Two ways to pack


Both my husband and daughter packed up and left last week. Monday night, my husband extracted his garment bag from the back of our closet.
“I have to spend the rest of the week in Atlanta at a quality assurance managers’ meeting. I’ll be back Saturday.”

He began unhooking shirts, suits and slacks from the closet rod. A half hour later, he was packed for five days of business meetings at corporate headquarters. He sorted through his stack of reports and papers selecting what he needed for daily meetings. He added a calculator, pen and paper, loaded them all into a black canvas backpack. With an hour of preparation, he was ready for a week of business in the big city.
The next afternoon, my daughter asked me, “are you going to buy snacks for me to take to the Beta Club Convention this weekend? I need my allowance so I can go in town and buy them if you aren’t.”

I wrote the check.
She went shopping and returned with a stash of munchies. She laid them on the bed in her room along with the clothes she was thinking about taking for the weekend: Skirts, shirts, jeans, blouses and socks.

She spent the evening sorting, arranging and planning what to wear at the various activities scheduled during the overnight Beta Club Convention in Little rock. Wednesday afternoon, she pulled out her matching suitcase and garment bag and began packing sneakers, dress shoes, walking shoes, nylons, socks, skirts, snacks, blue jeans and T-shirts.

Thursday evening she proudly announced, “I packed lightly this time.”

Friday morning, she stood impatiently at my door, “Come on, Mom. I need you to take me to school.”

I yawned, “I’m not ready yet. Load your stuff in the small car while I finish my hair.”

Ten minutes later she was back. “I couldn’t get it into the car. I put the stuff in the van.”
“OK, whatever,” I shrugged, finished my make-up and walked out to the van.
I turned around and looked at the luggage she was taking for her weekend trip.

Her garment bag lay over the back of the seat, a little brown teddy bear peeked over the edge f the pocket of her suitcase and her traveling pillow leaned against a jam-packed backpack.
“Sure you want to take all that?”
She looked it all over thoughtfully. “Uh huh. I took as many clothes last year and wore everything.”

At school other Beta Club members waited for the bus, each holding a duffel bag – and maybe a back pack. She looked at her three pieces plus pillow.
“Ummm, I think I’ll leave the pillow.”
“Sure you want the teddy bear?”

“Of course,” she gathered it all up and joined her friends.

Saturday they returned. In the afternoon, my husband flew in and slung his garment bag and backpack into the car. Sometime after midnight, my daughter loaded matching luggage, backpack and shopping bags into the mini-van. They both said they had a great time and had everything they needed.