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Wednesday, January 26, 2011


by JC Leahy

I planned to pack for our trip to Myrtle Beach Thursday night after work, but the wife arranged for a Thursday evening dinner out with the Pittsburgh daughter and boyfriend.   Since family relationships are absolutely crucial to the well lived life, I welcomed the dinner date as a grand idea – but I didn’t  pack for the trip on Thursday. 

I arose for packing early Friday.  Packing for a week-long trip is a big deal for me because I have goals for my leisure time and I need to pack the necessary tools and toys.  I planned to take photographs, so I needed a few photographic toys:  my Canon 1V-HS film camera (which, by the way, is the most tricked-out professional 35mm film camera in the world), my ultrasonic, image-stabilized 28-135 mm lens, my 70-300 lens, several rolls of ASA-100 Fuji Atvia slide film, my 430-EX flash with diffuser and belt holster, tripod, filters, timer, lens cleaning supplies, backup Pentax IQ-Zoom point and shoot film camera with several rolls of ASA-400 print film and belt holster.   I planned to organize my 2010 photo slides, so I needed my

portable light table, viewing loupe, plastic slide-
storage binder sleeves, sharpies, and a dozen boxes of slides.  I also needed to make very sure that my wife packed her digital camera.  And I planned to read, so I needed the right books for that including a book on Microsoft Project, a book on current economic issues, a self-improvement book, and a reading file on supply-demand-price issues in the gold market.   And I planned to write, so I needed to assemble some manila folders of background materials on topics.   And I planned to educate myself about foreign currency issues, so I brought along a book I had printed from an online source called Currency Trading for Dummies.  And I planned to assess the regulatory barriers to entering the child-care business, so I had brought along a background reading file about that, plus my Sheaffer Valor fountain pen with gold nib and a bottle of ink....and a computer with Microsoft Word.  And, our course, I love to swim so I needed my swimming suit.  I got up early Friday to pack.   I ended up forgetting only my cell phone charger, Bluetooth charger, and photo tripod.

She slept late.  For some reason, she hadn't gone to bed until 3:00 a.m.  She had an 8:30 appointment for her minivan’s oil changed, but missed that by a long shot. She made a new appointment for noon.  That gave me time to pack.  I planned to bring 2 suitcases, but when I finished packing I found that I needed only one – plus my laptop, camera bag, reading briefcase, and large cardboard box of “toys”.  As it turned out, she had to pack, also.  We rolled out the driveway headed for Myrtle Beach at 3:20 in the afternoon.  She promptly went to sleep, and when she awoke somewhere south of Richmond, she was fresh enough to spell me at the driving.

We got as far as Wilson, NC.  The idea was to get far enough along so that when we awoke Saturday, we would have time to make a leisurely drive to Myrtle Beach.   As we approached North Carolina, I used the GPS to perform a proximity search of lodging along our mapped travel route.  The first place I phoned was a Wilson, NC Comfort Inn, and that’s where we stayed for the night.

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