It was past noon and I was driving like a native; that is, more or less down the middle of a two-lane road, in a hurry to get down the mountain and on to my next patient. I was also hungry; the hot tea and banana I'd had upon leaving the office had completely worn off. After several unsuccessful attempts to fetch my lunch box, I lost patience with it. "For heaven's sake!" I snarled as I pulled over and snared the insulated box from the passenger side floor.
I was pleased to see Big Sweetie had packed me a piece of leftover pizza, some apricot-pecan cake, a yogurt cup, and cold water in a non-BPA bottle. With no traffic in sight, I was free to savor this little meal by the roadside. Nearby ox-eye daisies nodded in the breeze and I could see the jacaranda flowers were just about spent. A bluegrass tune floated out of my CD player, ancient as the place where I stood.
At the end of nursing school I was voted "Best at Carrying Her Lunch" which, being poor but always hungry, I did with some regularity. This amused my wealthier classmates no end and I let them have their little joke because I wasn't about to go hungry just to impress them. I had no idea it would prove good training for the future.