i did not want to go to iowa. there were clouds. there was a bad feeling in my chest. there was an as yet unfinished book of montaigne essays on my bed. there are monsters, ufo’s, snakes, planes and automobiles out there in the world. staying home seemed just the prudent thing to do.
but f2fb friend #206 had done the most amazing thing–she moved from wyoming to bellevue, iowa. maybe not specifically to make my new year’s resolution of meeting all my facebook friends easier but who’s to know what motivates people? in any event, i had to work it to get out of the house.
i had never met julianne. but she is an admirer of my facebook friend lanny jones, who is the biographer for william clark. julianne is a writer of some note and a professor at the university of wyoming.
i packed the car. i thought about backing out. of the trip. of the garage. i was using a garmin gps system that is a talisman given to me by a nonfacebook friend who has been following my journeys. the garmin “jack” guided me not along the expected highways but rather on a journey that took through short streets, alleyways, alongside cemeteries, through medical complexes–i made note of many emergency rooms i could have visited–and finally onto a bridge or a part of the road where the rains were swelling a river so profoundly that i was unsure whether i would be washed away. that’s when i really freaked. i tried to call my sons. or text them to say goodbye. but i couldn’t find my phone. i did find my flip camera. warning: this video shouldn’t be watched unless you watch the next video as well!!!!
so i took one ativan, four zantacs, and eight pepcids. i waited until someone on the other side of the road/bride crossed through the water. i proceeded. i probably freaked out julianne and her husband ron when i arrived because they promptly had me sit on the sofa with archie.
i tried to persuade archie to take a few training classes, get a blue “service dog” vest and come with me around the world!
julianne and her husband ron have hit the restart button their lives. while julianne will continue to teach online at the university, they have their feet firmly planted in bellevue. they only got to town in june but already they’ve made a lot of new friends. julianne has some ideas about how to make friends, not just facebook friends–
julianne gave me a book she wrote — jukeboxes & jackalopes: a wyoming bar journey. she had to travel throughout wyoming on business as ron–a renowned artist–photographed the state. she used the time to hang out in bars (a quite reasonable endeavor) and learn about the individual towns. oddly, there is much to be learned from a town’s bars. and other environs. the couple told me that their new town is very communal in its eating habits. one could dine out every night of the week at a church social, a kiwani’s fundraiser, an arts council after hours.
on my way home, i didn’t rely on the garmin gps. instead, i thought i would use the atlas. i ended up veering south towards kentucky and was hopelessly lost. i plugged the garmin “jack” back in and he reassured me that he could get me home. i am happy to be here now. even if i’m packing for montreal. whoops, these two friends have not been so considerate as to move closer. . . .