An hour before we left, I had a stage 5 Chernobyl-like melt down.  In classic Reyes fashion, I saw a problem looming and opted to bet on the losing side, you know, to be safe.  I threatened to – in this order – leave my sewing machine behind, leave myself behind, leave Jac behind.  Things got a little ugly.

Jac tried first to kid me then coax me out of the spiral.  Finally, he grabbed me by the shoulders.

“Pull out of it, man! It’s going to be okay.”

All over the amount of crap that had to fit into the car.


However, in my defense, there was A LOT of stuff. And this was AFTER I had worked so hard to pare down and go light this year.  I kept saying, “That’s it, right?” to which my husband would reply, “Yep. Oh, and this.” Over and over.  And over. 

I asked Bridget for some clarity.  I wanted to know what had happened to us that we need to bring so much when we travel.  Were we the only ones who packed cases of poker chips, hauled sewing machines and not just one computer but an entire desk PC, keyboard, mouse, monitor and 2 hard drives? 

Thankfully, she assured me that we weren’t the only ones to over pack. She didn’t tell me I was crazy and that’s why we’re friends.

But we agreed that something has gone terribly awry with the way we travel.  It used to be that women could go and visit their sisters for a month and take a small suitcase and have hats and knitting and toiletries stashed away.  In those days, people knew what was essential.

The problem, I think, is that our idea of essential has changed.  It was essential for me to bring my sewing machine so that I could finish gifts.  The computer is essential to Jac’s mental health if he is to keep a light load for work during “vacation.”  The less time he spends waiting on a computer to do it’s thing, the more time he has with us.  I wish it were more simple. . .

In the end, I calmed down and Jac helped me cram all the stuff into the van.  Then we all got in and fit just fine, just like Jac said. 

Upon arriving, Mom – the master packer who taught me everything I know about packing – said increduously, “I cannot believe you fit all of that in your car.” You and me both, sister!  I just hope I can do it again for the return trip. 

After the first go-round, should be simple.