Southern Spring & Dear Friends

There is something about a road trip that gets my heart racing.  When I’m having a bad day, thinking about an open highway is the perfect escape.  Growing up, my parents loaded my brothers and I in our minivan and drove us around the country–from Maine to Alabama to national parks out west.

It’s been about a year since I’ve properly traveled.  Last April, I did a month-long trek across Europe on my own.  Upon returning, my bank account was dangerously empty and I’ve been focusing on my librarian career ever since.

Still, it was high time for a road trip.

This past weekend, I took a few days off and made the trek with a friend from Minnesota to Nashville, Tennessee.  Round-trip, we drove 1,500 miles and spent about 24 hours in the car.  Our only mishap was a speeding ticket in Iowa.

The further south we went, the world came alive.  It was as if we pressed fast-forward on Spring.  Grass and flowers emerged, the temperature dropped, and leaves sprouted from trees.  By the time we arrived in Nashville, we had stripped down to t-shirts and shorts for a few days of summery warmth. Continue reading

Emergence of springtime

Because of the length of Minnesota’s winters, when Spring comes, it’s a big deal.

Immediately, there is a shift on campus.  Even though it may only be forty-five degrees, everyone is suddenly in shorts and flip-flops.  The mall is suddenly filled with students laughing, throwing frisbees, and even sunbathing.  The library is dead quiet.

Despite all there is to do between me and graduation, I find it difficult to resist the allure of warm weather.  After five months of snow, wind, and subzero temperatures, I long to abandon the books and soak in the sunlight.  I changed up my workout routine and abandoned the gym to, for the first time in my life, go on a real-person, non-treadmill run.  My body was (and still is) pretty unhappy with me (running is HARD), but it was worth it to be outside.

Last night, I drove to my Bible study in the next town over with the windows down.  My arm rested casually on the ledge, hand waving in the wind.  I blasted Cloud Cult and watched the prairie zoom by, not a care in the world.

Sometimes, it feels so good to ditch studying and soak in the sun.

Super singles and trips to the cities

Super singles are beautiful creations that introverts long for, but never imagine actually having.  Why?  They’re expensive and hard to come by.

The other day, after explaining the stresses of my sudden mid-week relocation to a classmate, she eyed me enviously.  “You’ve got a super single?  In Spooner?  Oh, you’re so lucky!  That’s everyone’s dream!”

My classmate’s comment is on-point.  To say I haven’t been dreaming of this scenario since freshman year would be a total lie.  Over the past four years, I have analyzed all the different possibilities of what my room would look like if I had no roommate.  Where would I put the furniture?  What cozy corners would I create?

Now, it’s important to note that I’m not railing against roommates.  Roommates are great.  I’m introverted, but I go absolutely crazy if left in my head for too long.  I love having people close by to pull me out of my mind when I get stuck there.  Even though I’ve moved, I’m still friends with my old roommates and enjoy spending time with them.

Still, it’s wonderful to have my own space to come home to.  You would think that after the insane week I’ve had, I would lie low and regain my energy.  Hahahaha…. nope.

Yesterday afternoon, my car was packed and I was on the road the second my library shift ended.  Although I was tired and definitely had second-thoughts about making a trip to the cities, I’m glad I made the trip.

You may be wondering where was I headed in such a rush.  Let me explain.  Over the past few years, nearly all my best friends here in Morris have graduated.  Now, they all seem to be branching out and moving far away.  In a couple of months, my dear friend Jenny is leaving for a two-year teaching job in Japan.  I want to seize every opportunity to bask in her presence.  So making the trek from the prairie to the cities was well worth it for a night of well-needed conversation and silliness.

Since I was in the area, after departing Jenny’s house this morning, I met up with my older brother for coffee.  We hung out in Caribou for hours, sipping mochas and gushing about superheroes movies and the cultural impact of the internet, then hit up some local shops.  (My spoils include mechanical pencils, a lamp, and a digital clock.)

I also took advantage of the fact that Chipotle exists in the cities and grabbed a burrito on my way back to Morris.  That was over five hours ago and I’m still full.  (God bless Chipotle).

I’m back in Morris now, even more tired than I was at the beginning of my adventure.  I’ve managed to put a tiny dent in my homework, but will still be spending a bunch of time in the library tomorrow.

Now, though, I’m going to curl up in one of the cozy corners I’ve finally gotten to create and catch up on my superhero t.v. shows.  It’s been a long week and I think I deserve a night off.

Ufda.

Whew. To say my weekend was uneventful would be a severe understatement. I spent half of it in the car driving to the cities and back to Morris. I met up with various friends for coffee. I attended another concert (post to come!) and crashed on an oversized bean bag chair in a friend’s dorm. I went home for part of a day to hang out with my brothers (who I won’t see again till Thanksgiving). I also went thrifting as I travelled from place to place.
Whew. I’m feeling kind of sort of really exhausted, but the time has come to gear up for midterms. My next two weeks consist of two huge tests, a quiz, a project, a persuasive speech, an article response, a 6-8 page paper, and a ten minute presentation. As we say in Minnesota… Ufda!

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(In which my cat, Paco, takes full advantage of my fatigue.)