Packing light virtually impossible in this day and age

July 18, 2011 

When we went on our epic journey several weeks ago we -- Tat, Sarah and I -- were in a quandary about what to pack.

We were to be in Rhode Island for several days and planned to make four or five stops along the way. My cousins had arranged two dinner parties and several other gatherings.

The weather in Rhode Island is a bit like San Francisco at times, it can be cloudy, misty and coolish. We, of course, are the Southern batch of cousins, so we had to plan well and pack carefully -- because besides having to look fabulous we had to fit in a small car with all the stash.

I never take my computer or a hairdryer, but two of each had to make the trip. There were the great summer novels to read when things got slow and lots of the latest magazines to peruse between sharing driving duties. We forgot to pack the books on tape! Three favorite pillows were thrown in, goodies to munch on, four or five hangup bags, three small suitcases, a backpack, three pocketbooks. A GPS, even though one was built in the car, three cameras, two cell phones and several other items.

There was barely room for us when we got through packing but off we went.

Lori and Jamie arrive at our house with baby Patterson laden with all sorts of equipment and they only stay several hours. My English grandmother used to arrive for weeklong visits with only one suitcase. She had lots of clothes in the same colors and wore different kinds of scarves and only pearls as jewelry. She always looked elegant and well put-together.

I always try the one suitcase routine but haven't quite caught on to it. One thing I do hate, though, is the hairdryer. It sounds like those horrible leaf blowers and, in my mind, I see a monster in the other room drying its fur before it hops out and scares the wits out of me.

How do you pack for a trip?

For an on-the-road goody to eat, I suggest Nutella spread with peanut butter on Triscuits.

  • How should a woman of "a certain age" act or dress? A woman of "a certain age," I think, is older than 40. Does this mean when you reach that magic number, you should dress in a drab dress and sensible shoes? In my way of thinking, one should look divinely fabulous coming and going. If you have style, show it proudly.

  • Have you ever been to Campbell Chapel AME Church, Zion or St. John for a Sunday service? If not you are missing some of Bluffton's most stylish ladies, who really know how to get it together.
  • I don't mean we should forget about manners or decorum, but I do think strutting our stuff wouldn't hurt anyone and it doesn't cost anything. Buy a new lipstick or try a new hairdo, because everything is really "a state of mind" -- even age!

  • Ikats from Uzbekistan are a hot item. Ikats are wonderful fabrics with designs that are very interesting in marvelous colors. Some of these fabrics can be very expensive but there is a website I've found that sells the fabric fairly cheaply. The site has a selection starting at $22 a yard. You could make several pillows to brighten a chair or sofa very easily. If you know how costly this can be, you know this is a bargain.

  • I think this smoky, hot, hazy air that greets me early each morning is really terrible. I can't imagine how those poor people deal with the fires burning near them. I hope they get a good rain soon to get some kind of relief. The firemen who have been battling those fires should be given some kind of award for heroism.

  • It will be a welcome day when we have nice fresh air to breathe.

    Babbie Guscio is the social columnist for The Bluffton Packet. She can be reached at The Store on Calhoun Street.

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