It took me a second last Thursday to realize why it felt so strange to pack for a weekend in Defiance. After all, I'd packed for visits to my parents dozens of times in the last 14 years.
The difference, I realized, is that I was packing so much less. When we moved to New York, we never made visits to either of our families that were less than three or four days, at a minimum. At Christmastime, those Ohio visits often lasted more than a week.
We hadn't had an overnight visit to family of less than 48 hours since sometime in 2007.
I barely had to think. A few shirts, a couple of pairs of jeans, zip, zap, zooey. I even fit Edith's stuff in my suitcase.
This visit had a real reason: My nephew was baptized on Saturday, so I did have to double-check to make sure his present was packed. But even with that, it was the easiest packing job I've had in more than six years.