Recently, as I packed for a two night stay in a cabin at Diamond Lake, I was struck by the realization that it was taking a lot more time to pack than it used to. There are just a heck of a lot more items to take along.
Pill minder: check. Hearing aid batteries: check. Cell phone charger and cell phone: check. Credit card: check. Toothbrush and toothpaste: check. Extra socks: check. Camera: check. Binoculars: check. Polaroid glasses: check. Zinc oxide: check. And so it went. It all filled two carry-all bags. I piled those in the back seat, along with two extra jackets…just in case…and a sleeping bag…also, just in case.
By the time I loaded my fishing gear, the back of my pickup was a clutter of road-trip tool boxes, extra water, a cooler (full of snack bars), an axe, a bucket and a shovel. I was so intent on not forgetting anything, I nearly left my fishing pole sitting on the bench in my garage. And that reminded me to check for my fishing license.
My three fishing partners agreed we would eat our meals at the lodge restaurant, so planning for food was unnecessary. That’s why all four of us each brought an extra cooler with coffee, creamer, cookies, bananas, and assorted snacks. Sort of a “just in case” array…most of which we took back home when the trip was over. (I think we could have easily fed ourselves for several days from the coolers.)
It was enough to trigger memories of my childhood, and to take me back to a simpler time. Often in summer, when I finished my Saturday chores, I’d stuff some dried prunes in the pocket of my jacket, along with a twist of salt in waxed paper, grab a handful of matches, strap on my hunting knife, grab my .22 and a box of shells, and then head for the hills in behind the house…all in about five minutes. Simple, efficient, fast. No clutter whatsoever.
Now, I worry if I forget to take my cell phone with me to the grocery store in my nifty SUV. Progress? Probably. I know my boots are better now than the moccasins I once made…and which gave out on me about five miles back in the hills. But that’s a story for another time.