Some days my brain is in a fog. There’s just no other way to describe it — fuzzy, unfocused, a little lost. It happens to me every time you put me in front of a suitcase.
Suitcases were designed to thwart any attempt to contain what may be necessary for the impending journey. Doesn’t matter if I’m going to be away for two days or ten, there is always spillover into a tote bag, my purse, and occasionally even a couple plastic grocery bags.
Take this weekend, for example. Three-and-a-half days at the Surrey International Writers’ Conference is not a particularly long time. (I know from experience it will be much too short.) I won’t be dancing, mountain climbing, gardening or attending the opera. I’ll be indoors, either sitting in workshops or hobnobbing with friends and fellow writers the entire time, so I won’t need a great diversity of clothing. So why is it the stack of neatly folded items on my bed once again towers higher than the suitcase that not long ago held everything I needed for a month’s vacation? (Well, almost everything. There was my hairdryer and my writing kit…. oh, and my camera. They all ended up in a separate bag.)
This is my dilemma: what to eliminate to ensure there will still be room to bring back all the books and other goodies that I’m undoubtedly going to accumulate during the weekend. What can I do without? Shoes? Maybe. If I don’t get my slacks hemmed nobody is going to be able to see my feet anyway. Underwear? No, that would be indecent, and I’m always decent. Maybe the bulky sweater. If I wear my flamboyant ‘Roaring Twenties’ coat all weekend I won’t need a sweater. Then again, I can’t live in that coat for three-and-a-half days. The feathers will drive me crazy.
I can’t seem to focus on the solution. There must be one, but I’m ready for a coffee break at the moment. I fancy a muffin. Maybe I’ll go bake a batch of pumpkin ones. I have some pumpkin I didn’t use at Thanksgiving. Did I tell you that our church ladies bake The. Best. Pumpkin pies? They make them as a fundraiser every fall. I think they’ll also have some to sell at their Christmas bazaar that’s coming up in November. I must remember to pick up the ingredients for my fruitcakes soon so I have everything on hand for that annual mid-November baking endeavour. Oh, speaking of annual things, did you know the Surrey conference is this weekend? Whatever am I going to do about this mountain of stuff I need to take?
There’s a bigger suitcase in the basement. I think my mother-in-law’s silver tea service is in a box somewhere down there, too. I’ll bet it needs polishing. I wonder if I have any tarnish remover.
Do you have packing panic whenever you travel, or is it just me?
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