Unsteady Uproot – “The gift that keeps on giving” (Saturday, November 2nd)

I woke up early this morning so that I could be one of the first at the kolache shop. This is key. If you want kolaches then you best be there first thing in the morning or else you get whatever is left. Early bird gets the worm and all. Or early bird gets the kolache, haha.

In case you’re late to the party, a kolache is czech pastry usually in a kinda square shape with a hole in the middle that’s filled with fruit filling or cream cheese or the like. They are like heaven especially straight outta the oven and with a stout cup of coffee. They also come in a savory version called the klobasnek, which look more like roll with various kinds of meat and cheese stuffed inside. All I wanted this Saturday morning were kolaches, coffee, and a book. And lucky me! One of the outdoor seats was open and in the fresh morning sunshine no less! Ahhhhhh…

Fresh views this morning.

As I was packing up from breakfast I noticed a very confused man wandering around and looking at this phone. He approached me and asked he if I knew where he could find the shuttle to campus.

It’s game day, which in this town means that suddenly 100,000 people will flock together to watch humans tussle on a large patch of green grass over an inflated pig skin. AKA football, haha. As you can imagine, parking soon becomes a nightmare so to ease the problem the city makes a map of all the free parking in the city and then they send out busses to bring people to the game. It’s insane.

A couple weeks ago I was gifted a ticket to one of the games. I stressed about it for days because of the driving and parking situation. Whenever people heard that I was going to the game they would immediately be like, “That’s a really important game, so parking is gonna be terrible. Make sure you don’t get towed.” In all of the versions of my travel anxiety it seems that driving in heavy traffic and difficult parking situations is high on my list of “hates”. So I stressed about this game for days and asked far too many people what their plan for the game was. Some were walking, some Ubering, some parking in their tried-and-true spots. It got to the point, though, that my stress about transportation to this game had begun to suck the joy right outta what should have been a fun situation. I know it’s silly to think so much about travel but it’s one of the glitches in my brain that I have to cope with.

The day before the game I texted a friend and asked her if I could borrow one of her team shirts and I mentioned that I was struggling with the best way to get to the game without having to pay a lot and causing a lot of stress. She mentioned using the free shuttle that campus provided and I was like… WUT? You mean I can park for free on my side of town without having to pay or parallel park and then just ride a f r e e bus to campus??

So I did. I parked on my side of town, walked to the campus shuttle bus station, and rode that big free bus all the way to the stadium. It was easy peasy lemon squeezy. And the entire process was f r e e.

And since then I have been guiding random people to the shuttle station when they get lost downtown. And just think? If I hadn’t gotten stressed to the max and went on a crazy search for the best travel option then I never would have known about this shuttle. And now I’ve been helping all sorts of people on game day use the shuttle, too. I told my friend who taught me about the shuttle that the whole situation was the gift that keeps on giving. HA.

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