Friday, December 12, 2008


Getting a large family ready for a three week holiday in America is challenging. It takes a lot of planning and even more hard work. Somehow I'm not finding the mental, emotional or physical energy this week. That explains why I'm sitting in the computer room typing this rather than doing laundry, cleaning and packing bags.

When we went to Maryland in October my unbending rule was "PACK LIGHT!!!", which might be easy for four people on a week-long trip to an unfamiliar location but is significantly harder for six people (especially my perfectionist, always-prepared-for-anything hubby) going on a three week trip back to friends and family for Christmas. There are five hundred things we'd like to take back with us- including the large collection of gifts from unsent boxed throughout the year.

I'm just about ready to pack all my stuff into a cardboard box and send it to my in-law's house; then all I need would be waiting for me (or more likely arrive a few days after I do) without me hauling it halfway across the world. The other option is fitting all I need into a backpack and living with three pairs of clothes while I'm there and forgoing makeup.

Another snag in the travel plans involves one of the biggest blessings of military life: we're traveling "Space Available", which means we hop on any military plane that's going in our generally desired direction whenever we're allowed. This has saved us massive amounts of money over the years, but makes for uncertain travel plans and the need to prepare for a likely less-than-comfortable journey. We usually end up on cargo planes, sometimes with huge military vehicles within arm's reach. It's nice to be able to stretch out on the floor and sleep for much of the 9-13 hour travel time (yes, even with massive trucks and the like bouncing scarily above us), but it gets very, very cold and that requires that we dress in layers and carry blankets and pillows galore with us. Some people travel with entire sleeping bag/air mattress setups, but that isn't practical for a family this size. We usual carry one full bag devoted to blankets and pillows, which, of course, means one more bag we have to haul around.

I'm looking forward to the glorious time when my oldest son graduates from college, goes into a prestigious science career and invents the transporter with the ability to "beam" a person from one place to another. I'd be all over that technology.

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  1. Let me know if I am wrong here, but it sounds to me like a great adventure...

    Safe Travels,

  2. I guess the upside to your travel plans is that you don't have to pay to check your bags!:)

  3. You know, in all the years Hubby was in the military we never flew Space A anywhere.