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Annie packs for a car trip
A Woman's View
Judi Tabler color mug

Fred and I recently took a three-day get-away to Branson. With Christmas right behind us and New Year’s coming up, we found ourselves with little time to prepare, but looking forward to the escape.

Fred selected his clothes on a hook in the closet; a few pairs of slacks, a few shirts, and a jacket. He packed his necessities in a duffle bag, and was set to go. 

I packed “Arnold,” my c-pap machine, in its special bag, stuffed a few electronics cords, an extension cord, and all the c-pap contents in that bag. Whew. Arnold is a heavy little critter.

Next, I grabbed a small “carry-on-size” suitcase. I packed pajamas, underwear and a few shirts. But I had only begun.

I pride myself in cutting back. I used to bring a separate bag for make-up and hygiene products. Greta still fills a Longaberger basket with all her necessary products. I tried that. Worked well, but I needed to cut back on “carry-ins.” So...

I grabbed a one-gallon plastic bag. In went the skin cream, liquid make-up, another liquid make-up (just in case the first one was the wrong color), eyebrow pencil, eyebrow powder (in the event that the pencil needed to be sharpened), an eyebrow pencil sharpener (afterthought), blush, blush brush, another blush brush in case the first got wet or fell into the toilet, eyeliner and three or four tubes of lipstick. Couldn’t decide which color was best right then. 

I crammed the bag into the suitcase. Patted myself on the back. “Good job Annie. You are de-materializing; you are cutting back!

Next, I moved on to my hair needs. I decided I’d use the hotel shampoo. 

“Major concession, Annie! You are figuring it out!”

I reached for a zippered bag from the closet. In went the hair spray, hair sheen, brush, comb, hair styling gel, make-up mirror (to see the back of my head). I grabbed another bag. Deodorant, cologne, toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, ...OH my, what else? 

My suitcase was getting pretty darn full.

What’s missing? Oh right. Jewelry. I grabbed a little cosmetic bag and filled it with earrings and a few necklaces. I couldn’t decide so grabbed more than I probably needed.

By now, I had selected seven different combinations of clothing hanging on the hook next to Fred’s two pairs of slacks and three shirts. I had painstakingly worked on this culling. I couldn’t decide. Oh well, we are driving our car. Plenty of room.

The clothes were going to hang on a rack in the car.

My suitcase was full. I needed just one more, eensy, bag. I grabbed a stylish cloth sack from the closet. I’ve been wanting to get some use out of that, I rationalized! I needed a bag for my shoes. Maybe I should have grabbed a larger suitcase? Oh well. Too late for that.

I stuffed two pairs of good walking shoes and two pairs of more stylish brogans in the bag. Counting the pair I would be wearing, five pairs of shoes ought to do it!

Next, I changed my purse. I needed a larger purse for all the other things that we are tethered to in our daily lives; charge cards, cell phone, i-Pad, pens, notepads, medication, checkbook, and who knows what else?

I don’t think that this is too much to take on a three-day trip, do you? We got up early on departure day. We hauled the stuff out to the car. I hoped I hadn’t forgotten anything. 

I had seven sets of clothing, a suitcase, a c-pap case, a bag of shoes, a large purse and me. Fred carried out his little measly sets of clothing, a pair of shoes, and a gym bag. We were off! Happy! Happy!

The car tipped to one side. My stuff. When Fred got in to drive, the car leveled off.

Our next challenge? It would be grabbing a rack on wheels at the hotel to carry our things into the room ... and hoping that the staff wouldn’t notice that there were only two of us.

Fred is going to have to cut back, I tell you!

Judi Tabler lives in Pawnee County and is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune. She can be reached at Visit her website