Tag Archives: packing

Time to Cry Tuesday – All grown up… almost

Friday morning at nine o’clock she is far away
Waiting to keep the appointment she made…

– John Lennon & Paul McCartney

If you have been reading along you know that my daughter left for semester abroad last week. I cannot put into words how wonderful it was to have her home this last month. The teenager that went off to college is long gone and a lovely, grounded, charming young woman came home in her place. She is all grown up.

Well, almost.

The day she was leaving I came upstairs to check on her last minute packing. There I found her carry-on in the hallway. And tucked away in between the hair mousse and the laptop, strapped in tight, was Chetley. Her main man since birth. Yes we realize ‘he’ is dressed in pink, many shades and patterns of it as a matter of fact as I have reconstructed his body on more than one occasion in the past 20 years.

If you know Jana personally, you surely know the Chetmeister. He has been through it all with her, the good and the bad. He sat perched on her bed at camp, from the first day as a nine-year-old to the last day as Senior Group Leader. When she was  a frightened five-year-old going into the hospital for neurosurgery to ‘get her neck fixed’, good old Chet went with her and sported a bandage on the back of his neck till her stitches came out. He proudly went off to college with her… this bear is a Badger through and through. And if I am not mistaken, Jew that he is, I think he even followed along on Birthright to Israel last summer. All that considered I don’t know why I imagined he would stay behind while she embarked on the adventure of her lifetime.

I truly had this whole going abroad thing under control all along. Gary and I are both so happy that she is able to have this experience. Many parents asked me if I was sad or nervous about her going. I am surely neither. I love her wings and the fact that she loves to use them.

But standing there at the top of the stairs, hours before we left for the airport, the sight of that teddy bear with his arm around the laptop just about did me in. Jana then and now just flashed before my eyes. Right in front of the door she slammed so often as a preteen that the latch is loose, sat the evidence that she was all grown up; and not completely – all at one moment.

They call them comfort items. The stuffed animals or blankets that children form an attachment to and use to self-soothe when they are young. Why has no one invented a comfort item for the moms when they find themselves in a moment like this.

Oh, that’s right, they call that VODKA!

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under camp, college, Jana, Time to Cry Tuesdays, travel

Camp Trunks


Photo courtesy of Camp Trucking (some scary photoshop work there, wouldn’t you say?). Let’s hope this little plug helps to get our baggage moved with extra loving care.

Jana: Mom, seriously, you don’t need to nametape my underwear. (translation: hanky panky’s or the Gap knock-offs look equally silly with a nametape in them – keep your mitts off them)

Danny: Just let her do the nametaping. She can’t help herself this time of year. It is what she does. (this kid has always fully understood me)

Jana: Mom! We don’t send our stuff to the camp laundry as counselors. I will bring Danny’s into town and have them do it too. They charge like $8.00 for a week’s worth of laundry. (as an aside here I am thinking of driving my laundry up to the Adrondacks at that price)

Me: Danny, how do I nametape the reversible shorts?

Danny: MOM! Stop. You really have to let go of the nametaping thing. (ok, so maybe his patience is not as great as his understanding of me).

Me: Let’s go toiletry shopping. Remember how we always love to do this every year?

Danny: No, YOU love to do it. But you seem to forget that Jana and I did this without you last year because you had a deadline.

Me: All the more reason to do it all together this year.

I guess he is right. I am kind of pathetic around this time of year.

There are households in my zip code that start packing the trunks weeks before they go out. Us? They go out on Thursday.

We are thinking of doing it tomorrow night.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone

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Filed under danny, family, humor, Jana

Nomadic Ancestory

Pile of backpacksPacking. 

What is it with putting things in a bag to go away that makes all my insecurities bubble up to the surface?

There is so much to consider; unpredictable weather systems, multiple options of my basically all black wardrobe (complete with white dog hair), health and beauty aids, hot flashes (keep your comments to yourself, this is a 50th birthday celebration weekend), music (thank goodness for the invention of the ipod), and of course electronics. The last item is paired down to a blackberry, flip video and a still camera – I am traveling techno-lite this weekend.

