2017-08-16 / Loose Ends

Well Plaid

Tips for the road
Susan Nienow

Before we leave to go out of town my biggest worry isn’t securing the house, packing the right clothes or taking matching earrings. It isn’t even if we have gas in the car – that being under my other half’s umbrella of responsibilities. It’s making arrangements for my plants.

I have a lot of container plants. Lots. Most of them are on the deck and the screened porch. The ones on the deck dry out in two days or less in the sun and heat. The screened porch plants are mostly in the shade and so last longer between waterings.

It’s a delicate balance knowing how much water plants need considering the type of pot, its location and type of plant. Try to impart that knowledge to someone else! I never realized how much knowledge I subconsciously pull up from experience when I water. I also never realized how obsessive I am about it.

My friendly plant caretaker does a great job even though he may be mentally rolling his eyes at my instructions. And my plants are happy.

Thank goodness we don’t have pets right now. I can just imagine. “Now Tippy, the gray cat likes to be scratched under her chin and left ear but not the right,” and “Be sure to add a tablespoon of chicken broth to her supper every night.”

I am not so picky about my packing, though. I have been counting on not spilling cherry juice down my front and only packing one extra outfit. That’s not including an extra sweater or jacket, raincoat if there is a forecast for rain and an extra pair of shoes in case a pair gets wet.

What I do pack is plenty of reading material as I do have a fear of running out of interesting books and magazines. My magazines of choice have to do with gardening. Usually for a four-day trip I will take two novels – one for book club and one for vacation reading. It’s kind of like a beach book with no beach.

I am also good at people watching. We drive so there is plenty of opportunity to see who else is driving the turnpike. In general, we are above average in level of dress. I may even qualify for best dressed at some rest stops because I don’t wear sweats that are too big or faded sweatshirts with kittens on the front. I also cover my midriff and my pants fit. Standards are low for travelers, especially in the summer.

Actually, I don’t wear my best clothes while traveling. I am guaranteed to spill something, especially if it is a solid color and I wear it all day in the car. Someone invented plaid for a very good reason. Camo isn’t quite busy enough to disguise the ketchup spill.

Making regular road trips ranks right next to doing laundry as some of my better talents. Call me for tips.

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