Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Master Packer

When we were getting ready for family vacations, it went a little like this:

Mom printed out her list of items that we owned. This was her list of things to bring with her.

Mom emptied out the cupboards and closets and placed it all neatly in a "staging area" which was usually a little in the kitchen, a little in the living room and a little in every other room.

Mom packed Dad's things.

Dad shows up on leaving day with a schedule in mind that he may or may not have shared with Mom.

Mom shows him the piles he's to pack, he "encourages" the children to help him move Mom's staging areas to Dad's staging area outside behind the Yellow And White Suburban.

This is where things start to go awry. Mom never gives Dad the items he wants when he wants them. Mom's tired from the weeks of packing up the entire house, so she may or may not be a little grumpy. Dad's worried about loading up the entire house into the Yellow And White Suburban while still leaving all windows available for clear viewing with no potential projectiles. Usually there was room for all three children. Including the one who may or may not have been grouchy because we were traveling on her birthday. Again.

Multiply all of this times twelve when the Avocado Green (this may or may not have been in the early 80's) push and shove trailer was involved. Including the amount of stuff. My Mom has an amazing knack for knowing the exact cubic footage available to her and using each cubic inch.

But I watched this dance so many times that it became natural. Normal. When I was in high school I would sometimes go places with a friend of mine and would always end up packing her family's car.

So as I pack for our family vacation, I am taking my lessons learned and using them. And hopefully improving on them. Or not. There is a rather large staging area in my garage. The only lists that exist are either in my head or scribbled on a napkin or crumbled up piece of paper. I am trying to find things in my house that I can leave at home (do you think I'll need my box of receipts from 2002? Yeah, I thought I would, too.). I think all of the grocery shopping is done. The library trip has been made and card games are in the staging area. There may or may not be enough room for all three of my children.

I am apropriately exhausted. And the vacation has not even begun.

P.S. Dad, if you don't start blogging again, I'm going to keep writing about you...


ca sister said...

Ah, yes... it's that time of year.

Payback stinks... We're ALWAYS gone on our Oldest's birthday. I'm certain the complaining will commence.

Mom always DID wish for us to have children just like us. Blessing and curse in one. Harry Potter should be so talented!

green.barn said...

I laughed all the way through this!

I may have squeezed a four bedroom house into our Kodak-Yellow-and-White-Suburban (you forgot the "Kodak") but we always had what we needed, and you girls were cheerful travelers (well, except on the 4th of July weeked, when one of you was generally disgruntled.)

The best entertainment was the cat when we drove across country - the can had to be in her harness, on her leash, before any car doors could be opened. I was terrified that the cat would run away and I'd have to finish the drive to California in a Kodak-Yellow-and- White-Suburban lake of tears! She did give you girls someone to think about besides yourselves - live entertainment! She liked to sit in the rear window on top of the no-higher-than-the-window load.

And, even without children, I can still fill a Suburban on a road trip!

lynn said...

Sara, (no superflous 'h')

Caught up on your blog today. I really enjoyed this post, but then I enjoyed every post. You have real talent, reminscent of Erma Bombeck. Have you read her? If not you should--I think you could do something along the lines of what she did with your material. This stuff is too good to keep to yourself.

Will miss you at Almanor.

Love, Lynn (no superfluous 'e'. Is the second 'n' superflous? perhaps so . . .)