Angle to Key West: Parents (10/21)

Tipton, Iowa – October 21, 2012

I opened the package my dad sent. Three pairs of gloves poured out even though I only asked for one. He sent me a fleece face mask too, just in case I needed it.

Gesh’s parents had us over for dinner tonight. They live just down the road and made sure I wouldn’t leave without being stuffed full of roast beef, potatoes, homemade applesauce, and two big slices of spice cake. We sat around the table and talked about the trail where Gesh met the love of his life, a woman named Junkfood who he married a few years later.

In Coon Rapids, just north of the Twin Cities, Grimace’s mom took me in for the night. We ate ribs and peach cobbler and talked about Grimace’s wedding to another friend of mine named Badpacker, BP for short.

Beef Stew’s mom met me on the banks of the Mississippi in Winona. She skipped out of teaching school and borrowed a coworker’s car because she wanted to say hi and make sure I didn’t need anything.

Gesh, Junkfood, Grimace, Badpacker, and Beef Stew, I almost forget they’re nicknames coming from a mispronunciation, a nutritionist’s nightmare,  a purple sleeping pad, a backpack with the biggest gloves in the world hanging off it, and a can of soup, but to those people at the other end of the phone calls home, the ones who scribbled address labels on boxes and spent nights watching the weather a thousand miles away, they’ll always just be Josh, Cris, Nick, Erin, and Jeff.

And when they need gloves, they’ll get three pairs

7 thoughts on “Angle to Key West: Parents (10/21)

  1. What are you doing in that picture, that is not “the Swamp”, it looks like “the Nest”!! Send back the gloves……

  2. So glad you experienced Winona, Mississippi. I am a two hour drive from there. Greenwood, MS is “right over the hill” from Winona and then you would be in the Mississippi Delta! Food and the Blues!

  3. as this terribly divisive election cycle ends – or does it? – your words remind me that we are all just people trying to make our way in the world, and that there are good and caring people everywhere. Thank you for that very special message. I am richer for being on your journey with you.

  4. We three think you are a doll!

    From, Hoot (my just about trail name!)

    Sent from my iPhone

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