Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Packing................

My car is currently in the garage, so I can get in and out of it, undetected. I wouldn't want my neighbors to know that I am obsessive-compulsive about "placement" of items in the car, but I am.

Randy and I have certain spots for certain things, and sometimes one of us gets the idea that one of those spots can be changed...............and sometimes we discuss it before the decision  is made.  Or not.   Ahem.

The case of wine  (not a "crate" as I had miscalled it yesterday) is in the car, and it needs to be covered with the blanket to keep it cool. The used postal box with the AAA maps and books needs to be directly behind the center of the front console. When we cross over a state line, it's important to grab the next travel book and be on the ready, or we might miss something!  (We had to make a trip back to Iowa a few years ago just for this reason. We missed the Field of Dreams, because we didn't have the Iowa book on the navigator's lap.  Once we realized our error, and our loss, it became a prime re-visit location, and we were not satisfied until we had recrossed the Mississippi River and yelled, "If you build it, we will come!" in the center of a ball field, and looked for deceased loved ones in a cornfield.

Next to the box of maps should be my bag of books: In case I need to read, of course.  My habit of letting magazines stack up for months on end, then taking them on a trip is sometimes a game I play.  I read the magazine in the car while Randy drives, then when I finish it I will either leave it in a ladies room, or my favorite: approach someone who is obviously waiting idly, without reading material (God forbid!) and say, "Hi. I am the Queen of Recycling, and I have just finished this magazine. So I don't have to throw it away, could I give it to you to read?"  Actually, I have only done this twice, and the Queen bit only once..........but the expression on that woman's face was startled, and a little bit afraid. I wondered later if she thought I was some kind of criminal magazine attacker.   But she accepted the magazine!! ........and when I looked back, she was reading it. I am definitely going to do that this trip.  Maybe I should pack my tiara, just for fun.

Completed paperback books get left behind in drawers of motel dressers, to encourage the cleaning crew to read them. (Deep in my soul, I truly AM  a language arts teacher.)

The bag of cosmetics sits on the other side of the back seat. This includes shampoo, makeup, and any other item used in restrooms or in front of a mirror. It stays cool there, doesn't spill, and the bag is easy to carry into motels. We never use the shampoo in those motel rooms.  We bring them home to stock our guest bathroom. If you ever stay with us, you get the shower cap, shampoo, and lotion!

A box of bottled water and a cooler full of chilled foods sits on the floor directly behind the navigator. Picnics need to be planned.

In the back of the van should be 2 beach chairs.  You never know if we're going to a beach or a lake. One picnic we had was held in a deserted rowboat because we didn't have chairs along. 2 beach towels, a laundry bag, and 2 suitcases complete the rear cargo area.

In a few minutes I will go to the darkened garage (behind closed doors) and put all this stuff into the van, rearrange it, look it over, and get that great feeling of anticipation that comes with knowing that a trip is about to happen........especially since we don't know where we are going. (And for anyone who does not believe that.......I have 12, count them, 12 tour books in that box........because we truly do NOT know where we are going!)

Today I did a miraculous thing.  I managed to pack in ten minutes (that is not the miracle).  I managed to pack all the clothing I need in one SMALL  (repeat that: small!) suitcase!  I bet I still have some things I don't really need, but if I do spill Kool-Aid all over a tee shirt, I do not need to have a nervous breakdown over it.  (If I spill it several times, however, it could get hairy.......)

The 2 pairs of shoes, you ask? You knew that wasn't going to happen!!! Four. Four pairs, no more!! One will be on my feet. The walking shoes will be in the back with my suitcase, my shower shoes fit into that SMALL suitcase, and I threw in a pair of low heels to go with my "dressy" outfit. 4 pairs total. ( If you've been following the Cathy cartoons, you may see that I learned something from her.) I personally believe that I should win some kind of  Fewest-Number-of-Shoes-Taken-on-a-Vacation-Award, don't you??

We are hoping to leave in the morning, but that all depends on whether Randy finishes the job he is working on today.  He still has to pack his suitcase. I think I will wait until he has packed it, (probably a great big one, with 14 pairs of shoes and sandals),  before I yell ,"Ta-Da!!!" and show off my little teensy itty bitty suitcase.........