The Way to Travel

The suitcase is on the bed and has been for weeks.

I’m traveling again, which means I have to pack. Therein lies the problem. For as much as I have trekked this wonderful world of ours, I have yet to figure it out. How to pack that is. Which means smart. Which means light. Only the pieces needed and in a carry-on, preferably. You know airlines and luggage!

If you’ve ever traveled with me or seen my closet, you can appreciate my predicament. Ten days in Europe in 19.0 x 13.25 x 7.5 inches, give or take a few here and there.

Bonne chance, Michelle!

Did I say Rick Steves videos have been playing tirelessly at the parsonage? All about packing. What to take and not. And why. I slip in one more pair of shoes than he recommends. And my Canon.

Darn that Rick Steves!  Who made him travel king?

Business or pleasure, each time a trip arises, the dual resumes. What’s with the oversized suitcase? More than room for a Tide stick or rain poncho, I know my demon. My nemesis. Just how many outfits are needed and who cares anyway? What’s really up?

Only days ago, this pastor kept company with a family in the wake of death. Loving husband, father, grandfather, son-in-law, father-in-law, friend. He left this world much too soon. In my venue, from one communion Sunday to the next.


He was a big man. A giant in every way. Family and friends will confirm it.
Wherever he traveled, he left a wide wake.
For his house that love built and for all he gained by skill and hard work, he parted this world with his soul, ‘seulement.’
It was enough. All he needed.
There’s a lesson here. And I’m all student these days.
Here in the guest bedroom, I remove a couple outfits from my luggage.
I feel lighter.

Thanks Jim.



  1. Stephanie Soares Pump says

    I can help Michelle. I’d gladly take those shoes off your hands!!!

    Your tribute to Jim is lovely.

    • Michelle McKinnon-Young says

      Jim was incredible Watching his strength and grace (from close up and afar) over 30 short days was a great teacher. His family was his world! And he left this world literally surrounded by them!

  2. Marty says

    Truly from the heart Michelle. These events are certainly the ying and yang of life. God bless you.

  3. Michelle McKinnon-Young says

    This blog has been fun, Marty. Read The Front Porch from last week and learn more about my father, my teacher. I am thankful that Jim and his family allowed me to share time with them in this brief 30 days. I am always learning!

  4. Arleon Kelley says

    Love your comments. Each of us has had a saint who molded us in our formative years – in addition to my father the other one for me was Mrs. Rayl, leader of our youth group.

    Also, as one who travelled the nation and the world all my career for the church I learned the hard lesson, eventually of how to travel for a week or two from my carry on. Lots of luck

  5. Sally says

    Oh, no, I hadn’t heard about Jim since I left for vacation. Sad to be taken too soon.

    I went to Germany and Switzerland for 11 days last December with just a carryon and purse and it worked fine. So great for getting on and off of planes and trains and taxis and busses! I went with basic black and white and burgundy and the hardest part was just two pairs of shoes (I’ve seen some of your extensive shoes collection and know that may be impossible for you!). Trust that a carryon will be enough.

  6. Joseph Samra says

    Nice Post! Thanks for sharing this amazing post. I would like to share with my friends.

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