Saturday, April 30, 2011

Packing Challenges

So what did you get for Valentine’s Day?  I got a waffle iron.
Doesn’t sound so romantic, but really it is.  The Saturday morning tradition in our home is for Joe to make his really excellent waffles.  It’s our way of insuring that I never get thin. 
This waffle iron was special because it was smaller than our regular waffle iron, the better to fit into the RV!  See, it wasn’t going to be so different from regular life! Cherished traditions will continue! 
I had been stressing, typically overthinking everything, about what was to go in the RV and what wasn’t.  How could I pack in every important thing to make me comfortable in the months ahead living on the road?  Short answer: I couldn’t. Choices had to be made.  First off the list- the dogs. Romantic notions of having their cuddliness soon faded when faced with their needs, particularly for routines. Next came all the physical stuff: kitchen supplies (we DO plan to cook, especially waffles, as much as possible), toiletries, and clothing. (He made the decisions about the tools we brought: a massive amount.) 
At home, we are entirely spoiled by having far more storage capability than it’s reasonable to have.  This supports our Costco-holism, as we can ALWAYS engineer another spot to store that impulse purchase and the quantity purchases of water and paper products, not to mention canned tomatoes. Not so in the RV. Like on a boat, all space must be productive. 
So I had spent way too many hours trying to figure out what was going, and where it was going, and the last two days before we left was constant engineering of space. I’d carry out an armful and bring part of it back into the house. Despite the fact that we’d had great advice (Jeanette, daughter of the RV’s original owner, said “It took me FIVE YEARS to realize that there are stores out there and I didn’t need to pack everything”), I decided that I’d take what I “needed” and either ditch the extra or send it home in a box. (Another benefit of having Jared there to receive the boxes.)
Finally, on Friday, April 29, we declared ourselves done with the packing, started the car and headed out to Victorville for the first game of the RV part of the tour, all cozy and comfy, knowing we had everything we needed.  I was so pleased because everything seemed stowed away. One great thing about the RV is that nothing can be left out on surfaces as you drive as it will fly through the air, so the place is neat and tidy pretty often.
So, on Saturday morning, April 30, I’m so happy to see the waffle iron!  It’s our first chance to keep tradition; we have enough time before we leave for our next stop. So Joe asks his typical weekday question: “Would you like eggs and toast or cereal?” instead of saying “It’s Saturday! We’re having waffles!”
I asked the obvious question. “Why is the waffle iron out on a Saturday if we’re not having waffles?”  Joe made a face. He had already lost an hour’s worth of work before I woke up because his computer suddenly UPDATED without permission. We weren’t on WiFI, but apparently a keystroke on the new little notebook computer launched into an update that had probably downloaded while we were on WiFi at the Mavericks game.  All was Lost.  He was not in a waffle mood after having to rewrite all that work.
It turns out that the waffle iron was out because at the end of the day of packing, he had not yet found the right spot for it, and had put it under a pillow on his bed and then discovered it in the morning.  He did eventually find a spot to store it, and I will eventually get my waffles, but not today! Today we’ll continue to learn what goes where and whether memory will allow us to realize what we actually brought.
Oh, and I had cereal and he had toast with bananas and peanut butter.  Almost as good as waffles. ;-)

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