Carlene Rae Dater, author of the mystery FINDER, joins us today. Please help us welcome her.
I'm getting ready to go on a vacation, and I dread it. It's not the trip I mind; it's the packing.
Things were so much simpler when I was twenty. I opened my duffle bag, threw in a couple changes of underwear, a few clean T-shirts, my toothbrush, comb, lipstick, acne cover-up and I was on my way. If I happened to stay longer than a few days, I'd just wash out what I needed in the bathroom sink and hoped they would dry overnight. Wearing slightly damp panties didn't bother me a bit.
Oh, how things have changed! Now that I'm in my middle years, I have to take at least one coordinated outfit for each day of my vacation, with shoes and purse to match. I wouldn't dream of traveling without a nightie, robe and slippers. Who knows what could happen in the middle of the night? An earthquake? Tsumini? Native uprising? I shudder to even think about being caught oust side my room in the nude. Then there's my makeup: foundation, powder, moisturizer, several colors of eye shadow, eyeliner, eyebrow pencil, false eyelashes for evening, blusher - the list goes on and on. Of course I wouldn't dream of traveling without my makeup remover, moisturizer, dental floss, mouthwash and toothbrush.
Always the well-groomed traveler, I must bring my curling iron, hot rollers, brushes, combs, mousses and gels. And jewelry. Do I pack it in my suitcase and hope the airlines don't lose my luggage? Do I trust the baggage handlers to keep their hand off? Or do I take everything in my handbag and pray I don't run into a mugger on some strange foreign street corner. I didn't have to worry about things like that when all I owed was a Mickey Mouse watch and a pair of imitation gold hoop earrings.
Of course, I'd never leave home without my sinus pills, anti-acid tablets, aspirins, vitamins, eye drops, migraine medication, sewing kit, bandages, ear plug, sleeping mask or extra pair of eye glasses. I'll probably never need any of these things, but I have to take them along, just in case.
Packing was much faster back in the good old days too. When I was 23 I went to Europe for two weeks. It took me fifteen minutes to pack. Now when I contemplate travel, I start at least two weeks in advance, making lists so I don't forget anything crucial. The sad fact is I need almost as much junk for a week-end trip as I do for a two week cruise.
My husband thinks he's come upon the secret of packing for a middle aged travel. (He's the smart one - I'm the pretty one.) He says the thing to do is take twice the money and half the stuff you think you'll need, and everything thing should come out even. Maybe I'll try his method this time.
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Carlene Rae Dater's sites:
“I need a good idea on how to kill someone,” Carol Reston said.
David stood panting inside the front door, his face the color of slate. She could smell his acrid sweat clear across the room. Chauncy crouched at his side huffing and drooling, his large pink tongue lolling out the side of his mouth.
Terror shot through Carol. She knew that rattlesnakes were active in the brown hills around their house. One bite could kill Chauncy. And at forty-two, David was entering heart attack country. “David, honey, are you all right?”
His head bobbed up and down and he struggled for breath.
“A body. In the hills. Woman. Dead.”
“Yeah, that’s pretty good. I can work with that. Okay, you win.”
“This isn’t about your book, Carol! It’s real!” He bent over, resting his hands on his knees, sucking in air, trying to catch his breath.
“9-1-1. Call 9-1-1. I found a woman’s body up in the hills.” A glaze of moisture filled his eyes. “She didn’t have a face, Carol. The woman didn’t have a face.”