Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Naked and Afraid....by Carol Ross



Last Friday I was so excited to travel home for the Easter holiday weekend with my sister, Shelly.  By “home” I mean a nine-hour car ride to the small northern Idaho town up near the Canadian border where our mom lives.  Shelly got off work early and we hit the rode around one in the afternoon.

The trip involves traveling over the Cascade Mountains of Washington, where the weather can sometimes be a little dicey this time of year.  But we sailed over the steep, two-lane mountain pass and, aside from a few rain showers, enjoyed nearly perfect traveling weather.  We talked and laughed the entire way.  All was well.  And a fun-filled, relaxing, weekend was looming, until…

Around ten that night, we pulled onto Mom’s long gravel driveway and my phone beeped alerting me to a text.  The message from my husband read something like this: Hey, you left a small bag on the bed. Hope it’s not important.

How can one little bag hold so much?

A small bag?  I felt the blood drain from my face as I realized what I’d done…  Oh, my... Important?! My life was in that bag.  My mind ran through the list of all of these “essentials”--toothbrush, contact solution, medicine, makeup, hair products…   I suddenly felt naked and I kind of wanted to cry.  And then I remembered...  My glasses!  It’s bad enough to forget just your glasses, right?  I’ve done that before--once.  I continued the mental run-through, which included the shoes and jewelry I planned to wear to my niece’s baby shower the next day.  Yep, the weekend was a two-event extravaganza--a baby shower on Saturday and a big family Easter dinner on Sunday.  Which reminded me--even my niece’s baby gift was in that bag. 
   
I felt like I have in the past those few times when an airline has lost my suitcase--except after learning that lesson once, I ALWAYS travel with my glasses in my carry-on--and my medication, and my toothbrush, as well as some pj’s and an extra pair of underwear…  Ugh.  I could only wish I’d lost my suitcase…

Under normal circumstances this would just be your run of the mill hassle, but my mom lives in a very small town.  The only place to buy replacement items is a grocery store.  The nearest city of any significant size is an hour and a half away.  It was ten o’clock at night.   Of course, because of these geographical circumstances my mom always has some extra items on hand and she quickly alleviated some of my panic by setting me up with a toothbrush and some contact solution.  

The next day, my sister graciously let me borrow her makeup.  But…have you ever tried to use someone else’s makeup?  Or hair products?  All I could do was laugh as I styled my hair with my mom’s mousse.  My hair hasn’t seen mousse since the early 90’s (probably from this very bottle.)  I burned my arm--twice--with my niece’s fancy high-tech titanium curling iron.  I went to the baby shower feeling like an 80’s pop star--wrong color foundation, eyeliner too thick, mascara clumpy, crackly curls in my hair…  Needless to say, I was a little out of sorts.
 
This is how I felt.
But then, as I looked around at my mom’s beaming smile, my niece’s pregnant glow, my sister’s all-over happiness at the imminent arrival of her first grandchild, all mixed with the sound of giggling from my other two nieces along with the always-present joking and laughter that accompanies our family’s get-togethers I was struck with the thought…it could be worse.  I could be in a foreign country, or attending a movie premiere, or at my own wedding!  Yeah, I suddenly realized, I could do a baby shower and Easter dinner while resembling Cyndi Lauper circa 1985.  So I did.  And I loved every minute of it.

Still had fun! Notice I'm in jeans because my fancy shoes were in my bag):
Please tell me someone out there can relate?  Anybody ever forget to pack something essential on a vacation like an important outfit or shoes, or an entire “small bag”?


  
Carol Ross's latest book, A CASE FOR FORGIVENESS, was released April 1st and is the second in her Seasons of Alaska series. Check out her Facebook page for some awesome giveaway opportunities going on now including signed copies and a $25 Amazon gift card! https://www.facebook.com/carolrossauthor






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34 comments:

  1. I'm trying not to laugh at your pain, but you make it so hard! I am glad you were able to see past the disaster and enjoy a wonderful weekend with your family. What a gorgeous picture of all you girls. (And your hair looks just fine, btw)

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    1. Thank you, Amy! Laugh away....I did. It's the only way to cope.

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  2. LOL, Carol! No, I'm not laughing at you, just at the retrospect humor of it all ;). You look awesome in that pic! And what a great excuse to wear jeans lol. Just think...this blog post can now serve as notes for your next book...

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    1. Rula, you are so kind. And please, feel free to laugh. My entire life is full of "notes" like this! But you might be on to something with that jeans-wearing thing. There may be times where I "forget" my shoes again in the future....

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  3. What a great picture! Amy's right--you look terrific. And that's a pretty nice backdrop you have there.

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    1. Ah, thanks, Liz.. The view from my mom's house is pretty spectacular. Northern Idaho is one of my favorite places on the planet (that I've seen so far). The scenery is stunning.

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  4. Loved your post. I’ve experienced lost luggage at the airport and most of what you mentioned, but the one thing I panic over is lost eyeglasses. I’m far sighted so I’m fine most of the time. However, if I don’t have my glasses that magnify, I can’t read anything.

