Getting Ready for the Road

I’m trying to pack, trying to pull myself together for the road.  I suffer from separation anxiety, and the further I’m going, the longer I’ll be gone, the greater the angst.  My dog isn’t helping.  She went into the back room where I’d set out my suitcases, sniffed them, then went back to the main bedroom where she has curled her big body into a tiny melancholy ball.

I remember when flying was exciting for all the good reasons.  When I first moved to Chicago, I had a calico cat who traveled with me.  In those halcyon days, we didn’t have security systems, and we didn’t have to strip naked, and put our clothes in bins where dirty shoes and diapers recently resided.  My cat was so mellow she used to wrap herself around my neck, like a muffler, and I’d carry her carrier with my suitcase to the gate.  Any number of times, the flight attendants would be so charmed that they’d take her into first class with them and feed her on shrimps and caviar while I sat in steerage–but in those days, steerage included a lovely little meal, nutritionally balanced.

For this trip, which includes 14 days in the UK and four in Crimea, visiting my intrepid cousin Barb who’s in the Peace Corps, I have bought a set of frilly pink undies in case we have to strip that deep.

Once I’m on the road, I know all will be well, but until then–insomnia and angst reign! Excelsior.  More anon.

  • Oh, so it’s not just me then. By the time I have to pack I don’t ever want to go anywhere. But I’ve learnt that if I actually booked the tickets, I probably do want to go. Once I get there.

    This is more chore than fun for you, so I’m grateful you are willing to do it. And it’s the ‘pink underwear stripping’ that prevents me from getting on that plane across the Atlantic. You are doubly brave.

  • I, too, can recall when travel by air was much less of an ordeal (except for taming my rampant phobias, of course!) and do not envy you the trials of security checks and delays.
    And, although I hope things don’t deteriorate that far, I did get a giggle out of the thought of the pink undies.

    May your journey be as pleasant and uneventful as possible, and the tour and your visit with your cousin delightfully enjoyable!

  • bless you, bad lady, for t hose traveling mercies. And bookwitch, I’ll hope to see you in person next week

  • genny from jersey

    Sara, I completely understand your anxiety. I’ve never really been a good flyer–any little turbulence and I’m cutting off the circulation in my husband’s hand. We do a lot of road trips but until they build the bridge to the UK I guess flying or the long boat ride is the only way to get there.

    I would be really great if we could just say “Beam me up Scotty”

    Have a safe and wonderful trip. I know your fans are looking forward to seeing you.

  • Penny Thornton

    Have a safe journey Sara and welcome to the UK. Wish I could have seen you in the southeast this time. Unable to get to London. Hope it’s not too strenuous and that our weather will have improved.

  • I M Fleetwood

    Although I am not married, My Mum looks after my Golden Lab, Bailey when ever i go away and ever time she visiting my place to pick up mail, Bailey always goes to my bedroom to see if i am still asleep in bed, but he does look at the case when i do pack to go away and knows something is up.

    Have a Safe journey Sara and welcome back to the UK. You are always welcome.

    Looking forward to seing you on the 19th.

  • JN Grant

    I sadly haven’t traveled internationally since before 9/11 but I have heard the tales of woe from flying friends. At least your business trips sound much more interesting than most…Our “kitten” also enjoys curling around my neck, but now that she’s 18 pounds it’s — well, it’s still adorable, now painful as well. btw, given the itinerary, have any of you read the Island of Crimea by the late Aksyonov? One of my favorites.

  • Bag Lady – I do like your new name. Bad Lady. Freudian slip, or what?

  • Bookwitch – I’m hoping Sara was just in a hurry and it was a “finger error”…. although, since I’m usually so tame and well-behaved (I did NOT say boring! *ahem*), a little “bad” might be a good thing!

  • Bookwitch – I like it, too! Might have to change it….. 🙂

  • Oh, my goodness–or badness–proof again that one should reread and rewrite many times!! Of course, on the South side of Chicago, “bad” means tough or cool, and that, naturally, is how I think of all my comrades here in cyberspace. Are we not the coolest ever? I’m in London now, jet-lagged, ears plugged, but the Mayo clinic tells me not to worry unless that persists more than 2 weeks! It is cold and rainy here, and I am going to go on strike until Hodder sends me to Majorca for my tour.

  • Sara – glad to hear you made it safely!

    I hate the plugged ears, too – hope they clear up soon!

    “We be so cool, we be bad”

  • I M Fleetwood

    Welcome to the UK and it great to know that you made it safe and sound.

    British weather is a bit strange at times, but this won’t stop people turning up to see ypou give a talk and sign your books.

    Enjoy your stay and enjoy the sights.

    Maybe we can see VI paying us a visit in a future book as part of one of her cases.

  • Penny Thornton

    Oh dear, Sara, the weather here hasn’t improved for your visit! Indeed, we’re promised more snow in the southeast on Wednesday according to the Met office! Hope you manage to dodge the worst of it.

  • Idzan Ismail, Kuala Limpur, Malaysia

    I have the same feeling too when I travel. Insomnia especially. I can’t sleep peacefully if it’s not in my good old bed. And I do not know how to travel light. Please tell us do you bring excess baggage on your two-week tour? Ooh I love frilly pink panties. Do you mind telling us what brand is it? Have a fun trip and a safe journey home.

  • Dr. George Hiller

    Dear Ms. Paretsky:

    I heaard you being interviewed on NPR last night. Youse is a good kid.

    Doc George

  • Mandy

    I’m really glad you made it. I don’t know how much more difficult they can make air travel though I feel sure that they will try. I love Chicago, though not O’Hare airport! Since I’m lucky enough to be going to the Purcell rooms tonight I’ve just re-read Hardball, and enjoyed it even more the second time.

  • Janice

    Just listened to you on Saturday live – wonderful

  • Caroline

    Sara, I’m listening to you on radio 4 this morning – so glad to have been re-aquainted – for some reason (3 kids?) I lost touch with your work after Burn Marks but I’m going to start catching up right away. What a wonderful start to the morning. AND the sun is shining! Glad you will see some whilst you are in the UK. Happy travels.

  • Peter Bebbington

    Thoroughly enjoyed the talk tonight, many thanks for visiting Ely and I hope you visit again soon.

    Hope you are wrong about the Cubs but fear you maybe right.

    Great insight into Chicago politics. Makes the fuss over British MP’s expenses seem like a storm with a tea-cup

    Enjoy the rest of your trip

  • Penny Thornton

    Enjoyed you on Saturday Live, Sara! Hope you enjoyed being on it – it’s an idiosyncratic sort of programme but I listen most Saturdays. It’s best with Fi Glover hosting. Your comments on Chicago politics were illuminating. Hope the rain doesn’tget you down!

  • The book signing in Nottingham wasn’t bad either…


  • Penny Thornton

    Thanks Bookwitch for your words on meeting Sara and how the signing went. I like the photo of the two of you, by the way!

  • I only like half of it.

  • Teresa B

    Hope you enjoyed the Watermill during your Uk trip, Sara. It was so good to meet you and to discover that you are every bit as interesting, sharp and funny as your writing would suggest. Apologies though if my excitement at being that that close to Vic’s creator may have made me come across as obsessive stalker-fan! Started on Hardball this morning and had to force myself to put it down to get on with some work . Thanks again.


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