Tag Archives: organization

Did you pack the…of course not!

I am getting ready to take off for an extended vacation in the next week or so, and therefore it has become my painful duty to do the one thing I hate the most in the world…plan ahead.

I have never in my life gone on one single trip where I was not encumbered by the necessity of either doing without whatever I forgot, or running out to frantically try to replace it. The number of drugstores in strange cities where I have been seen, running down the aisles, searching frantically for pantyhose, a headache remedy or some sort of makeshift gift would be a staggering figure.

This last weekend may illustrate my problems with remembering. We were on a trip to the Twin Cities, but we were going to an unfamiliar area. We had all kinds of maps and instructions, but we decided we should take the GPS anyway. Roy gathered the chargers, the stand, etc. and put them in the car. Halfway to Minneapolis, he turned to me and said, “Did you pack the GPS in the trunk?”

“GPS?” was my vague response.

We made it where we were going, but it was touchy. It’s the same every time. It’s not because we are more than ordinarily forgetful; no, our problem is much more elementary: I do everything last minute, including packing. It doesn’t matter how much warning I’ve had, I still wait until the very last minute and then I try to remember everything.

Sometimes I make a list in advance. This is extremely helpful. I make the list, promptly lose it and so my last-minute packing leaves something out. This has resulted in my wearing sneakers to a wedding, using my fingers to comb my hair and always and inevitably forgetting my deodorant!

The upcoming vacation (and it’s coming fast) will include several days of camping before an air trip to New York and some Broadway plays. That means I must remember camping equipment, food, and dress clothes…all in the same trip. I just hope I don’t show up at a Broadway theater in my walking sweat-suit!

I have a daughter who likes to be meticulously organized. I maintain that someone switched her at birth because she cannot be mine. She makes lists (and hangs on to them), plans her events down to the last detail and is always months ahead of time in her arrangements. I wish I was like that, but I am not.

So, on the last day before I leave for vacation I will be frantically throwing fry pans, eggs and bacon, dress theater jackets and my favorite ratty old pajamas in the suitcase and it won’t be until I’m well on the road that I will remember that I should have brought the coffee and that I don’t know if my dress shoes are in the suitcase or not!My husband has been asking me not-so-subtle questions all week like, “Do you have all the laundry done that you need?” (I have been known to throw dirty clothes in the suitcase and rinse them out in a motel sink). Or, “Say, dear, have you brought up the suitcases yet? You know, so we can get started packing?” (That’s so silly, because frequently I will not have unpacked from a previous trip, so when I get the suitcase, I find not so fresh clothes in it or discover that THIS is where my spare toothbrush went.)

I’ll get around to packing for this trip, but I know without a doubt that my husband is going to turn to me when we are in the car, much too late to turn around and go back, and say, “Oh, by the way, did you pack…oh, never mind, we’ll have to get along without it!” Happy vacationing, everyone!



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I’m just gonna walk my paint cans now…

Some people go skiing in the mountains on the weekends. Some people enter marathons and walk and run their way through days at a time. I envy these people because they have normal, ordinary activities—things people would understand and often, things that they admire.

That’s right, I’m about to tell one of those whiny tales about how all the bad stuff happens to me. If you don’t want to read that, stop here. But I warn you, you’ll miss a pretty good story. The things that happen to me aren’t necessarily normal, but they are entertaining!

The storeroom needed cleaning and I decided that definitely, this was the weekend. And what’s more, all that stuff I didn’t need was finally going. I sorted the paint cans and put everything that I couldn’t identify (and that was too many of them) on the track of the exercise walker that has been serving as a laundry hanger because it hasn’t worked right in a year. All of that was going.

I surprised the cat, who has apparently been taking afternoon naps on the Easter decorations and while I was stopping the rain of plastic eggs, gaily-decorated baskets and multi-colored Easter  eggs from hitting the floor, the cat chose that moment to walk across my arms, over my head and then cast herself off my shoulders onto the freezer, from where she could get to the floor.

While digging the Easter decorations that I couldn’t catch out from behind the freezer, I encountered an empty beer can. Aside from wishing at that moment that it had been full and cold, I was left to wonder how it got there—Roy drinks beer, but not usually behind the freezer.

The next order of business was cleaning the shelves because the dust had me sneezing so much, I was bumping my head on walls, shelving and the window. I pulled an old hand vac out and plugged it in as best I could behind the freezer.

Except I didn’t plug in the vacuum, I plugged in the mal-functioning exercise walker. Guess what? It wasn’t malfunctioning right then, it was ON. Paint cans began shooting off the sides and the end like a mortar attack in a war zone. Once they were done and I had cleaned up the damage, I tried to look on the bright side: at least the walker was working. Except it wasn’t. I discovered with some experimenting that if you unplugged it and then plugged it back in, it would run for approximately a half a minute…or about the amount of time it takes to walk about 10 paint cans at a sharp jog.

It was getting  to be too much. I was contemplating a break when the dog decided to aid me. She found some Christmas wrapping paper where I had put it in the hallway outside the door. I was alerted to that fact when I heard paper ripping. I looked out to see her joyously dismantling  a half-used roll of paper. As I was cleaning that up, she nosed her way in, trying to get some of the bigger pieces and that’s when I noticed that her head was extremely damp-looking.

I was busy; I didn’t ask questions, but I should have investigated. When I finally dashed upstairs to get more garbage bags from the kitchen, I did some unexpected cross-country skiing across a very slippery kitchen floor. When I slammed into the stove, I discovered that the dog had washed her paws in a skillet full of frying grease that I had left out to cool off. She had distributed it over every counter and surface and turned the floor into a pre-greased skating rink.

By the time I had cleaned up the paint mess, the shredded Christmas paper mess and the greased kitchen mess, it was time to call the weekend to a close. So, although I didn’t go skiing in the mountains or run a marathon, I skied through my kitchen and I definitely walked those paint cans at a brisk pace! However, I don’t think anyone’s going to admire me for it!




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