Do you plan it or wing it?

I have a Facebook friend who stimulates the conversation by asking a Question of the Day. Today the question was, “Are you a planner or a winger?” Considering my response got me to thinking about some family and friends.

planning bMy wife is a planner, Rarely does she engage in anything without considering all the details and weighing all the contingencies. I’m not really being critical because it frequently proves that her way saved the day . She makes a good balance to my almost total impulse to wing it. This is especially true when traveling.

One of my best friends retired about the same time as I did. We had discussed what we would do and we agreed to be spontaneous and impulsive. He once said to me, “If I pull in your driveway and say jump in, we’re going to Connecticut for a hot pastrami sandwich, grab your toothbrush and kiss your wife.” I agreed and on a couple of occasions we did things just like that. On one occasion, while fishing in the too early spring we came off the lake and decided to pack a bag and drive south until the thermometer hit 80 degrees. By the next day we were in Key West, Florida.

In 2004 I heard about a BBQ joint in Huntsville, Texas that was reputed to have the best smoked meat in America. Within hours another friend and I were on the road to the Lone Star State.

I love to travel and knowing how impulsive I can be, I keep a small suitcase and a complete ditty bag always at the ready. My usual plan is simply to stop by a Walmart for anything I forgot to pack.

There are times when this approach to travel won’t work, such as taking a cruise. You just don’t pull up at the gang-plank and salute the Captain as you walk aboard for a seven-day Caribbean adventure. You need to book ahead and obtain the necessary documentation, especially a passport. Most everything else, however, can be purchased on board the ship or at the first port of call.

Over the past fifteen years my wife and I have cruised a number of times and each time has gotten easier and requires less planning. Even at that, however, I know to not place any pressure on Janet and to just stay out of her way the day before we leave home. Her mind becomes fully occupied with the details surrounding the trip. Again, this is a good thing. Otherwise how would the cats and dog get fed?

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