Little Red Hen

To Do Before Beach Trip:

1. All laundry in the home. This includes laundry that has not bothered me since last November but which I feel compulsively required to complete before leaving for this trip.

2. Buy the following: Way too much sunscreen. Summer clothing for three urchins who grew over the winter behind my back. Beach towels to replace the twenty beach towels which I put in a "good spot" last fall and cannot find now. Snacks for the road. Sunglasses to replace the ones that are maybe in the car somewhere, or perhaps behind the computer. Or in a drawer? A whole lot of cat food for our fabulous neighbors to dole out for the cats. I mean, a whole lot. Books.

3. Cancel mail.

4. Pack.

5. Cancel newspaper.

6. Pack, pack.

7. Cancel all regularly scheduled meetings, as well as doctor, orthodontist and hair appointments that I scheduled knowing full well that we would be away. Why??

8. Sew straps on ballet slippers, pointe shoes and costumes for dance recital -- which takes place the day we leave for our adventure, so that's not stressful at all.

9. Wrangle my son into packing for Boys State -- taking place while the rest of us are at the beach, with the same departure date, so there's no stress there either.

10. Pack, pack, pack.

11. Tidy my house so the fabulous cat-feeding neighbors, who enter my home at least once a day, every day of the year, will not find out during this particular week what a slob I am.

Oooh! Don't forget the beach chairs!