From California To Texas Again

A Mountain Woman’s Thoughts On Getting Laid Off During A Pandemic

Jasmine wears a mask sunglasses and workout gear. She stands in the middle of an empty road flashing a peace sign.

It happened slowly, and then all at once. One moment I was completely fine hiking with my friends in the woods after weeks of recovering from a bout of actual flu and pneumonia, and then the next I’m stuck in the house again for fear of dying from a new illness—Covid-19. I had started a new job the week of the beginning of the stay at home order in the middle of March in California.

I was completely fine that week, but then something happened when they closed the hiking trails to minimize the spread of the Coronavirus. I couldn’t think or figure anything out until they opened them up again with social distancing guidelines. It all clicked again when I went back out into the woods, this time with a mask on my face. When many offices planned to reopen their doors and end working from home, I was laid off.

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How I Nearly Caught My Death On The Gulf Coast

I lowered my window but didn’t remove the sunglasses that I had picked up from the local target before the trip. The sun’s rays were beating down on the Chevy Silverado truck that my coworker had reserved for me a few days before. So I decided I rather protect my eyes than remove them for the law enforcement officer that was waiting just outside of my window. Everything about the entire trip up to that point had been so last minute, and I continued the trend by picking up the truck after the meeting and heading straight for the coast.

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The Road Trip From California to Texas

Me at the Grand Canyon
Making my parents nervous since 1990.

Four years ago, I found myself sitting in the driver’s seat of my brand-new car with my best friend in the passenger seat. We drove from Southern California to Oregon, camping and visiting with friends along the way. What started as some sort of cheesy rom-com where a friend tried their best to reunite two old friends with a bit of history became a cheesy story of friendship that we still talk about until this day.

My best friend and I found ourselves, once again, traveling by car across the country. However, instead of heading north, we traveled east so that my best friend could move the last of her things to her new place in Texas. We traveled with two well-behaved dogs in the back seat of her newer truck next to our luggage piled off on to one side and a trailer full of nearly everything my best friend owned with her new husband. I didn’t need to, but I jumped in the car to spend the last few days that I will have for a while with my best friend. I was also craving adventure, and I knew that we were planning on seeing the Grand Canyon. Continue reading “The Road Trip From California to Texas”

The Unexplainable 2018 Photo Album

New Year's celebration

I turned to look at my sister who was scrolling on her phone while sitting on the couch that I accidentally bought from Ikea. “What?” I said slightly puzzled. The couch, which is a whole other story, wasn’t the issue.

My sister repeated herself. “The movie, Black Panther, came out in 2018.”

“It feels like that movie came out two years ago.” I was genuinely confused at the timeline of events that happened in the year 2018. I had to pause and think back to what happened in 2018 to make me feel as though 2018 went on forever. Continue reading “The Unexplainable 2018 Photo Album”

Two Thousand Miles In Two Days

IMG_0960

Two thousand and two miles and seven states in twenty-nine hours. My sister and I drove that distance in a small Hyundai Sonata from Tennessee to California. We celebrated as we passed state lines, posed in front of state signs, and nearly killed each other in the last eight hours before we made it to California.

My sister and I agreed to help our cousin by driving her car back to California from where she lived in Tennessee. She and her newborn baby were to take a flight back home as we tried not to crash her car while moving at top speeds across the country. However, after we began to see historical signs and interesting billboards, we decided to make a couple of stops along the way. Continue reading “Two Thousand Miles In Two Days”

A Vegetarian In Texas

IMG_2257The look of shock and horror had crept up on her face. I sensed jolts of confusion from her as I spoke the words. “I would like the number four without meat.”

Her eyes went blank in expression before she refocused them again on me as I stood patiently at the cash register. “Did you want another type of meat?” she asked hoping quietly to herself that I had just misspoken.

“No, just the sandwich without any meat.”

She turned around for a second to look for help and asked another cook behind her, “Do we have sprouts?” She turned to face me again. “Did you want sprouts? We can put sprouts in it.”

I smiled. “Sure, that sounds great.” I realized that the encounter that I had just gone through wouldn’t be the last in the beef state of Texas. Continue reading “A Vegetarian In Texas”