Bathsheba Goes to St. Paul

It was a Wednesday afternoon, Chipper and Bathsheba – the two youngest, and therefore for the ones still nesting with us, had a chance to hitch a ride to spend Thanksgiving with their dad. The person giving them a ride was my nephew, who was going to a local college and heading home himself for the holiday.

Although the Wednesday before any holiday is really slow at the office, I chose not to leave work early to see them off. I did my good-byes in the morning. There is an excellent reason for my absence when Bathsheba is ready to load up and go anywhere. I simply will not attempt to handle Bathsheba’s luggage without a forklift, a steel track conveyer, and as a backup, a team of Clydesdales.

I doubt that any inanimate object takes more punishment than Bathsheba’s suitcase, which when new was a rugged, durable, metal framed suitcase with heavy duty hinges and three latches. It is approximately as large as a trash compactor. (How ironic.)

While the suitcase is about as large as a trash compactor, Bathsheba will force more into that space that I could pack in a pair of refrigerator boxes. When she is done, she will have crated something that has the weight and density of a waist-high bar of lead bullion.

When she packs, only the carpet and furniture are safe from making the trip. Her WANTED poster is tacked on the bulletin boards in the baggage handling area of all major airports and she has risen to public enemy No. 1 by the baggage handlers union.

Like her sister before her, this young lady is not a lean operation when she travels. She needs to take a lesson from her brother Chipper, when he packs he throws in a toothbrush, an extra T-shirt, a change of underwear and socks, and he is ready to go. If Cleopatra and Bathsheba had to pack for a ten-day hike in the Sahara Dessert and were told that they needed to pack only what they absolutely needed to sustain life, they would pack aquarium filters, extra shower curtain and separate stereo systems.

Maybe the time you read this, Bathsheba will have spent four days and nights in St. Paul, having spent Thanksgiving with her other family where they have twelve inches of snow and the temperature is twelve degrees. But rest assured, she could dress for a pool party or a day at the beach. If, while she was there, she “just happened” to invited to a state dinner or a prom, she would have the proper attire.

By the time she is done packing, she would be able to dress appropriately for a mule train trip, bowling tournament, costume party, submarine expedition, snorkeling, movie premier, jungle expedition or English High Tea with the Queen. Beneath all her clothes in that suitcase will be an assortment of electrical beauty appliances, hair colorant in a variety of colors and more different colors of nail polish than Sherwin Williams has paint chips.

If left entirely to her own discretion with no restraints imposed, her travel preparations would look like the road show company for the Rolling Stones concert series.

At my age, this type of trip planning can be summed up in one word—hernia. So I said my good-byes in the morning and safely entombed in my office when someone else, younger than me, loaded Bathsheba’s luggage into my nephew’s vehicle.

I”ll bet that is why my nephew showed up in a four wheel drive, heavy duty, truck type vehicle.

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