It’s the eve of a flight and there is work to be done and the first priority is packing. There are rumors of clever types who can put together a suitcase quick as a quarter-note But Urs Truly is not one of them. Spo-packing requires careful planning lest I bungle. Flying to Michigan isn’t too bad that Brother #3 has a washer and a dryer and in worse case scenarios I can borrow things from Father. What’s more important is what not to bring; a trip to MI requires a relatively empty suitcase so I can haul things back to Arizona. Brother #3 is expecting me to take the remaining ‘Boy’s Life” magazines and any sundry items from our late Mother’s estate, most of which is still in boxes piled high as Fafner’s hoard in his basement.

I always check my bag. The price to do so and not worry about the damned thing surpasses the ‘price’ of stress from hoping to get an overhead space and the fight to get onboard before others. I have to wait afterwards for my luggage to show (and some worry that it got lost), but this is preferable to hauling around a travel bag. I never pack light anyway but bring a lot of ‘be prepared’ things that most of the time never are realized.

Speaking of scouting, I need to remember to bring my neckerchief slide collection from my days in The Boy Scouts. Posthumous Thomas is in Cub Scouts. I hope he likes them and uses them. Kids are funny though. He may not want to wear his guncle’s collection which admittedly are bit fabulous.

Niece #2 A.K.A. Warrior Queen is selling Girl Scout cookies and I am obliged to buy some – a lot if necessary. Thin mints don’t travel easily in an over night bag.

I’ve learned to keep quiet about the knick-knacks I see on the shelves in Father’s studio. If I should mention them, Father automatically says I should have that and take it home why don’t I. I have enough mementos of his for a life time. I am tempted to return some and quietly place them back on his shelves. “I thought I gave that to Mouse” he would think to himself.*

I borrowed from Brother #3 a half-dozen “Alfred Hitchcock and the three investigators” books; these should be returned and replenished with new ones. Brother #3 is a good source of book recommendations but my ‘to read’ shelf’ is overflowing at the moment.

I must remember to fetch things I forgot to bring home from my last trip. Last October I made a fab new Spo-shirt for Halloween and then I forgot to pack it so I never got to wear it proper. I trust it is still hanging in the closet in the guest room. I think I left behind “The Satanic Verses”; by now I have forgotten the contents obliging me to either restart or forget it.

Finally, I need to check the weather in Michigan to pack accordingly. I doubt it is sunny with highs of 32C as it is here. For all I know I will be shoveling snow. Oh the horror. Brother #2’s shift to manage Papa overlaps with mine by a day. He is from Wisconsin so if there is any snow that wants shoveling I will leave that to him.

Do you pack ‘light”?

Do you check bags?

Do you leave things behind?

*When I was a boy he often called me ‘Mouse”. Fifty years later he has restarted using this nickname. It is rather sweet.