It was risky, but I was willing to give it a try.  On my trip across the nation I did not want to be separated from my luggage.  This was one trip where I just didn’t want to take that chance.

My journey was a short one of two nights.  If I packed judiciously, then I could try making my trip with carry-on luggage only.  It would be a challenge.

Carefully,  I thought through all that I would need for my speaking engagement.  Clothing would have to be purposeful and packed compactly.  With Spartan-like determination I didn’t pack “just in case” items.

Smiling down at my selections, my carry-on bag closed easily.  It is well-worn after decades of service when I have mercilessly sent it into the cavernous checked luggage option at countless airports around the world.  On a recent trip my luggage went one way and the airlines sent me on another.  It caught up with me after a day and a half . 

The signs at security reminded us that we had to have all of our liquids out in a see through bag.  Groan!  I had forgotten.

All of my liquids were in 3 oz containers or less but they were buried in my luggage.  I had to open up my case, dig them out and close my bag all while sliding my stuff along the stainless sterile steel counter.  The agent announced, “If you’re the first one in line at the counter, please slide your items ahead of you to make room for other passengers.”

Yes, that announcement was done for me.  Have you ever felt the eyes of many impatient people burning holes in the back of your head?  Yup, I started sweating up a storm.

It so discombobulated me that I sent my stuff through the x-ray machine but forgot all of the stuff still in my pockets: cell phone, wallet, money clip, wrist watch, pen.  Groan!  I felt like a rookie on my first airplane trip. 

Of course as I stepped up to the scanner with hands full of the forgotten items, I had to rip off my belt at the last-minute.  Naturally, that gesture made me drop my ID on the floor.  I bent to pick it up and again slowed down the line for everyone else. More groan!

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography