I am an inveterate over-packer and pretty much an unapologetic one. My Girl Scout training of be prepared is never more in evidence than when I have a suitcase in tow. It’s a compulsion, I must pack for any possibility no matter how ludicrous the likelihood.
I’m leaving soon on an epic trip – we’re scattering Doug’s ashes in various locales of the Southwest – places he loved. Besides packing everything I think I need, I also have to pack him. It seems very odd to have a box of ashes that is all I have left, besides memories, of my beloved – even odder to think of the box and funeral home tote bag as “luggage.” There’s a joke in there somewhere about baggage but I can’t find it.
It is going to be an epic trip. I haven’t been in this part of the country since I was 10. My family and I traveled Rt. 66 more times than I can count, but we do so making time not sight-seeing. This time I’ve got 10 days to wallow in the glory of Doug’s beloved desert.
He was an over-packer too, but nonetheless teased me about my affliction. He would be amused to know that his ashes are causing me to have to severely prune my over-packing. A box of ashes takes up all of a carryon bag leaving me one smallish suitcase in which to prepare myself for 10 days of 3 different seasons and a variety of activities– yes, this former Girl Scout has to pack for winter, spring and summer as well as hiking, horseback riding and, possibly, hot-air ballooning.
No, I can’t add another suitcase. Four of us and all of our stuff have to fit in a rental car. I doubt they want to add a trailer to accommodate my compulsions. So I am trying, really, really hard to be practical and choose clothing that multi-tasks. But with three seasons and a variety of different activities, I am overwhelmed.
I made a list. You know things are dire when I resort to a list. It’s a fine list. Minimal, in fact. The contents of the list are not going to fit in the suitcase. There is pruning to do. Fortunately, I started early. At present, less than a week out, I am about 33% over-capacity. I have the remainder of this week to pare it down.
I’m excited about the trip. I’m spending it with some splendid people and we’re also spending time in some of my childhood places like the Wigwam Motel and the place of my birth. I haven’t seen the southwest since we left Hawaii in 1970 and drove across the country to Quantico, VA. It’s also my first real vacation in nearly 5 years. How do you pack for epic?
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