Bittersweet Goodbye



I’m at work in the lab, and trying to identify a Strep.  As I rotate the card to watch for positive agglutination, my mind wanders.  I think about the last 6 years of my life.  I met Luke when I was still in college and just 21 years old.  We were young, in love, and the world was ours to conquer.  It’s been an incredible 6 years:  vacations to Hawaii, camping adventures in Yellowstone, and completely normal winter days in Minnesota.  I cherish the normal days, coming home from work, cooking dinner, and curling up with Luke and Doodle to watch our favorite TV shows.  My mind wanders to the bad days, the good days, and everything in between.

He will be embarking on his own adventure this summer — he has accepted a position as a doctor in the Peace Corps in Africa.  I wish him all the luck in the world.  Despite this huge knot in my stomach, I couldn’t be more excited for him and his bright future.

I thought this would be easy, but now that it’s finally March, reality is hitting me like a ton of bricks.  I will be leaving to hike the trail, and we will soon be saying “goodbye”.   My eyes start to get watery, until I realize I’m still at work, and strong girls don’t cry at work.

I look back at my card- one of the wells is starting to get chunky.  Positive for Group A Strep.  At least,  I’ve solved one problem for today.  I wish that life could be as easy and well-defined as a lab test.  Positive.  Negative.  Simple.

Four more weeks until the next adventure of my life begins.  It’s tremendously hard to let go of my past, but I’ve fallen in love with someone else- and her name is the Appalachian Trail.  I think of her wild mountains, pony-filled pastures, and the sweet promised land of Maine… and somehow, I know that everything is going to be okay in the end.

Four more weeks, my love.  Four more weeks.

Acorn testing out a trail recipe:
Luke:  What’s that taste like?
Acorn:  Tastes like slop!
Luke:  Just remember this when you’re out there eating slop.  I’m in Africa and probably eating worse slop.

Categories: Pre-Hike | Tags: , , | 18 Comments

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18 thoughts on “Bittersweet Goodbye

  1. Steve Jennette, Grand Rapids MI

    Very sweet. Everything will work out. It has to…..right? :). I leave from Springer around April 5. Hope to wish you good luck in person. Hang in till then, and send my best to Luke.

  2. So, you have had slop before…? I believe you both will be stronger in the end.

  3. Nice entry. Good luck.

  4. bassima

    Very sweet. I wish the best of luck to both of you.

  5. hendersoncandy Sweet Spot

    Acorn, You remind me of myself when I was your age. You have given me back the youth and the excitment of the unknown that I once had. But through my age and bitterness I had lost that. All that you have now. Through you it has come back. I will ever be grateful for you. Luke is off to do great things and so are you. I know I will never meet you on the AT. But I will meet you in Portland for a beer. if you or Luke ever need anything let me know.I can ship Homemade Slop to you on the AT or to Luke in Africa. What ever you two need . Just tell me.

  6. davidparadine

    Great writing Acorn, have a great hike. see you on the PCT next year.

  7. Wishing you strength and serenity. And, of course, the most fabulous adventure. 🙂

  8. Kelsie

    All the best to you on your upcoming journey.

  9. james W

    Hike often and safely!! we will support you in GA, if you have needs let us know!! and we will send a goodie box soon!

  10. Kristal (Cornfield)

    I def teared up reading this post. You have a wonderful life ahead of you, Acorn. 🙂

  11. Char

    Wish you the best of luck Rayana… and hope to see you when this adventure is over and things settle down till your next adventure.

  12. Hi, thanks for sharing

  13. Randy (Shady)

    Enjoy reading your posts, Acorn, and look forward to more! Good to have a plan, but while on the Trail, just enjoy the moment! You’ll have time to sort out your 5-year plan soon enough. Godspeed! Shady

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