. I started the car. I was doing alright up until the roundabout. [PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Green Bay, WI is FULL of roundabouts.] It took a couple of trips “around the rotary,” but we got back on track in the end. I missed the final turn for the library and had to do some back-tracking, but I did it. I parked my car, unplugged my GPS, entered the building, and just reveled in it for a minute. I browsed the shelves. I got a library card. I even logged onto a computer just because I could. I didn’t check out a book, not that day.

The point was not to find a book. The point was to venture out and find something familiar, something that could ground me. The library is roughly 2.5 miles from my apartment. I have returned several times since that first day. In fact, I can now get there without any help at all. That first day though, 2.5 miles was a great chasm. And I crossed it.

Even 2.5 miles can seem like a great journey.

Even 2.5 miles can seem like a great journey.