Oh for Pete’s sake. . .

brokenfootSo, of course I broke my foot four days before I leave for the Great Southwest Ash Dash. It’s almost appropriate given HMO’Keefe’s interest in bone.

Last night was rough. I was in a lot of pain and certain I would have to cancel. I was bereft beyond words and under the influence of hydrocodone. It was not a pretty sight.

So the breaking of the foot is not even an interesting story. I merely stepped on my right foot wrong, wobbled, caught myself and then gaped in astonishment as my foot exploded into fiery pain. I hobbled about a bit until it was clear something was really wrong. My mom dragged me into the nearest doc-in-a-box where they pronounced me broken, sent me home with pain pills, crutches and dire warnings about putting any weight on my foot.

Last night was just awful.

This morning I saw the cutie-pie doc that did the three foot surgeries following my car accident. He’s a bona fide sweetie, nice to look at it, and a really caring guy not to mention competent. You can’t ask for more in a doc other than looking older than 12. He’s nearly my age and looks like he’s skipping school and hanging out in an orthopedic practice.

He tells me that I was lucky. The fractured bone usually completely separates in these types of fractures and he has to pin it back on. I didn’t separate. Consequently, I’m in an ace bandage and walking boot with news that once the swelling goes down, I’ll feel a whole lot better. The really good news is that the swelling should abate before I get on the plane. Yes, I can still go although I won’t get to wear my spiffy new hiking boots and the suitcase needs to be re-packed to accommodate my needs-based itinerary of lots of sitting.

My co-travelers are being real troopers about my limited trooping ability. I’ve been blessed with some really wonderful people in my life. So the epic trip now has a heroine with an obstacle as all good epics must.

How do you pack for epic?

packingI 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.

regerHow do you pack for epic?

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.

listNo, 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?