What to pack when “going West”

“Everything from the little house was in the wagon, except the beds and tables and chairs. They did not need to take these, because Pa could always make new ones.”

19th Century : everything you can fit into your wagon
21st Century : everything you can fit into your suitcase (weight limit as per airline restrictions) including your Little House book collection.

It doesn’t matter that you’re traveling to the Land Of Laura and endless prairies and that you can buy a whole new set when you get there. Your own collection, well read and tattered and torn, is part of your life. How can you leave it behind? I took some pictures of my “These Happy Golden Years”… falling apart and yellowed with age (makes me sound ancient but hey, I did buy the book secondhand which adds to it).

Lovingly wrapped and tucked away in the bottom of a suitcase they made their own trek halfway around the world and now live in my office where I can see them every day. They’ve made some friends. To my delight I found more to add to my collection. Let’s take a moment and say thanks to Google or whatever your favorite search engine is.

One or two or three favorite cookbooks begged to be taken with. So I listened and I wrapped and tucked away. I ended up packing another suitcase – I needed some clothes too…

Deciding which of my cookbooks to bring with was very hard. I had about 500 of them (another story). I chose 10. They are regional heritage reminders. I look at them and the pictures and illustrations and I blink away a tear when the familiarity of it all tugs at my heartstrings.

Stellenbosch – the 2nd oldest town in South Africa, just down the road from where I lived … So Eet Ons In Stellenbosch (This is how we eat in Stellenbosch).
Cape Town – voted as one of the most beautiful cities in the world … So Eet Ons Aan Die Kaap (This is how we eat in Cape Town). The Cape Cookbook. Cape Flavour. South African Culinary Tradition.

I packed well. I can hold the hand of my “Almanzo” in my little house, prepare some delicious meals and say

“Golden years are passing by,
Happy, happy golden years,
Passing on the wings of time,
These happy golden years.
Call them back as they go by,
Sweet their memories are,
Oh, improve them as they fly, 
These happy golden years.”