On the road again, just can’t wait …

Packing is a skill I developed late in life.

As a development officer at Loras College, a big part of my job for most of the past four years has been traveling — mainly around the Midwest, but also to the Northeast and Southwest — to meet with alumni, parents and other supporters and friends of the college. Usually, I’m on the road at least one week –and sometimes two or even three weeks — per month. That creates plenty of opportunity to practice packing.

But then the pandemic hit. My last work trip was February 23 through March 1, when I returned from Arizona. That was 178 days ago. Today, I’m leaving for the Des Moines area, where I have nine visits scheduled over the next four days.

Tuesday night, I packed while half-heartedly listening to the Republican National Convention. The latter bit of multitasking might have been my first mistake. I find it hard to concentrate AND listen to Donald Trump Jr. My mind starts an internal debate over which Trump son is really the dumb one.

Anyway, I finally packed enough stuff to be gone for a fortnight even though I’ll be back in three days. I’m traveling with a garment bag and carry-on suitcase, along with the gym bag, messenger bag, travel mug and lunch box I take to work every day. I’m pretty sure settlers trekked the Oregon Trail with fewer possessions than I’m taking to spend three nights at a Fairfield Inn in Urbandale.

Still, it feels as if I have reverted back to the other 80 percent of my years in life when I seldom traveled. I have that familiar feeling of being sure I have forgotten something.

As I ponder what I might have forgotten, I’m humming that old Willie Nelson song. I can’t wait to get on the road again. And I’m really looking forward to visiting with a loyal group of Duhawk supporters. I just hope they will overlook it if I show up wearing a brown belt with black pants or something else just as dumb because of my rusty packing skills.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day.

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