Another hurdle in bag before take-off

Leave it to me to make a mountain out of a molehill.
I may be free of guilt trips and voyages to “regret-ville,” but I certainly haven’t conquered my anxiety when it comes to stepping outside my comfort zone and away from my neck of the woods.
I had best find a way to rest my apprehension. My trip to Wales is but 14 days away and there’ll be no turning back once I’m in an aircraft 35,000 feet over the North Atlantic.
But like I said, leave it to me to make a mountain out of a molehill.
All I had to do was get in my car and drive to Thunder Bay this past weekend to visit my sister-in-law. I planned the trip about a month ago and yet, as the days to “take-off” crept closer, I could be heard having conversations with myself about all the reasons why I couldn’t possibly go.
And it’s not like I haven’t done a Thunder Bay run and other trips by myself before this, but there have been none since Jon died and yet I didn’t expect the doing would be such a mountain to climb.
I hadn’t realized what a comfort zone this little town and my little world had been for the last three months—where everything was predictable and I always was safe at home.
But you know me. I took the wheel and made it from Point ‘A’ to ‘B,’ thus deciding that I would use the trip as a trial run for my clueless green thumb world traveller-self who needs a fast learning curve on how to pack for nine days in May.
I knew this, for sure, because I was hauling three-quarters of my clothes closet and 16 pairs of underwear for a day-and-a-half trip to the city.
Thankfully, there was a hydraulic dolly in the barn that bore the mammoth bag out of the house and into the car’s trunk.
I’ve been reading travel blogs and travel wikis and travel advice columns for all the latest recommendations for what to pack. I challenge myself daily to pack less and less junk (save the giant Toblerone and must-have chocolate bars in case I get stranded on an island with Tom Hanks).
Yet in the trial to pare down the piles of underwear et al, I will not give up my compression stockings. Yes, folks, compression stockings.
I may be aging gracefully above my chicken neck, but below the knees not so elegantly.
Thus, seated in an airplane for eight hours while my lower legs dangle helpless and motionless as the blood tries to jump past the faulty valves in my calves means I have to wear therapeutic, high-density trouser socks made for travellers with varicose veins (there I said it).
And if you think that’s a media shocker, you are very lucky you didn’t walk by my car on Saturday in the parking lot of the home health store in Thunder Bay while I was trying to put one of those compression socks on my foot.
Never in my life had I such an experience. I used to think tummy control pantyhose was a hard haul on to my body until I tried to stretch that black sock out far enough so it would fit over my toes.
Anyone who wondered what was happening inside my car that day would have thought I was being devoured against my will by a 12-inch black eel as I writhed in the front seat.
By the time I got all five toe digits kidnapped in the compression sock, and pulled and stretched the rest of it up my leg, a big fat blue bulging vessel had popped out between my eyes.
Please tell me I don’t have to buy something similar to compress my head before I travel.
Getting that evil sock off at night was like firing a boomerang from a slingshot in a small room—but that’s another story.

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