Saturday, July 12, 2008


Packing for two distinct and very dissimilar trips that are back-to-back is harder than you might think. The number of cross-over items continues to grow.
Gym shoes.
some toiletries (though for some I have multiples of travel-size bottles, which is handy).
messenger bag needed for two different purposes.
water bottle.
flip flops.
phone charger.

You get the idea.
This doesn't even get into the problem of clothes and shoes. You see, I love love love shoes (though I don't actually like to WEAR shoes if it's warm out and if I'm not somewhere where it's dangerous to not wear shoes) so I'm having trouble deciding what shoes to take to Scotland. But I tend to prefer minimalism in clothes--I don't own a lot of clothes and I tend to go through my clothes a few times a year and get rid of anything I haven't worn in a season. Which means I have a total of about 10 outfits. I own one pair of jeans, one pair of capris, one pair of brown slacks, one pair of black slacks, two brown skirts (one wool, one rayon), two white skirts (one plain, one decorated), and one black skirt. I own about 5 sweaters in varying weights and colors (most shades of blue or red). I own maybe 2 "blouses" and 4 or 5 t-shirt style tops. I have a few sleeveless shirts too. Which all mixes and matches quite nicely for me...especially if i'm going to sit in a church office most of the day (meaning I can wear most things at least twice before washing them) and if I can do laundry frequently. But for three weeks away, traveling/being active AND with limited/no laundry capability? Well...

Let's just say I had to do a little shopping. I got some cheap undergarments and a pair of jeans on clearance at Target ($11!). I'm planning to pick up my stash of free t-shirts (a hazard of working with youth) from my office (forgot to do that today when I was there, meaning another trip there tomorrow when I should be writing a sermon...) so I don't have to dip into my very few top-options while on the mission trip. But still--I'm looking at one pair of jeans per trip right now, which is sort of limiting. So I bought some recycled pants from nau (they're going out of business, so shop now! ha! update--they have apparently been given a second chance at life in a new form, but you can still buy anything they have left in the spring/summer 08 line at 50% off!)--they're water and wind resistant, which means they're going to Scotland! Supposedly they hand wash well too. Thank goodness for companies that make stuff for outdoorsy/travel types. What would we do without them? I also picked up a couple of t-shirts from nau. They say, in morse code all over the shirt, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." How cool is that? recycled pants and Ghandi in morse code. Fun.

I think I've doubled my wardrobe in the past week. But that doesn't solve any of the problems on the list back to the packing drawing board (well, or suitcase-shaped lists!). The trouble is, I really don't want to be materialistic. I work hard at not buying or holding on to stuff. I have a pretty laid-back attitude about stuff--I mean, it's just stuff. Sure, I have stuff that is important to me and that I'd have a hard time getting rid of (which is why I still own books I hated--I can't seem to get rid of books), but overall I don't feel attached to stuff. I feel attached to my cats, my friends, my congregation, my memories and experiences.  But stuff?  Not so much.

I think the gospel calls us to live simply. I think that if we want to live in a way that our planet can sustain our life here, we need to live more simply than most of us do. I think that we who have many privileges also have a responsibility, to tread lightly on the earth, and I think we have an obligation to our brothers and sisters who have different privileges.  I don't think Jesus was kidding when he said that it's hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.  Then again, I think he means the kingdom of heaven coming on earth, not the kingdom of heaven that only happens when we die.  Sure, "you can't take it with you" but also "you can't even see it's here over your mounds of material 'goods'."  I wonder what thinking about these things does to our vision?  And what it does to our understanding of who is privileged or underprivileged, developed or developing, deserving or not?  Hmm...

Tomorrow: writing a sermon about the parable of the sower. Let's just say this: I think it will be relevant as several ricklepickles head to the inner city for a week. But I am apparently incapable of getting it on 'paper' without the preacher party...


  1. Once upon a time I had a travel skirt from REI. It reversed sides! It was the best. For some reason I gave it away and that was silly. It was the best travel thing ever.

    The nau site looks cool. Happy packing. I did mission trip back to back with Scotland in March, too. Fun packing times.

  2. i leave tomorrow. i can't believe it. i'm so excited. i can't wait to see you!!! and pack well.