argonaut.

noun. [ahr-guh-nawt, -not]

  1. A person in quest of something dangerous but rewarding; adventurer.
  2. Classical Mythology. A member of the band of men who sailed to Colchis with Jason in the ship Argo in search of the Golden Fleece.
  3. A person who moved to California during the gold rush of 1849.
  4. Paper nautilus.

I’m in Nebraska covered in a down sleeping bag in the Walmart parking lot that I’ll be sleeping in tonight. It’s been a long couple of days driving through Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa. I, I, I…you’d think I’d be in need of a little people time. Maybe these folks in the parking lot will come out of their RVs and we can make s’mores. I guess I should’ve found a campground.

Last night, I stayed with a new friend’s favorite aunt in Iowa. I was welcomed so warmly, even though she didn’t know me. Her lovely house smelled of roast and potatoes in the crock pot. She opened a delicious Malbec and even a huckleberry salad dressing from Montana. I felt as if I was her guest of honor and our conversation was easy, encouraging, and enjoyable. I slept like a rock with a full belly. In the morning, my new friend had a note on the counter telling me to pack myself a lunch and take whatever snacks I wanted; the note was next to the coffee, peanut butter, almond butter, granola, etc. She’s my friend’s favorite aunt, too!

I didn’t pack Sangria Kia while thinking about sleeping in the backseat, like I did on the last trip. And I could’ve reorganized, but I was tired and I thought, “Oh my driver seat reclined will be fine.” This is what I’ll tell my nephew about when he’s older…I will tell him a reclined car seat is never comfortable for eight hours of sleep, especially after driving for eight hours that day. You will need to stretch out. I will tell him how nice people can be, but unfortunately, you can’t trust everyone, and finding the balance is tricky. I will tell him that going on adventures alone is 80% refreshing and 20% lonely, so always take your Auntie Beth with you, little Jack Grady. I will tell him how his auntie was kind of an argonaut, not seeking danger, but rewarding adventure.

The next day, I chose a campground so in the middle of nowhere in Colorado, that now when I look it up online, it’s not associated with a city that I can find. I did let my mom and dad know the name of the campground and I did sleep with my stun gun (from brother John) and pocket knife under my pillow.

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I have much of what I own in the back of Sangria Kia, but no where can I find a spoon or a fork or a spork. I’ve checked about five different spots that Beth a few weeks ago would’ve thought, “Oh I’ll put my spork here so I’ll know where it is.” But no!

My middle school gifted teacher, Mrs. Englert, SAVED the day by gifting a pair of beautiful chopsticks when I had lunch with her last month.

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I was famished by the time I found a place to stop and I ate a vegetable stew with the chopsticks and was so thankful my dad wouldn’t let us use forks at Arigatos growing up, because I could scoop the black beans adequately. I then stirred my French press coffee with them in the morning. And I also ate my peanut butter breakfast with their help, very, very slowly. Thank you, SLE!! This argonaut is off to find bigger mountains than she saw yesterday.

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2 thoughts on “argonaut.”

  1. I am delighted that the chopsticks are having an exciting journey and are being helpful. Hope the rest of your sojourn goes smoothly, BFL!

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