Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Inch One Hundred Twenty: Seattle Bound

By the time this post appears, I will be en route to Seattle and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) annual conference. The AFCC is an international organization; this is its 53rd annual meeting. The theme this year is "Modern Families: New Challenges, New Solutions."

My daughter-in-law Alise and I are co-presenting a session on Friday morning. It is a Big Deal to be chosen to present at AFCC and I am looking forward to it. We titled our session "Seeing Color in a White World: Courts Working With Families Across Cultural Lines." That topic is near and dear to my heart and I am hoping for a lively session. After AFCC concludes midday Saturday, Alise and I will head to Portland on Amtrak.

As excited as I am about presenting, I am even more thrilled that I managed to pack all of my clothes
and toiletries in one small bag measuring approximately 19 x 8 x 9 inches. Not only did everything fit, but if I had been truly economical on what I took, I probably could have traveled with a half-full bag. But I splurged on underwear (packing enough to get me to Portland without having to wash any in the hotel room in Seattle) and on a second pair of shoes. I'll wear running shoes out; the sandals are in the bag. I have problems with neuropathy in my feet, and wearing a pair of sandals for 14 days is not an option. I did a run-through of the packing Sunday afternoon and laughed with glee when I zipped up the bag easily. (In the photo, I am touching the bag, so you can appreciate how small it is.)

So what is packed in the bag? 1 pair of sandals, a skirt (easily the most voluminous piece in the bag, being my Frida Kahlo in Oz skirt), a swimsuit, an oversize tee and soft shorts to sleep in, a pair of shorts to wear, 3 tops, one other tee-shirt (not to sleep in), 2 pairs of socks, 8 pair of underwear, and 2 quart size bags for toiletries: one with liquids for TSA and one with the rest of my toiletries. On travel day, I will wear a pair of jeans, a top, shoes and socks, underwear (of course), and a lightweight sweater.

And yes, I did a list. 

I will carry a second over-the shoulder purse with my ID, my AFCC papers, my tickets, and assorted
items such as a brush, a small notebook and pens. The second bag, which will double as a purse, measures 12 x 15 inches, not counting the handles. This is one of my favorite bags, made by a good friend, and it has served me on a variety of trips and for a variety of purposes, including being my go-to-chemo bag. Moby-Dick just came out of the bag for the duration and will float on my desk until I return.

In a pinch, both bags could fit under the seat in front of me.

The hardest part of all this is knowing that I will be away from home and Warren for the next two weeks. Time is growing increasingly precious, especially our time together, and two weeks is a long time. While I worked on the garden Sunday morning (yes, I got it all done!), I took a break and sat on the deck stairs while Warren got me a glass of ice water.  He came back out to the sight of tears running down my cheeks, as I was thinking of the future and how much I love Warren and our life together. We sat quietly together, my head against his shoulder, before I went back to the garden.

I will enjoy the trip. I cannot wait to see Alise, Ben, Ramona, Sam, Mackenzie, and Alise's family. I am looking forward to seeing Eric, my former nephew, and his family. I am seeing old friends in Seattle as well. I am thrilled to be traveling so light.

And it will be a great homecoming at the other end, when I land back in Ohio, back at home, back in Warren's arms.

1 comment:

Darla said...

Hope the trip is wonderful. You are a genius packer so you are starting out right. Will be waiting to hear from you when you return to your home and your beloved.