Monday, June 20, 2005

An Observation about Travel

Today's Observation concerns preparation for travel.

I'm leaving on Friday to go to Hawaii for a week with Rich for our anniversary. We've been married 25 years (it was easy, but not everyone gets a guy like this).

I prepare for travelling by not just thinking about what I will need to go where I am going, but also for the day I get home. First of all, I deep-clean the house, becuase I know that the last thing I'll feel like doing when I get home is cleaning. In fact, it's all I can do to unpack and put my suicase away; often it clutters up our bedroom for a week before I finally decide I'm not in Timbuktoo anymore. It always takes me some time to "come out" of a trip.

Lately though I've thought that perhaps having some cleaning to do when I get home might help me re-connect with home and get me grounded in my routine again. So perhaps I won't deep-clean, I'll just vacuum and swipe a few floors and make sure bathrooms are clean, and laundry is done and put away. Our dughter Meg has been earning money for a church youth trip to Colorado, so I am employing her as household help. We'll be washing windows this week, and she's doing grunt work in the garden for me.

The week we are gone some friends will be staying in our house while they conduct business here in town. So I've already cleaned the guest room and made the bed in there; I just have to buy a bottle of water and take down the ironing board. That's one job down.

I have to shop, because I won't feel like going shopping when I get home. So I need to plan for about two meals for the family and buy the makings for them to be here when I get back. Maybe I'll even make one and put it in the freezer. Soup, and bread...I have to buy breakfast food for our friends, too.

I've gotten very scatterbrained about packing. I need to make a list of toiletries for my bag and refer to it now. I've packed skirts and frogotten slips; pants and forgotten belts; shoes but not socks, and forgotten a hat for church... these details always seem to escape me somewhere. However, I'm very good at packing light. I was away for a week in North Africa with only a carry-on and a small satchel. (I've become pretty good at knowing what I will need in my satchel on a flight so that I'm not having to haul down my case from an overhead bin: lip balm, two choices of reading, eyeshades, surgical mask (to keep my sinuses hydrated) and Purell. And there's room in there for a water bottle and a bag of dried fruit. Packing light makes it possible to take back to the US two large suitcases for others when I came back, which is nice to be able to do. Once we brought back a rug from India.

If we had known we were going to have to go to N. Africa, we probably would not have gone to Hawaii. Rich felt that we really needed to get away fro this anniversary to someplace interesting and different; neither one of us has been to Hawaii before. We'll hike around and look at the plants and geography and eat pineapple, and spend a night oin a hotel on the side of a volcano. Gulp.

I hope the weather is nice, but even then, Rich is sure to have fun examining the weather. One of these days I'm going to buy him a bumper sticker that says, I Brake For Clouds. He does, too. And then, if I'm a good girl, he will give me a private lecture. :>) It's been fun, married to an academic.

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