Honey and I hit the road in a few short weeks. At this point in time, Honey’s lists have lists. I am always asking my wife to be sure to add blah, blah to a pre-trip list, or helping her remember an item she had mentioned in the kitchen. One she needed to add to a list that was in the living room, and had forgotten. “What did I say I needed to put on the list?” she will ask me when she sits down. What? Yeah, I know she said, “Remind me to…”, but I didn’t know she meant it! I didn’t know there was going to be a test!!  It’s ten steps from the kitchen to the living room, how am I supposed to remember something for that far?? In a panic, I usually respond, “Something to do with the trip.” I know it’s lame, but it usually jogs her memory and currently, most lists pertain to the trip in one manner or another. We’re going to be quite the pair out there on the highway. “What did I say I wanted to get out of the trunk next time we stopped?” What are the odds that some passerby won’t witness a pair of befuddled looking seniors, staring wordlessly at each other, when that question gets asked?! We can’t remember 15 feet!!

   The living room is list central, home of the ‘hard-copy’. There are post-it pads and notebooks that contain all the things that either one of us have thought of over the last few months pertaining to our upcoming adventure. Maps, date books with confirmation numbers, and plenty of lists, are all kept there, within easy reach of Honey, who is the keeper of the ‘hard-copy’. I can look and reference the ‘hard-copy’, but I can’t write anything down without the express consent of the ‘hard-copy’ keeper. I usually keep my hands off the ‘hard-copy’, its best for all concerned.

With 40 days to departure, many of the lists are just that, lists. They are still being added to and are weeks away from being dealt with. We can’t pack what we’re still wearing. This isn’t like flying south in winter, where we can pack our summer clothes well in advance, we’re wearing the clothes we’re bringing. Wardrobe packing is pretty much on a last-minute list, and will be accepting additions right to the bitter end. Even then, we’ll still forget something.

   There is a list or two though, that need to be handled well in advance of our departure and cannot be left to the last-minute. One of those lists I’m certain has Chippy written across the top. That’s right, I will accept the moniker that Honey has given me. Everyone that is written about in these pages gets a nickname, so that one will be mine, even though my name is written below. It makes sense because of my career selling salted snacks, and is far better than A.K.A. Mr. Hole. If Honey refers to me as Mr. Hole in the Honey Jar, you can be guaranteed I’ve crossed a line. I don’t know what’s written on Chippy’s list. I’m afraid to look, it will just confuse me.

   That’s because I have a list already. I keep it in my head, there is no hard-copy. I know what you’re thinking, but my list doesn’t have a lot of detail, and remembering is less difficult, most times. I tried making a list like Honey does, but I keep losing them. I have lists and notes that litter my desktop. Some date back pre-pandemic, and refer to work done on behalf of the Playa. The only reason they are still there is because I have written down a 9-digit number at the bottom that must be important. But do you think I bothered to write an explanation of its meaning? Of course not! That would require organization! I’m the king of incomplete record keeping! That is why I don’t get anywhere near the ‘hard-copy’.

The list I keep in my head has the heading, ‘Things I must take care of before we leave.’ Catchy, right? I know it’s pretty broad, but it’s a list of tasks that are solely my responsibility. There’s ‘hard-copy’ of tasks to be completed jointly, like packing. But see the doctor, isn’t something that Honey can do, so its on my head list. Get COVID vaccine, arrange meds for travel, change appointment dates, are all pre-trip tasks that are on my list. Once I had Ruby repaired, my list is pretty much about traveling with a medical condition.

I’m feeling good about my list, and having all the items mentally stroked off, before we officially start our road trip. What, you’re not impressed?? Do you think there was only two items on my list? Get prescription, pack prescription, and that’s it? I’m insulted!! That’s not even on my list, that’s written on Chippy’s list over in ‘hard-copy’. But my mental list is just as tough as any ‘hard-copy’ list, and with the exception of the gaps every 15 feet, just as detailed and difficult to complete. You try scheduling ten medical appointments! Within a 60-day time window!! Nine of them are in-person!!! Four with actual doctors!! I had to change the time and date of every test and procedure I was due to have, to fit our travel plans. Considering the state our medical system is in right now, with staffing problems, emergency room closures, and patient backlogs, this is no easy feat! Nowadays, you’d be lucky to get one in-person doctor’s appointment in a month. I have three in two weeks! All different doctors!! What are the odds of that happening to one person?? It may be bold of me to say, but I think I have preformed a miracle!!!

By the time we leave, the ‘hard-copy’ will have been condensed to travel size. Honey won’t leave home without one, but pre-trip lists will have been completed and discarded, and what will remain will something that is small and easy to work with while on the road. The ‘hard-copy’ keeper has serious organizational skills. We’ll be able to take the ‘hard-copy’ anywhere we go on the trip. The ‘hard-copy’ of our route and destinations is crucial to the success of our travels. Just so no one thinks we are totally backwards travelers, there is also a digital record on my phone and tablet and we have Google map girl to guide us if needed. But I’m sure Honey would agree that we are both a bit technically challenged, and ‘hard-copy’ is so much easier to work with. The truth is nothing beats written record. Sure, it’s old-school, and I do occasionally make fun of the ‘hard-copy’, pretending that it is redundant and not needed, but the truth is, I’m re-assured because it exists. I may not add to the ‘hard-copy’ but I peak at it constantly when Honey isn’t looking, it helps me fill in the 15-foot gaps.







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