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Posted by on Feb 20, 2023 in Gary Chalk, Humor, humour, Retirement humor, Retirement Humour, Retirement Living |

Living Retired — ‘Don’t Leave Home Without It’

Living Retired — ‘Don’t Leave Home Without It’

Living Retired — ‘Don’t Leave Home Without It’

By Gary Chalk.

It is the middle of February. Millions of Canadians are planning their annual winter getaway to the sunshine. Arrangements have been made for someone to look after the pets, the flights have been booked, and rides to and from the airport have been made. Next up is packing. OMG!

Yesterday I was commiserating with a friend about our upcoming trip. Wouldn’t you know it, we bellyached about packing.

“Gary, I stand at my dresser and toss socks and underwear in my suitcase. I like to do this the night before we leave. Or better yet, just as the driver to the airport pulls into our driveway.”

“I get it Jerry. It is a time-honoured tradition. Why change?”

Jerry and I concluded that our wives do not ‘Pack,’ instead they ‘PACK!’ This is what I mean…

Jan drains every last stitch of clothing from her dresser, her closet; oh, and her jewelry in the stand-up armoire. It is her time-honoured tradition — but it begins TWO MONTHS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE DATE!

Over the years, Jan has learned that the best way to avoid the last-minute, “For heavens sake Gary you need to pack more than one pair of socks and underwear” argument, is for her to pack for me.

“Gary, if you are looking for your bathing suit, shaving kit, and the white socks you insist on wearing with your summer sandals they are on the bed in the guest bedroom. I am getting things ready for our winter vacation.”

“Jan, but that is not for another five weeks!”

“You are right Gary. That is why I am starting now.”

I cannot imagine packing my clothes a month before we leave. I have difficulty knowing what to wear tomorrow, let alone in March. Jan on the other hand can plan her wardrobe seasons in advance.

Did you notice Jan said she packed ‘my bathing suit.’ I am not about to make waves, but that does not compare to all her clothes she has on top the guest bed. When it comes to travel she adheres to the adage, ‘Don’t leave home without it.’

“Jan, why are you taking so much clothing? You have two of everything: two bathing suits, two coverups, two floppy sun hats big enough to serve as shade umbrellas, two beach bags, and two pairs of beach sandals. We are getting onboard a cruise ship, not Noah’s ark!”

Jan’s job is to pack the luggage. My responsibility is to slug the luggage — using those finicky telescopic handles that have a mind of their own.

If you saw Jan and I walking though the airport terminal, you would never think we are together. That is because we aren’t — twenty feet separate us! Jan is out front carrying the tickets and passports in her hand. I am ten feet behind holding on for dear life to our three-piece luggage set, which is trailing another ten feet behind me!

The long and the short of those damn telescopic luggage handles is they bend and get stuck and do not retract properly. I am the guy you see in the terminal at the end of the moving sidewalk trying to maneuver multiple suitcases with wonky wheels. I am sweating, struggling, and swearing! All this leaves me dealing with emotional baggage. Before we travel next, I need to get a handle on our handles.