I’ve been extremely busy lately with all the kids’ end of the school year stuff coupled with some projects around the house. Not to mention running to softball games, t-ball games, Church events, etc. I’ll keep this short and remind everyone that this Sunday is Father’s Day in case you forgot.
Like many holidays, people often buy gifts for Father’s Day so my job is to remind you to be thoughtful about your gift and not buy “stuff” that he may not want. If he has requested something specific, that’s different. In that case it will be something he uses and hopefully won’t become clutter. But please don’t run to the mall or jump on Amazon and pick the first thing that grabs your eye.
Out of curiosity, I looked at Amazon’s list of “What dad really wants” and apparently dad wants a new shirt, watch, or wallet. The shirt probably won’t fit. The watch will be the wrong color or style. And the wallet he has is just fine. I also found it interesting that Amazon’s list defaulted to “under $50”. Maybe that’s based on my shopping history.
OK. It was actually the Amazon Fashion list of Father’s Day gifts, hence the clothes and accessories, but you get the point.
Anyway, if you have no idea what to get dad this Father’s Day, I recommend consumables or experiences as always. Here’s a few ideas to get you started.
Just remember that the most valuable gift you can give anyone is your time.
Happy Father’s Day to all my fellow dads out there and especially to my own dad.
I recently wrapped up a trip to visit my family for a long weekend.
As always, it was great to see everyone for a few days even if I had to work for part of the trip. It’s a long story but my dad’s house was in disarray and he needed help going through boxes and rearranging.
He knows he has too much stuff, but comes from a generation schooled in the “you might need it someday” philosophy. We spent an entire afternoon going through boxes and moving things around to get somewhat prepared for the garage sale he was planning to have the following weekend.
I am not complaining about helping and I was glad to do it. However, it occurred to me later that this is a perfect case for not spending our lives accumulating stuff. Spending time with my sisters and my dad was still fun, but if he didn’t have so much stuff sitting around, we could have spent the day just visiting or doing something else together.
The problem with stuff is that it can get in the way of spending meaningful time with family and friends.
Instead of playing a board game or sharing a bottle of wine over good conversation, you end up spending weekend visits sorting through boxes of old books and VHS tapes. (I’m not kidding, every time we turned around it seemed like we found another box of VHS tapes). In one box, we came across an unopened cribbage game. I’ve never played cribbage and have no idea how, but one of my sisters plays. We talked about how after we finished, we should open it and she could teach us how to play. When I headed home at the end of the weekend, the cribbage game still sat unopened.
I challenge you all to not live your life with that possibility of spending quality time with your friends and family because you’re too busy rearranging the boxes of stuff in the garage. Maybe cribbage sucks. I don’t know, but it will be a little while until I have the chance to find out and play it with my sisters.
On a positive note, we spent the following day just sitting around and visiting with family at my nephew’s graduation. Some of us even excused ourselves from the party for a little while to visit the brewery across the street. I lost a bet with my brother-in-law and had to buy but I enjoyed one of the best oatmeal stouts I’ve had in a while.
Overall, it was a great visit and I came home reinvigorated in my pursuit to get rid of the excess stuff sitting around my home and to spend more quality time with my family. I hope you will do the same.
Last November I wrote about my trip to visit family
and how I managed to pack everything I needed in a backpack. Doing it again for Memorial Day weekend, I started preparing by reading my old post and updating my packing list. For this trip, I needed some multipurpose clothes since I was going for a graduation but also needed to help my dad with his house. For travel light tips, I checked out the Go-Light Guru at OneBag.com.
One of the great debates for cramming as much as possible into a bag without it all coming out a wrinkled mess, is should I fold or roll my clothes.
In the Army, we were always taught to roll everything, and depending on where you look on the internet, some travelers insist that this saves space. Other websites recommend packing containers and folding boards.
Well, I was surprised to find that the Go-Light Guru actually recommends none of these. Instead, he recommends a method called bundle-wrapping. The basic idea is to wrap your clothes, in a specific order, around a core object like a pouch roughly 11 x 16. This avoids folds which cause creases. I don’t think I can explain it better than he does, so go read about his method here, then come back.
The obvious disadvantage to this method appears if you need something from the middle of the bundle.
Certainly you want to be smart about how you bundle so you don’t put important things you need in the center. Also, don’t put something in the center that may look suspicious on the X-ray machine when going through security at the airport.
I decided to give it a try for my trip.
Unfortunately, it was getting late the night before I left so I was in a hurry and didn’t think to take pictures. Also, I couldn’t decide what to use in the center to wrap my clothes around. I didn’t want to pack something just for that purpose. Extra stuff would defeat the point of packing light.
Then, I remembered the tin my sister had mailed to us filled with her home made peanut butter cups at Christmas. I always make sure to return them so she’ll send us more the next year. I filled it with some small things and although it was smaller than what I was looking for, I figured it would do.
Either I did it wrong (which is entirely possible) or the round tin was definitely not the right thing to use for bundle-wrapping. When I arrived, I pulled my clothes out to find the shirts very wrinkled. I’ll keep researching and let you know if I figure out some tips. On the way home, everything was dirty, as it should be, so I just folded it and slid the pile into my bag. It didn’t seem to take up any more or less room than when I bundled it.
I’m still a little skeptical on the bundle-wrapping thing
but curious if anyone else has tried it. If so, please share any packing tips or travelling-light tricks you have for everyone’s benefit. Thanks.
Copyright Dave Lubke and www.davelubke.com, 2017