Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Packing the lazy way . . . out the door!

My husband has the most efficient way to pack. When we travel for say a month-long journey, he methodically gathers up 7 pairs of shirts, shorts, socks and 2 pairs of pants. Just whatever's on top. Then a few basics (books, maps, Sudoko). Maybe a snack for the plane. He's done. I typically add a few more things to his suitcase that he might need. Swim suit. Cell phone plug.

But I dither when I pack for myself. As the departure date gets closer, I begin to stress out. It's hard to say goodbye to family. My little 2-1/2 year old granddaughter doesn't understand about planes or wanderlust -- yet. I don't want to leave my sewing/writing room, and I can't take it with me! I can't even decide what exactly to take with me.

So I've come up with a one-size-fits-all travel packing list on my computer. Just revise for the current trip. Print it out. Check it off. Our categories are simple: Clothes, books, writing/sewing, toiletries & meds, camera/computer.

About 7 days before we leave, I open up my one suitcase and leave it propped open. Over the next few days, I throw stuff in that I think I might want. My journal for the trip. Favorite shirts. My sewing projects. I'm not worried because hubby says, "If we forget something, we can buy it!" I know he's talking about toothpaste, but somehow, he reassures me that we'll be OK no matter what I pack or don't pack. 

Day 2 before departure, I work the list, make a quick run to the store for airplane snacks, and we're truly ready.

The morning of departure, a final check all around, water the plants, print out boarding passes, recheck our day packs for essentials for the plane, and we walk out the door -- this time, for a month in Galveston.

Do we check luggage? Yes. I'm too old to sling a rolling suitcase into that overhead bin. Why not lessen the congestion in that tiny aisle on the plane?

Where's my purse? I use a day pack with my tiny purse inside. This way, I can carry my netbook, reading, and snack with ease.

And we're ready to adventure.

"Red Suitcase" by Ken Yuel on Flickr

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Did you see the sunrise this morning?

We're 8 days away from leaving for that month-long trip to Galveston. Suitcases are open and empty. My packing list is ready to begin checking off, and I still haven't decided if I'm taking my sewing machine as a carry-on. Southwest says I can. Yippee!

One suitcase = how many books? how many sewing projects?

Today's inspiring quote as I gather sewing projects, fabrics, and organize a sewing travel kit comes from Patricia L. Brown's Easy Batik Landscape Quilts:

"Did you see the sunrise this morning?"

I think that any travel adventure should begin with hope. 

This picture by Kim Seng is of Lake Worth in Florida, and shows with beautiful optimism what our condo view will be! At least we have the pier nearby for fishing, if not that sunrise . . . 

Kim Seng "Lake Worth Beach Sunrise" (Flickr

Friday, January 02, 2015

A night of light . . .

We had been driving east through the Canadian Rockies, a very long day, when we finally came to the first sign of a settlement, a lovely bed and breakfast near a small lake. The owner invited us to sit in the hot tub late that night for the Merry Dancers were expected.

Northern Lights by James Medcalf (Flickr 2012)
The Romans and Greeks recorded stories about the Northern Lights. Cultures close to the far north and far south have very different legends about these Northern Lights. 

Scots from the Orkney Islands call them the Merry Dancers, from the Gaelic, Na Fir-Chlis, roughly translated as 'the nimble ones' who, according to legend, fought in the sky. 

Some say these sheets of color that fill the sky are a portent of storms to come. In northern Canada, the Cree believe the lights are the spirits of ancestors, saying "If we rub our hands together as we watch the lights, these spirits will dance in the sky."

We shivered in the cold night and saw on the horizon faint but awe-inspiring smudges of colors -- red, green and yellow. But this video, The Night of the Northern Lights, shows better than words, the wonder of these lights.

Read more about the Merry Dancers at The Dark Sky Diary and about their mythology at Luminarium.