For most people in my family packing for the plane ride was probably quite simple. They popped some dresses off hangers in the closet and folded them into the suit case, dumped in some travel-sized toiletries, and a few lara bars for the plane. My trip preparation was a bit more extensive. I had no use for dresses on the homestead. Dresses and skirts left one’s legs very exposed to ticks, crickets, snakes, scorpions, spiders, and anything else living in the grass. It just didn’t make sense. When walking through tall grass, boots and long pants were the most practical choice. So my dresses were folded and tucked in various plastic bins in the shed. First i had to find them. They were in amongst linens and extra pillows, stuffed animals from childhood and old school projects. When i finally found them i realized they smelled; they smelled like the excess dog food i stored in the shed; like rancid stale chicken. I could not wear those anywhere. They had to be washed. I had to wait for a day when rain was not forecasted. When they finally did get hung on the line they looked funny. It seemed very odd and out of place to see dresses and skirts hanging from the laundry line on the homestead. Once i had worn them of course, but that was a time before my daily routine was surrounded by ticks and mosquitos. That was a different time in my life. If i had wanted sugar free dried fruit i would have had to drive into fredericksburg or san antonio to get it so i bought some in the san antonio airport last minute. It cost a small fortune for 1 serving. For me, packing was as much about what i didn’t bring as it was what i did bring. Every morning i left the house with a machete and a lantern. Now the d batteries in the lantern would have ended me up surrounded by a ring of airport security officials with tasers pointed at my chest and the machete, well that’s just a common-sense no-no in an airport. That’s a way to render one’s self in need of a good lawyer if not a medic. So both the lantern and the machete had to stay in the house. So too did the box cutter on the key chain, the box cutter in the glove compartment, and the mini one in my purse. When one broke i typically just replaced it with a new one, rubber banded the old one back together, and found a new compartment for it because though it had lost its ability to fold properly or needed one to hold the screws in place while using it, it still worked. I also did not bring any instant coffee. It was a sea of little granulated brown pellets in an unlabeled glass container. I thought the airport security might mistake it for explosives. So, without coffee, without the lantern, without the machete, without the box cutters, and with a suit case full of dresses, i made my way back to the city to catch a plane.