The Hillhouse

The Journey of a Mother and Son

Packin It In June 25, 2013

There might be a little pause between posts this week, as I’m getting ready to make a trip to my old hometown. These days, traveling kinda makes me nervous. I wonder what I’ll forget (I always forget something – and in fact harbor a suspicion that a trip isn’t off to a proper start unless I’ve forgotten something), I fret about over packing, under packing… I fret about not only my stuff, but my son’s. I cannot begin to imagine traveling with more than one kid – nor can I begin to remember the reality of packing for a super-young one, with toys and books and cheerios and tiny distractions in the bottom of the bag in case of delays… This time I have a gig awaiting me in Chicago, and it’s the cornerstone for this trip. Without a ‘good reason’ I can’t justify all the expense and hassle. And because I have a gig, I need to bring my book. My music book, that is. Even though I’m pretty good at remembering the hundreds of songs I’ve sung throughout my life, my current life has been more about chickens than ‘Cheek to Cheek’, and I want to make sure that I at least have a few sheets ‘just in case’. Silly, actually, cuz the fellow I’m playing with knows more than enough tunes to call all afternoon, and if I stop and remember my old life for a minute, I probably do too. Got up early (as in 5:30) in order to go through my old book and sort things out. It’s been a three hour job thus far. Been full of stops and starts and lovely re-discoveries. Memories, too. Coffee stains and scribbles for last-minute arrangements, phone numbers and titles of songs to learn one day… It makes me wistful, and even though I enjoy my new life quite well, I wonder if I don’t miss my old life more than I’d thought.

But what a wonderful opportunity I have before me… a place to stay, a car to borrow, fifteen fewer pounds on my frame and a couple of nice dresses. Did some calling and reconnecting and I might end up sitting in at a few places. Makes me a mixture of nerves and anticipation. I miss singing so very much that it’s hard to approach this trip with much nonchalance. After all, as the old song goes, I ‘don’t get around much anymore.’ Hmm, do I remember all the lyrics to that? And is there a verse? Oh dear. Can’t do it all. Gotta remind myself. Can’t sing all the beautiful gems I’d like. Can’t eat at all the old favorite restaurants I’d like, and I certainly won’t be able to visit all the old friends I miss. No matter, this is going to be one hell of a great trip.

Before I pack my bags I need to get a few more things done in the garden, need to check on the timer in the coop, attend to fixing some holes in the fence, and I need to give away the last remaining extra eggs to neighbors. Soon enough it’ll be time to pack my bags for the city and pack it in on the farm for now.