p is for packing and preparing for trips


Thursday morning I called in late and ran up to the Salt Lake Airport for something I felt compelled to do, but will write about later. While I was there my oldest son called. He wanted to go to Idaho. That afternoon. I had thought about going earlier in the week – I needed to see my brothers. And I wanted to see the baby pigs. And the older cows before they went to market this summer. And also Shoshone Falls in full spring runoff. But I talked myself out of it when my brother Jon texted that he would be in California.

Except his trip got rearranged.

And then I talked myself out of it again because I had planned to do my taxes this weekend.

But when Luke called. And then texted. I couldn’t get the idea out of my head. I was itching to go.

I talked Luke into waiting until morning so we could see the falls in daylight. And took the rest of the day off, did most of my taxes that afternoon, and put my house in order.

And then I packed.

If I have clean clothes I can pack in about 15 minutes.

Packing is easy for up to a week. I picked up a bright Cotopaxi backpack for myself after my daughter let me borrow hers when I was traveling to D.C. so often for work in 2015.

Undergarments go in the roomy inside pocket. Then I layer clothes, putting whatever I’m going to wear last in first and working my way up. There’s always room for my makeup bag at the top before I cinch up the drawstring. I generally have a bag of Clorox wipes in the outer pocket, along with assorted herbal teas, a few hair ties, and some tiny headphones. I usually squeeze a few sample-sized bottles of my favorite essential oils (On Guard and Serenity) along with any seasonal allergy meds (if the timing is right, or wrong, as it were) into my CPAP bag.

My still-muddy tennis shoes in a grocery bag under the seat, and a couple of pairs of socks and a sweatshirt get tossed in my shoulder bag that stays up in the front seat, and I’m good to go.

If you travel light, then there’s more room for good company.

[Day 101 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]