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    1. Marion, exactly! Honestly, the glasses bothered me more than anything. I wear contacts during the day, but I'm extremely near sighted and one eye is so bad that I can't even read without my glasses. Ugh. Good thing I was so tired every night because I wasn't able to read myself to sleep!

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  5. Carol, if that's how a woman can look in someone else's makeup and hair products, I'm throwing all mine away and starting a life of borrowing, instantly! I always used to forget certain imperative, unmentionable items. But my mother-in-law, who lived in the northwest before Nordstroms came east, introduced me to them, and I was glad I'd forgotten! So glad you had a lovely time anyway! Girl's week in my family is coming up soon, and you make me more excited than ever about getting together with the women in my family!

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    1. Anna, you are too kind! That photo is pretty far away and a little fuzzy LOL! The beautiful backdrop is also nice, because it's distracting. And there's nothing worse than finding yourself without those unmentionables at the wrong moment! We love our girl time in this family, too. Have fun at your gathering!

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  6. Carol, that's hilarious! And very heroic. You made the best of a bad situation and came out looking wonderful. I always thought Cindy Lauper was a riot. And, as Rula says, that's worth a couple of scenes in a future book.

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    1. I think you guys are right! The ideas are already brewing... I LOVE Cyndi Lauper, too, Muriel--so entertaining!!

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  7. Oh boy, I see scenes for a new book here. And Rula beat me to that unoriginal thought.
    It's great that you managed to have a good time. And that's what being with family is for.

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    1. Thankfully, I always have a great time with my family. I'm blessed to have a family full of very funny people! I think you can live through almost any inconvenience or irritation with a little humor(:

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  8. When I was a magazine editor in the footwear industry, I used to go to Vegas twice a year for shoe shows. In on Thursday, out Sunday, I believe. Once, the airline lost my luggage. They gave me a tooth brush and tooth paste and that's it. Not even deodorant! Hard to fit shopping time in when you're working...and nobody to borrow from, alas. Felt a cross between free...and gross.

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    1. Too funny! Now, it's funny, right? Not so much when you're living it though. At least I did have someone to borrow from and I was able to buy deodorant at the grocery store in town. It cost me an exorbitant amount, but I paid it gladly(:

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  9. I'm with Ann...you look mah-velous in that photo...MAH-velous! Can't wait to read A Case for Forgiveness! :-)

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    1. Thank you so much, Loree! You're a doll. So grateful that photo is a little fuzzy....

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  10. Great story! I can definitely relate. I like to visit family as much as possible... And an hour and 15 minutes doesn't seem too bad compared to your 9 hour drive, BUT instead of leaving my miscellaneous items at my house, I leave them at family members houses.. And not just at one person's per trip. All of my stuff gets littered around the little town and I only realize it the second I pull into my driveway after the drive home. I feel your pain, Carol!

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  11. That's funny, Katelyn! Like keys? I've been known to leave things at my mom's, too--camera, sunglasses, chargers, dog toys....

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  12. Carol, I lived in north Idaho for many years. For the past 9 years I spent 3-4 months there, with all of my old friends. I'm in Hope. Where's your mom?

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    1. Should have said I **spend** 3-4 months there. It's the highlight of the year and I count the days until June when we pack the car and hit the road. It's heaven! So glad you had some time there with the family.

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    2. Hi Kristine! I have lots of roots there! My parents both grew up in north Idaho--my dad in Porthill (my uncle still lives on and runs the cattle ranch they grew up on) and my mom in Bonners Ferry. They moved away for many years and then moved back--to Moyie Springs. My sister lives in Moyie part of the year and now my mom lives a bit north of Bonners. I've driven through Hope of course and understand why you count the days! I love north Idaho and visit any chance I get.

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    3. Next time you are in the area come by for lunch and or wine!

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  13. Oh, Carol, I was feeling so bad for you, but I'm glad it all turned out well! (And context is everything, since I know understand the tweet about the spare undies in your purse!)

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    1. Thank you, Kate! It was a bit trying and inconvenient... I'm almost positive I won't EVER do it again. (I hope).

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  14. So glad it turned out well. And yes, I've forgotten to pack essential stuff. Like Christmas a few years ago I left my family's Christmas presents sitting in my living room. Every year I drove to my Mom's where my sister lived, too.
    But the guy I've been dating forever overnighted them, which was really sweet, but he sent them to the wrong house. We did finally get them on Christmas Eve. :-)
    Great post and I really felt for you.

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    1. Patricia, oh my goodness! That's a good (bad) one. That does sound like a good guy you've got there(: Thanks for sharing!

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  15. By looking at the picture it looks like you pulled it off just fine. You look beautiful! I think you don't you really need all those magic potions in that bag!

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    1. Shelly, thank you! How sweet, but I had a little help from my "friends."

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  16. I have never left any bags behind. But, I did nearly forget to take the pepper spray off of my keys before boarding a flight. That could've been bad... :). Glad you had a great weekend!

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    1. Oh, Amy... That would have been bad. I keep a small pocket knife in my purse and had that taken away once... Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  17. LOL, I hate forgetting my toothbrush!

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    1. Thank goodness my mom buys those packs of toothbrushes from Costco. When I left she put the one I borrowed in a little baggie and wrote my name on it "just in case" I ever need it again. Jeez--I hope not!

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