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Just in case...
Pam Waters

Terry, my husband, tells me that my favorite phrase is “just in case,” which he says I use to justify for taking something along on a trip or insisting that Dixie, our daughter, have with her.

I usually overpack wherever I go, just in case it rains and I get soaked, so you may need that extra outfit and extra pair of shoes. Of course, it is not just the extra clothes that I might need.  It is the extra shampoo, supply of bandaids (I carry these everywhere, just in case someone needs one), even microwave popcorn just in case we have a microwave in our room and get hungry late at night or while watching TV.  We seldom eat popcorn at home, unless our great-granddaughter, McKinley, is visiting, who thinks it is a treat to eat popcorn in bed while watching TV (but on my insistence of using a tray, just in case she spills some).

My purse usually feels like a piece of luggage because I have included all these “just in case” items in it. You never know when you are going to need a pocketknife, scissors, Bandaids (of course), a hairbrush, pencils, pens, small flashlight, small magnifying glass, a tape measure (just in case you find that perfect sized tablecloth you need), a clothespin or two (just in case you need to close a chip bag), and paper clips.  Several small note pads are required because I always must have paper on which to write. Oh, how I love paper clips, usually slipping a few into my pocket each day and definitely several in with my change in my purse.

Terry once told me that we were just lucky that our children did not like to put those paper clips in their mouths, since I was always dropping them wherever I was writing, the kitchen, sun porch, and bedroom.  They would pick them up and tell me, “Mama, this is what you like.”  Gosh, so understanding of them!

I usually carry three or four Ziplock bags with me, too, and one snack size Ziplock will hold an individual wet wipe, lotion, cough drops, salt and pepper, and an Advil or Tylenol, and maybe a Sudafed capsule, just in case you feel a sinus infection coming.  I seldom ever have a headache, but I guess a Bayer aspirin should be added, just in case that is what someone else needs. Also, a few barrettes, hair ties, and bobby pins are a must, along with dental floss, just in case you need a piece of string.  Most of these items are in my beach bag, too.  I recall several years ago of using dental floss on the back of Dixie’s swimsuit to tie together her straps that were slipping off her shoulders. You might think that salt and pepper is “pushing it,” but at a recent visit to the movie theater in Statesboro, we were told they had no salt for the popcorn.  I can do without salt on most foods, but not popcorn.  That salt packet came in handy.  I also carry a pack of at least ten wet wipes, which are used just in case you have something sticky or greasy to remove.

However, I also carry smaller handbags under the seat in my car, just in case I don’t want to lug the heavier one to church or a quick shopping trip. Just in case I get stopped for a period of time or stranded on the highway when traveling, I have a book or two to pass the time.  As one could expect, my car is even better stocked than my handbag, and I am well-equipped with blankets, rain parkas, umbrellas, a pair of shoes, and whatever else that I could possibly need but may forget when packing to go somewhere. I stuff plastic bags in my doors, too, which are handy as readily available trash bags.

As you can imagine, when Terry questions me why we are taking certain items along, he knows that I am going to say, “Just in case.”  It is called being super prepared, but I usually have a list that I review before leaving home on a trip so that I can make sure I have all that is needed.  (I have a small index card on the fridge at the beach that is a reminder of what should be in our beach bag, too. It is amazing how easy it is to forget something, so, just in case, those reminders are helpful.)