Thinking about this poor guy loading Mount Samsonite into the rental car – his wife having packed three dresser drawers and half of Best Buy after admonishing the kids to only take what they really need – I was going to write about how some people travel light and others don’t and what that says about such and so, but that lifting is far to heavy for the month of June.
It’s vacation time, man.
The whole summer is before us and Salvation Point is gloriously awash in tourists:
People who set an “out of office” autoreply and so far haven’t broken the promise to themselves not to look at what they’ve autoreplied to.
People who are nervous about starting high school in the fall but the anxiety is on hold until the ride home.
People who’ve never experienced a National Park and when the train pulls away they look across the tracks at Many Lost Ways and are momentarily struck dumb.
You’re never so rich as at the beginning of a vacation. The whole thing is in the bank, you haven’t spent any of it, and Mom or Dad or whoever’s in charge says something like “Let’s just take a minute to get oriented and figure out the game plan.” There’s talk of “getting settled at the hotel” or “setting up camp” and of “maybe after dinner a little drive to get the lay of the land.”
In the vacation lifecycle, it’s the Crisp Brochure Stage.
Someone browses the rack in the depot and grabs four or six glossy tri-folds with great pictures of river rafting and horseback riding and trout fishing. The corners are sharp and pointy and they are spread out on the hotel bed and pored over, and then they are hauled around in a backpack until the melancholy Unpacking at Home Stage, where they are found creased and dog-eared with little white scars where the paper was chafed. They are laden with memory and are not easily discarded.
In August the Departures outnumber the Arrivals and the depot is a different place. People are heading home to face Freshman Year or The Inbox, and the few folks enjoying Crisp Brochure Stage don’t project the same excitement. August vacations have an air of desperation around them – people are trying to squeeze in some magic before school starts and the leaves turn.
That’s when the mood is right to examine who packs light and why.
Let’s not worry about it now. Forget I mentioned it. Enjoy your vacation.
Assorted Herpa, Wiking and Atlas vehicles, custom-painted Model Power figure, hand-sculpted Play-Doh luggage.