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Keeping it simple while packing for a trip

By Jan Miller Penton

The spare bedroom is close to overflowing with an array of clothing, shoes, toiletries, hair products, and an oversized suitcase. Anyone who took a peek into the room would undoubtedly think a six-month sojourn overseas was ahead, but I don’t want to forget some essential. This time of year the weather is so changeable that I am packing long and short sleeve tops along with church clothes and the occasional sundress or two.

In other words I am more than likely overdoing it in my attempt to have whatever the weather and my activities may warrant for the next three weeks. Once in mid April we had a pretty good snow especially for south Mississippi.

The children were all in junior high and high school and the excitement of the event was undeniable. Most of the snow fell in the night. I well remember the cracking sound of the snow filled branches of the pines along the fence row and our thrill of the wonderland of white to follow.

Now that I’ve thought of that I just wonder if I should pack a heavy coat too? I suppose that would be taking things a little too far since that only happened once in my memory. Planners and packers like to be ready for anything that may come up, but this often leads to an overabundance of well…just about everything.

With this in mind I don’t know why I don’t make it easy on myself and pack lightly. It isn’t as if there are no stores on the gulf coast. And that leads me to yet another reason to pack lightly. On the off chance that I find some adorable little thing or two while shopping then I will have room in my bags for them.

It’s decided. I’m going to take essentials only on my little vaycay, but wait a minute. Isn’t that why I have all that stuff out and ready to pack? Any or all of it could be essential? I usually pack books for a trip, and on many occasions I can barely find room in the floorboard for my feet because so many titles beg to be read or read again.

I wonder if there is a group for over packers anonymous? Can I do it on my own? Yes! I’m up for the challenge! I will only take ten outfits and wash as needed. I will only take one makeup bag and one for hair products. I can make it with three pairs of shoes. I will only take one large book and my Bible.

I feel confident. I feel strong. Back in our camping days I ran across a little plaque that friends had in their camper. The word “kiss” was in white letters on a black background, and the meaning was keep it simple stupid. That was absolutely good advice for camping, and I think this trip will be much more fun and relaxing if I follow this advice.