Traveling Light? Susan Dromey Heeter Says ‘Never’

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Genius Pack

Somebody needs a Genius Pack.

By Susan Dromey Heeter,
Joyful Musings

I muse joyfully on packing. I love to pack, to think, “Will I need this? Will I wear this? Will I want this?” I contemplate and plan, put in, take out, create scenarios, delight in possibilities.

My husband throws in socks and underwear and he’s done. What takes him three minutes, takes me three hours. I’m not meticulous in much but in packing, oh yes.

I like to pack my own sheets. Yes, I do. And when I’m driving, I’ll throw my pillow in the car as well. Sleep is primo, sheets are key.  I like my own and can generally fit them in my bag without too much angst.

I’d rather have my sheets than extra clothes – and while I am as far from a germaphobe  as one can get, I do delight in my own clean crisp sheets smelling of my laundry detergent. And, while I delight in packing, sleeping brings even more joy.

I suddenly become someone else when I pack – even for a short trip to the beach. But I MIGHT want to have this hat, this scarf, this book – who knows what may come up?  I tend to over pack, over think, but you know? I’ve never run out of something – don’t tend to pay the $30 for aspirin or toothpaste. I’m prepared.

Susan Dromey Heeter

One summer in Oregon, I went bowling with friends. We were told we needed socks and as we’d entered the alley with our flip flops, we had none.  Alas, someone in our group noticed a nearby Laundromat so we ventured there – found a myriad of single socks and used them to allow us to go and bowl.

Did it matter our socks did not match? Not in the least  – they were clean, they worked. To this day, I think, “Hmmm…if I run out of socks, I can hit the nearest Laundromat.”  That knowledge has served me well. I do not over pack socks.

I just watched the movie, “Brooklyn.” There was a scene where the main character is packing for her sojourn to American from Ireland – and her suitcase was exceedingly light. She just didn’t have much to pack. This astonished me – I don’t think I’ve ever closed a suitcase without sitting on it, forcing it to close, shoving just one more thing in. “Brooklyn” was a wonderful flick, but the part that stayed – the ease of the suitcase closing.  Wow.

I once brought a friend to the airport in Holland – she was shoving a huge wheel of Gouda cheese into her suitcase – the cheese must have weight 30 pounds. But she got it in and that cheese traveled all the way from South Limburg to Montana. That was impressive. I also remember her words as we got closer to the airport, “All that really matters are my tickets and passport – the rest? Can be replaced.”

And, yes, that is something upon which I muse joyfully. All can be replaced in the grand scheme of things – but it’s fun to think I won’t have to and that that cheese arrived in tact to Montana.

May you muse joyfully on your own packing and delight in a suitcase that closes…almost.

Susan Dromey Heeter, a writer from Dover who recently let her hair go au natural white, debuts her new column “Joyful Musings” at Dromey Heeter is a secondary Spanish Teacher at Dover High School and the mother of two teenage daughters.  Writing has been her passion since her English majoring days at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.  Dromey Heeter has lived in The Netherlands, Alaska and currently basks in all things New England, including the frigid winters. An avid swimmer, Dromey Heeter’s great passion is to bring back body surfing as most children have no idea how to ride waves without ridiculous boogie boards. She also writes about thrift shopping and all things frugal  in a column called “Budget Vogue” for the New Hampshire Union Leader.


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