Thanks for all your good and kind wishes, everyone!
I didn't turn in my cable box today. I just didn't get it done. I got other things done, though.
What does six months of stuff look like? Here's packing prep. This is the stuff for the big bag, rather than the carry on I'll be taking on my first side trip. And this is just the basics (and not the several books and such I'm stupidly taking).
My mom taught me a trick about packing that she learned along the way somewhere, and it's a pretty good one for my style travel. You pretty much put everything you can into big gallon sized plastic bags, then squeeze as you close them up. Then you just toss in these bags, pre-squeezed, in whatever way makes sense. If you have to go through them for inspection or something, they're easy to see and re-organize. They're easy to pack and unpack because you can keep track of things.
And here's the full monty, so to speak, except for the briefcase I'll be carrying with my laptop. The backpack thing has carry on stuff, and is missing only the camera in this shot, because, yes, I was using the camera and all. It has everything I'll need for a week of travel before I get to teaching/work.
I have tomorrow to take care of last minute stuff, a bit on campus, turning in the cable box, paying some bills (where DID I put the checkbook?). I have to get a couple of small gifts (I'm told that dream catchers are good, and also hats with the local school logo and such. And the state symbol.) But the big part of packing is done. Things are mostly ready to go.
I'm excited and just a tad terrified. I'm sure I'll be fine once I get started, and there's no specific fear, just a generalized excitement with a tinge of uh oh to spice things up. (I'm always like that for new things. You should have seen me getting ready to jump out of a plane!)