5.3 – The Evolution de la Cooler @ Somewhere in Idaho

I’ll be honest – I am quite proud of my ability to quickly sort and make up a cooler bag like a puzzle that will provide for an efficient on the road food service.

Matter of fact, not only am I proud of it – I *enjoy it thoroughly*. I’ll think about what I’m going to specialize in the next day (Nutella Graham Cracker sandwiches? Pepperoni tortillas? PBJ with Pringle’s?) when falling asleep.

I’ll consider what I may need to serve… like, “let’s do a layered meal with a little candy at the bottom of a red solo cup, a napkin layer, a Pringle’s and Clementine layer, then the sandwich on top…”

Utensils, equipment, baggies, wipes. It’s *so fun*. And here’s what I love most – today, when inventorying the cooler bag that sits at my feet, I found a little gem of decorative tape next to a roll of ziplock bags that have been in it since my cousin, Heidi, first helped me pack up the bag for its inaugural roadtrip from Sacramento to StL (thru Park City and Fort Collins and Manhattan, KS).

It made me smile. The red solo cups a random offering from my mom, probably thinking more of dishes at home then serving in the truck. The knowing of this tape, just in case. The convenience of the ziploc for the pre-filtered coffee we actually enjoyed at the Lodge so it was packed for necessity of bad coffee in a future hotel. The intention of picking up towelettes, wipes, stirring sticks as I come across them make this cooler bag my kit, my offering.

I’m not being soft or silly, I am genuinely feeling this Ninja move maternal mindset. (Maddox says, “you sure do got a lot of tricks in that bag.”)

And – as David rounds day four of doing all the driving, with his observation and focus. I round day four of tending and feeding. our first roadtrip, I struggled a little not driving at all and now I realize our partnership in these roles. David, Truck, Erin, Cooler.

And on a metamorphosis note, the Lewis and Clark explorer nature of picking up experience and tools (rocks that work for sharpening, the perfect stick for walking, this thing that may be useful later) that is part of what I’m proud of is morphing from where it starts: maternal to this now wifely idea.

See, I’m not mothering him when I hand him a wipe for his face or a napkin or wrapping his PBJ in a napkin; I am loving my partner.

A gift from my cousin from our getaway in Tahoe! Been collecting buttons from where I have taken it.. will need to add Idaho and Montana and SD post COVID when I can bum shops!
A selfie moment in my evolution
Final day of driving!


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