We discovered a new community last night. It’s the tribe of traveling campers and old hippy vans who spend their nights parked in the far-off side of Wal-Mart parking lots, and we joined them.
Turns out, when you pack a backpack, get in a little SUV with two sisters, and start driving several thousand miles to see overgrown mountains and ditches, you get questions like, “How are you even able to do this?” and statements like, “That’s a dream trip, you’re just really lucky.”
After days of hiking and swimming in ice cold lakes, and several nights of car camping, my sister, MaryKelli sponsored our $4.75 showers this morning. #realfriendsdon’tletfriendslivedirty I am clean *Cue the doxology.* I’m catching up on work emails while the laundry runs, so it seems like the perfect time for a rambly update.
My dad has a broken analog clock in his office, so it shows the correct time only twice a day. One of his nerdy engineer co-workers scribbled “It’s about time” on a post-it note and left it on the useless clock. A useless clock with a timeless message.
Half way through the middle of nothing. Also known as Kansas.
After 350 miles, Lizette pointed out that this place is literally flatter than a pancake. (She claims it’s scientific). MaryKelli is rhythmically banging her head against the back of her seat, adding a gentle *whop whop whop* beat to Coldplay’s Viva La Vida. I’m just glad that we have AC.
I filled an entire journal in the month before turning 24-years-old. I graduated from college exactly two years earlier, started a career, set it aside for graduate school, and then dropped out of school.
In the time between collecting cost estimates for my broken car air conditioner and deciding to hold off on getting it repaired immediately, I did something that I do quite well, I avoided making a decision.
As a child, I thought of life like a timeline, from a hospital room to a pinewood box in the ground. I logged a few more years of life and discovered it’s more like a series of circles. Year-long circles, daily circles, decade-size circles all looped and linked over and around each other, and encased…
What: I’m training for the Hotter ’N Hell Hundred, an endurance cycling race/ride.
Who: Dad is in on this gig, also. So, Dad and me.
When: We started training started in June. The race is the last weekend of August. (No, that’s not a responsible, well planned timeline.)
Where: North Texas.
Why: Because we didn’t finish it the first time.
My name is Elizabeth Joy Bethea but I’ve gone by Joy since I was three-days-old, after my aunt sent a note from Georgia to my parents in Oklahoma with the single sentence, “Name that child.”