2012-11-28 / Loose Ends

Loose Ends

Five days – six pairs of shoes
Susan Nienow

Yes, we’re on the road again.

If I had planned better, all of our relatives would live in the same city – or at least in the same state. We are heading south and no directions are needed. We just drive south on I-95 until we can’t stand it anymore and then turn left.

The problem with going south at this time of year is the unpredictable weather. It’s cold in the morning and hot in the afternoon. Unless, of course, it’s raining.

Any way that I look at it, I am going to have to jam the suitcase with a lot of just-in-case clothes. Sweaters and lightweight jackets in case it’s chilly, T-shirts in case it’s warm and a rain jacket.

Then I need shoes for everything. Some of my pants are long and need a shoe with a short heel and others are shorter and require flat shoes. So I just packed them all in brown and black. Long socks and short socks, scarves and jewelry, books and magazines – something for every possible circumstance.

We are driving, so except for the time it takes to pack, it won’t matter if I fill up the car. One of us has a method for packing, and one of us just tosses things in. The one with a method would rather not have any interference when he is packing. I would call it help but have learned through the years that help has many definitions and nuances.

My definition of help is to bring things out to the car in whatever order works for me. He thinks things have to come out in the order they are put into the car. For me, help is assisting in getting the job – whatever it is – done as quickly as possible, even if it creates more work later. For my Other Half, it’s doing the job as efficiently as possible once and for all.

A big difference as it turns out.

Before we leave I drive myself crazy making lists of things to do before we go: Declutter the house, finish the laundry (don’t leave wet clothes in the washer); do the dishes, water the plants, answer my emails, send birthday/anniversary cards, chase the dust bunnies and so on. By the night before we leave, my list is finished, and I only have time to pack.

I really think my subconscious does this on purpose so I won’t have to do all those things. The dust bunnies can wait, though they do multiply. I have a good supply of belated birthday cards, and I can write excuses on the anniversary cards. I can take time to water the plants in the morning.

The one thing I will probably never forget again is the charger for my laptop, because I forgot to send my column this week. It is done and on the desktop at home. I am rewriting it as we pass mile marker 71, south of Richmond.

If the battery dies on my laptop, you will know why you didn’t get this.

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