…I will love you, tomorrow! I have big plans. Plans involving boxes, microwaves, wine bottles, staplers, slippers and a puttering, surprised-she’s-still-running ’94 Plymouth Acclaim; slow-leaking tires pumped this morning, and feeble battery freshly shocked back to life by AAA last week. Road trip*! No, I’m not driving down to Florida [if only it were that easy… if only!]; but I am heading over the Big Muddy and across the entire waistline of Wisconsin to my hometown! A two-week spring holiday and stage one of “Project Auf Wiedersehen, Minnesota” will be underway. Food bag at my hip.

After five and a half years of driving back and forth from Green Bay to Milwaukee, and now Minneapolis to Milwaukee, I’ve gotten pretty good about packing road trip food. Breakfast is easy: a few orange pine nut mini-muffins pulled from the freezer and some dried figs. Lunch is a little more difficult; at least this time. Usually it’s a sandwich or leftovers of a grain or noodle salad, a few carrot sticks or hunks of cheese, and some fruit – nibbles that are easily handled mid-drive. [What? Stop to eat and waste all that precious time? Pshaw!] This time is different: home for two weeks, back to Minneapolis for less than five days, and then home again to stay. The fridge and freezer are purposefully bare, thus difficult to work with. Trying to create something drive-worthy is one of my tasks for tonight. Any thoughts?

Departure time will be roughly 9a [or whenever I finish loading the car], first popping by Sebastian Joe’s** to fill my travel mug with hot espresso and sweet, frothy milk. Being some 300-odd miles away – factor in a bathroom break at the rest stop [coffee: the foe of road warriors everywhere] – I’ll arrive home a bit before 3p. Optimally the cat would be waiting to greet me with furry nudges and a few cute mewls… Sadly, Buddy – going on 19 years and entirely deaf – sleeps most of the day, and when not waiting patiently next to the table for his after-supper treats or curled up on top of Sandy and a blanket watching tv, he’s yowling at the top of his wee cat lungs, well into the night and again at 4 in the morning. I miss my Butterball!

I’m really sort of ready to get this show on the road and over with! The move and finishing graduate school, that is… For tonight, I’ll finish updating baby food desserts and snack pies at work, head home to pack clothes and figure out lunch, and try to sleep before tomorrow, tomorrow!


*No wine bottles will be opened on the duration of this road trip. However, if I break down and end up stranded along the side of I-94, I can’t make any guarantees.

**Joe’s is a beloved Minneapolis institution and -sigh – it’ll be alarmingly difficult to say goodbye. A shattered love affair. Tears may be shed.