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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Traveling Light....

Traveling Light

My sister and I are planning a trip together to London. Iíve never done anything like this before, so it will be an adventure.

"Iíve traveled so much that Iím an expert at traveling light," my sister told me.

I was glad one of us is. I always take everything I own "just in case." Just in case never happens, and I drag it back home untouched. The only time I ever tried to travel light, I ended up having to go shopping and buy a dress so I could go to a funeral.

"I want to take stuff I already have," I said. "Would dresses be okay?" I figured since we were going to a city, dress would be appropriate. I had planned to take my big, giant suitcase on wheels so I could get everything inside that I could possibly need.

"Take three pairs of slacks, and three shirts." "That includes what you are wearing." 

Good grief! We are staying a week!

"Take stuff that doesnít wrinkle and doesnít get dirty." 

Well, that eliminates the need for a travel iron.

"No one dresses up any more, " she said, "and no one will care what you are wearing."

"Jeans, are jeans too casual?"

"No, but jeans are heavy. We will use public transportation and you have to lift your suitcase. Donít you have anything lighter?"

I didnít, but I will need a few things for fall anyhow. Since Iím not taking very much, guess I can afford new stuff.

She sent me a list of what to take. I immediately noticed that it did not include hot rollers or even a curling iron. "I have to take my hot rollers," I said, "Or I will look awful the whole time."

"Okay, you can take them if they fit." 

What a relief.

I looked at the list again: jacket, raincoat, poncho, and umbrella? Are they expecting a hurricane? I know it rains a lot in London, but Iíve never owned a poncho in my life.

"I have an extra," said my sister. "I like to be prepared."

"Stocking hat and gloves?" ButÖ Itís September!

"It might get cold at night."

"Where are we going, London or Moscow?" I was starting to get sarcastic.

She will bring an extra hat and gloves. She will also bring an extra suitcase of the right size, 18"x12"x36" and a tote bag with a long handle, not to mention a travel clock, duct tape, stuff to do hand laundry, and on and on.

"Laundry? Iím on vacation! Canít I just take extra underwear? How much room can that take?"

She also told me that hotels donít give you washcloths in Europe. 

My God, are we camping out? Should I pack toilet tissue?

I also donít wear those undershirts or socks on the list. Okay, Iíll buy socks, but no undershirts! I draw the line there. Yes, Iíll wear my gym shoes, since "comfortable shoes are a must," but Iím also bringing a pair of real shoes "just in case. Itís bad enough that I have to go to the theater in dirty slacks; I refuse to go in gym shoes.

I nearly had another stroke when I found out the hotel does not provide a free courtesy van from the airport. We will ride the Underground, whatever that is. I already know I donít like it. But I want to be a good sport.

If you see two ladies at the airport with gloves, stocking hats, sunglasses, raincoats, and ponchos, wearing dirty clothes with wrinkles - it will be us. Please do not call airport security. We are not terrorists. We are just traveling light.

Copyright 2005 Sheila Moss

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