It stands to reason that the whole experience is overdone, I hardly leave the basement let alone the zipcode!

Seriously, an overnight trip and I could stay there for a week with what is my bag! I would have sucked at the 40 days and 40 nights thing.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog.

For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under humor, road trip, travel

I could have used those 8 arms!

This is kind of what I looked like over the past 48 hours. College move in day is always a bittersweet, hectic marathon. 

Pack. Unpack. Shop. Eat. Hydrate. Hug. Laugh. Run cable wire (jack is ALWAYS on the opposite side of the room from the TV). Call the internet guy. Track missing packages. Meet her friends. Lose the car keys (constantly, I am a space cadet). Eat room service. 

Spending the time alone with my daughter is such a treat it is well worth the insanity. Seriously, not only did she embrace pulling over to get this shot, but she took it! Oh how we love the Octopus Car Wash!

Thanks Jana, for being you! Hopefully you will find the missing internet guy and be able to read this!


Filed under family, humor, parenting, signage

How many Jews does it take to pack a Jeep?

Or as my father-in-law says, “Seven Jews, Nine Opinions”.

I guess you could say as a tribe we have a tendency to over control a situation and discuss our options ad nauseum.

Yes, my friends, once again I find myself reducing things into small spaces. This is the abbreviated version of the dorm room packing. My daughter (and her stuff) are on the move again. And this time she is taking my son with her. Sleep away camp! (more on this in my next post).

Picture this. A bright and sunny Saturday morning in June (the mother’s month from hell). In the past 30 days I have helped her pack and move home from college, pack (a minimal amount of stuff) for a 10-day trip to Israel, and now, after sending the oversized trunk and duffle up to the adirondacks via trucking company, we are in the business of trying to fit 4 19-year-olds and their weekend of stuff in a Jeep. The catch here is that the plan is to go camping at the Dave Matthews concert on the way. So along with all the other nonsense du jour, we must find a place for the tent. (note the ihome in the middle of everything, this is a very rustic camp we are talking about here).

There we were, four girls and their parents (and of course the dog), everyone (including the dog) with an opinion (or two) of what should go where in the car.

My daughter, “Guys, did I not tell you to pack light?” 

The only solid piece of advice from the whole experience was from the mom who suggested that putting the tent at the bottom was probably not a great idea since that was the item that needed to be taken out first. (she must have had practice with this).

A half hour later and many discussions about ‘the best way to get to Saratoga” (Jews also love to talk about how they have the best route to… anywhere, actually, must be all those years of wandering) they are on their way.

Oh, and of course they never went camping. When a guy from camp offered a place to stay at his parents summer home on Lake George AND a ride to the concert to boot, the well placed tent seemed less than desirable.

Anybody else jealous of her life?

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Filed under family, humor, parenting

How to fit a 10 lb. dorm room into 5 lbs of luggage

Unbelievable! 9 months have passed since we left her standing there on State Street to begin her new life.

9 months! It took that long to grow her 19 years ago. All I can say is that I am thankful that she did not accumulate this much stuff in utero.

This room is not that big, and she only inhabited half of it, how could she possibly have THIS MUCH STUFF!

Enter… THE SPACE BAG. (this needs music in the background)

My friends, these are the Spanx of packing! And why, must I ask, am I always in the business of reducing things to small spaces? I discovered these when we moved her out there. They became a mild obsession. I spaced bagged everything in sight. The dog was quite nervous.

You cram the stuff into them and virtually suck the air out. Down coat,…less than an inch thick. Comforter… paper thin. Underwear… non existent.

Space Bags…priceless.

This experience took on somewhat of a game show atmosphere. Buy boxes and packing materials in the lobby of the dorm at highly inflated prices. Run upstairs and pack everything that is to be stored, dry cleaned, laundered and shipped in less than 23 hours, applying the bar code labels from the equally inflated storage company. Climb over roommate and her mother doing the same thing. All in a 10×12 space. Everybody circle to the left.

Cram remaining items in existing luggage. Drink heavily. Repeat in August.

Which brings me to…

May is the new June and August is the new September. 

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Filed under family, parenting