To a Distant Land

The Happy Wanderer

What’s your travel style? Are you itinerary and schedule driven, needing to have every step mapped out in advance or are you content to arrive without a plan and let happenstance be your guide?

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“Yes. I know  that I have to return before five but I have to finish my to do a list. There are some left over food from last night in the refrigerator so please help yourself. What? Yes, sure I will pick up the dry cleaner. Ok. Bye.” Saying that I end the call. I look at the list again. Hmm. Then I adjust my powder blue dress, and sit on the wooden bench close to the right side of the Dillard store. I take out my long list and a slick navy blue pen from my small Isabella fuchsia color purse,and adjust my thin, black framed eyeglass on my nose. I read and re-read the list and mark the things that have already purchased. I feel a little relaxed because the list is almost done except a perfume for my mom. She likes the ones with more flowery smell but not too strong. I walked into the Dillard to check their perfumes.

We are planning to go to visit India. It is my homeland but I like a perfect planning. For that trip you can not just take  your own stuff. It feels good to take gifts for all the other family members, friends or at least for the close relatives or for the small children. They do not expect but it is our tradition and I love it .Although it is too much work for the brain in the decision-making process. In the evening I sit on a wooden chair in the bed room comfortably, re- arrange the passports and check the e-ticket confirmation for the tenth time then pull all the luggage’s and move to the floor.

“Mom! Are you busy?” asks my daughter.

“Kind of but do you need anything?” I  ask lifting my eyes towards her because I was on the floor re-packing my luggage for the third time.

” Yes. Can I take these t-shirts or tank-tops and they will  go perfect on top of my blue jean.”

I look at them and say,” Please take out the ones with low-cut necks and the ones they are too tight. We need wear something conservative”. Then I turn my head and say, “Also take one or two shawls to wrap on the t-shirts.”

She looks at me in disbelief but leaves without saying anything.

In the late evening after we finish dinner, I walk to the living room with my husband, sit on the soft white sofa and make another list about whom to meet and how many days to spend with both our parent’s house. I lean more to the middle of the cushion and re-check the list for the last time.We go to bed around 12 pm in the night. My husband falls sleep in five minutes but my eyes are wide open. Lots of memories and familiar faces start to take wings on my brain. Around two o’clock I walk softly  to the living room, switch on the light and look at the list that lays on the coffee table. O’ I murmur. I need to arrange the multi- vitamin and Calcium bottles in the small red luggage for my mother-in-law. I want her to stay healthy so that each time I go there I can see her pretty smile and the over flow of her love that jumps around touching all of us and then bounces back to her. I close the luggage, drink a big glass of water then climb back to the bed. But the excitements of travel keep me awake through out the night.

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