Reading Material(April A~Z Challenge)



When packing for my trip off the island, I had plenty of things to consider. Reading material should have been the least of my worries. For the bus that would take me from Charlevoix to Flint, Michigan, I was allowed one 50 pound bag, plus one small carry-on. For the trip by plane from Bishop Airport in Flint to Orlando International Airport, I was allowed one 40 pound bag to be checked. No carry-on.

Beaver Island was in the middle of a snowstorm, with ice and freezing temperatures. That storm had already gone through the Flint area. Still, it was April; what the weather would be like tomorrow, or the next day, was anybody’s guess. Do I add a winter coat? What will that do to my weight capacity? Because part of my plans for this trip were also to solicit my sister’s help in filing my taxes, I had to also allow room for several folders of receipts and forms.

When I checked the long-term forecast for the area of Florida we’d be in, it showed cooler temperatures and thunderstorms for three of the seven days we’d be there. Who could tell if that prediction would hold? On top of that, all Florida clothing had to travel well, be versatile, and promise to hide my fat. I know, I was asking a lot.

With so much to consider, I had fallen into procrastination mode until there was no longer any time to waste. I was becoming more tense in every day that went by. The time for making lists and considering options was past; it was time for action! Finally, on the day before I was scheduled to leave, I had two revelations:

  1. I would leave my computer at home. In this day and age, there are computers out there to use, in a pinch. I could check my mail, post my blog and be done with it. No temptation to waste time on social media or in playing internet Scrabble. What a relief to not have to worry about where and how to carry my laptop computer, and all of the cords and accessories that accompany it. How nice to have one less thing to weigh, and carry! What a good time to practice going technology free!
  2. I would weigh my books first!! Because my electronic reader had recently given up the ghost, I had three books set aside to take with me on vacation. Peony in Love by Lisa See, The Alice Network by Kate Quinn, and We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter: paperback books that each sounded like they would grab and hold my attention on a plane, on a rainy day inside, on the beach, or before falling asleep at night. Stoking the Creative Fires by Phil Cousineau was the one technical book I allowed myself. A Morning Cup of Yoga  by Jane Goad Trechsel would keep me up on my daily practice. Then, of course, I had to have my journal for writing “morning pages,” my sketchbook to document my trip in pictures, and my bullet journal for keeping track of everything else.

Whew! That did it! Once I made the decision to prioritize reading material, everything else fell into place. Logically, I can say that it shouldn’t have played such a major roll in my decision-making, with all of the other things I had to consider. In the end, though, it seems that having my books with me made all other decisions easier.


6 responses »

  1. Great selection of reading material, Cindy. I haven’t read any of the books you’ve cited so will look forward to your take on them when you’re finished.

    I wholeheartedly approve of making your creative pursuits – reading, writing, sketching – the centerpiece of your packing with everything else fitting around that (or not). I hope your luggage wasn’t over weight, that you have everything you need, and then you’re enjoying sunshine and siblings in Florida.

    • My huge suitcase – that I put three small suitcases inside of, for the trip by bus – was only 36 pounds. Though I – and anyone who helped me move it – swore it felt more like 66, just because it was so bulky. I have now borrowed a cute suitcase (on wheels!) from my sister. I may have a few edits to do on my packing choices, based on a few hand-me-downs she has given me, that I have yet to try on, but otherwise, I am packed and ready! Thanks for reading, Karen, and for your comments!

    • It is, isn’t it? Turns out, I only read one book in the whole week, and actually finished it last night, back in Michigan. I think that means my vacation kept me busy on its own!

  2. When I travel, which is rarely, especially to the other side of the country, I like to take one, big, fat book to tide me through, even if I’ve read it before. Sounds like you did a good job with your choices. I think books should be exempt from the weight restrictions!

    • Me too! But after hauling several books – many that I never even opened – from one end of the airport to the other, I think I will take your idea of bringing ONE book next time!

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