2 min read
26 May

Not having a permanent home when I became a nomad was a challenge when it came to what clothes to keep.  At my age, travelling with more than a single suitcase is too much for me to handle, which made the selection even tougher.  However, because I chose to avoid the six coldest months of Canada by living in the warm beach area of Manzanillo, Mexico, returning to Ontario for the six warmer Canadian months, the only clothes I need are casual and light-weight.    

This spring I returned to Canada earlier than  I normally would because my Creemore daughter was leaving for Europe the third week in April and I wanted to spend a week with her before she left.  This meant I was going to be in cooler weather than originally planned and the only heavy-weight clothes I had were the ones I wore travelling to Mexico and for returning to Canada.  That outfit consisted of leggings, a black wool skirt, heavy long-sleeved pullover over a lighter T-shirt, and a heavy-weight shawl.  

I didn't want to wear the same clothes every day for a couple of weeks, so I ordered the latest wider-leg style of jeans, a long-sleeved shirt and a warm cardigan from Amazon and had them shipped to Creemore. They were waiting for me when I arrived from Mexico. Thankfully they fit perfectly and I was able to mix and match with my travel outfit until the weather warmed.  

When you are virtually living out of one suitcase and a carry-on, you have to be disciplined about the clothes you own.  Fortunately, summer weight clothes are very light and roll up quite small.  Shoes take up space so I wear my running shoes to travel and pack one pair of sandals and one pair of slip-ons that can be worn with casual clothes and one dressier outfit.  I wasn't sure how this was going to work, but found I didn't need anything else. 

The days of having a closet filled with a lot of clothes, many of which I realized when purging that I seldom wore, is not part of my life anymore.  My limited wardrobe is kept in the current style because I replace things I have worn for a season and give the older items to charity.  I am more fashionably dressed with my small wardrobe of separates, bathing suits and hanky-weight slip-on dresses than I was when I had a bulging closet.  

Rule #3 - travel with one suitcase and a carry-on or backpack. Other than clothes, my suitcase contains my portable easel, a roll of canvas, paint brushes, tubes of oil paints plus a few other painting supplies. My carry-on holds my medications, Macbook Air, Kindle, notebook, personal papers and pens, etc. 

When travelling, I wear a cross-body purse to hold my i-phone that is encased in a wallet containing my credit and debit cards and some cash. My passport, lipstick, reading glasses and sim card for either Mexico or Canada, which I can switch depending on which country I am in, also fit in it.     

Rule #4 - Own a minimum of clothes, mainly separates that mix and match, creating the illusion of a larger wardrobe.  If you want to pack a regular purse and/or beach bag, fill them with rolled up clothes; they take less room that way.

The weather in Ottawa has been hot for May, the pool is open and warm - perfect for swimming. I have been luxuriating in laziness (except for helping with gardening, cooking, baking, and long walks and studying Spanish); rebuilding my batteries after a socially hectic six months in Mexico.  

Out of town friends are coming for a visit in July.  My flights are being booked for a trip to Colorado the long weekend in August.  Plans are being made for my 90th birthday celebrations in Markham which also include finally burying Don's ashes in the Unionville cemetery beside Michael and my mom and dad.  

I have yet to pick up a brush to paint, or play the piano, or work on my memoirs, or see my Ottawa friends.  My usual workaholic self is amazed how the hours fly by without accomplishing much and without guilt!   

(Dee enjoying the first swim of the season in her pool.)

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