Entering the office, she felt at once overcome by the generic gray surroundings and comforted by the knowledge that she had a place in the world, a place to do something worthwhile, even if it wasn't what she wanted to be doing. She was stuck at a computer for eight hours trying to block out the stream of office gossip that flowed continuously around her. Her fingers flying over the keyboard, she was intent on doing a good job, but she was also dreaming up another life, a life that included adventure and exploration in distant places.
She liked to imagine how far she could get from the office in those eight hours. On foot, she figured 25 miles. It might be a generous estimate. She knew she could walk four miles per hour, but could she keep it up for eight hours? She'd never tried, but she thought she'd like to.
She could be back on the farm tonight. Or if she took the car south, she could be almost to the ranch in Texas hill country in time for supper. If she drove to the airport instead of making her morning commute to work, she could fly across the whole western US and be in California or Oregon and it would still be early there. Early enought to take a long walk and have tea before supper. Then they'd all go down to the beach and abandon their shoes even though it was really too cold to walk barefoot. She could already feel the sand between her toes. Then reality hit her like a wave, and she realized she had kicked off her sandals and had been digging her toes into the carpet under her desk.