Contact Form

    News Details

    Feeling boxed in, I pack on the stress while preparing for a flight
    • July 30, 2023

    It has been my wont to stress over the little things in my life as a way to avoid distressing over the larger issues.

    Hence, I find myself surrounded by six packing cubes that I bought for my upcoming trip to Chicago.

    Did I really need six? Five probably would have done the trick. But they only came in packs of four, six and eight. Four might have worked if I packed more efficiently. For that matter, did I really need cubes? My grandmother used to pack her unmentionables in shoes.

    These decisions are easier for me to handle than wondering if another tornado will strike O’Hare airport – as one did recently – just when my plane is landing.

    Or will we even be able to land before the plane is scooped up into a funnel cloud?

    I don’t even know if that is possible but I worry that it could be. Worry really opens the mind to new possibilities.

    Pushing these thoughts aside, I lined up my lavender cubes in size order. With roughly everything in place, I discovered I had one more cube than I needed. I was afraid that might happen. On the other hand, since I had the extra one, why not use it? It’s not like I could return it without the rest of the set which was now packed even though I’m still not sure I needed them.

    I went to my closet to select a few possibilities for the runt of the litter cube, but when I returned it was no longer empty. Two green eyes peeked out at me through the small mesh window. The ad had touted the mesh inserts as convenient reminders of what was in each cube. It’s not likely that I’d forget I had a cat stuffed in the final cube that I probably didn’t need anyway. The cube, not the cat.

    I briefly entertained the idea of trying to pass off Lark kitty as a therapy pet so I could take her on the plane with me. She does have a very calming effect on me when she’s not hungry. It was a tight squeeze but I managed to shove one hand into the crowded cube so I could pet her.

    She started purring just as I was remembering the news clip I had seen of the passengers who had landed in the tornado’s path and had been herded into underground tunnels for safety.

    As if the airplane isn’t claustrophobic enough.

    Time for a distraction break. I wonder what I should pack in that last cube.

    Email [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @patriciabunin and at

    Related Articles

    Things To Do |

    Senior Moments: Cooking up late-night lasagne, I embrace a first for everything

    Things To Do |

    Senior Moments: Finding my type of peace in a place called home

    Things To Do |

    Senior Moments: When you ask ‘How hard can this be?’ and find out

    Things To Do |

    Senior Moments: How to date a perfect 10. Or 12.

    ​ Orange County Register