The end of summer.

The week of summer finals, I found myself dehydrated and ill, laying in the student clinic.

Besides the constant vomiting, what’s going on? asked the kind doctor.

I didn’t comprehend. Wasn’t food poisoning enough? (IT MOST CERTAINLY IS).

No, but what else? What is going on in your life? He insisted.

And as I began to explain my summer schedule, its balancing act, unexpected losses, stresses and floods, I caught his look of girl-is-crazy. Then I realized that, most certainly, I had made two mistakes. One was a frozen dinner, the other was overbooking myself to the point that I could barely sail though the season’s surprise storms – and by the end of July, my body simply wasn’t having it anymore.

California came at the perfect moment, most surely. A week of limited obligations, good food, sunshine, it made me wonder why we live in the Midwest. Of course, then I came home and remembered: good soil, crazy inexpensive cost of living, our people (this is a good little plot of earth, you see). But oh, how enticing it was.

Of all the stories from the west, I’ll share one. There was this homeless guy flying these magnificent kites at this park, and goodness – it was a great show. I ended up buying him lunch. It was my favorite $10 I spent the entire trip.

The ability to take this trip was a small mercy. I remember thinking, at 2 PM the night before I set off, that the timing was wrong. But it wasn’t – not at all.

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