I am spending a summer away from home.  Actually, this summer will be away from home (with my closet bulging) and away from school (and my stored clothes).  I find that I no longer have space to carry all of my fashion choices and options comfortably along with me.  This has actually been the case for a few years but has become an issue more often as I am called/invited to be in different locations with different dress codes.

For example:
What do you need for a six month stay in INDONESIA, where travel will span both the dry season and the rainy season?  Where it is always HOT, except when you travel into high altitudes.  Where I plan to visit the beach, take college courses, visit churches and do research.  Where each of these locations has a dress code of sorts.  Oh and the baggage allowance is 2 bags each weighing 50lbs or less.  What do you pack?

How about for life on campus in BOSTON, where you plan to attend seminary with your peers (mostly future Religious Leaders)? Where the weather will be a typical New England Winter/Spring. Where I plan to visit churches, ministries, museums and do LOTS of homework. Where there is no official dress code, except the unwritten expectations. What do you take?

Now, how about for a summer spent in NORTH CAROLINA, where you will spend time doing research and helping (as needed) to do whatever is necessary to run a 200 plus acre former slave plantation that serves as a conference/retreat/educational facility and again, visiting churches. I know I will need appropriate shoes…But how many is too many?

What follows below is a conversation that occurred as I packed my room at the end of the semester in preparation for the Summer.


Me: how many handbags do I pack for a summer in Franklinton Center at Bricks, NC?
George: 3.

Me: Do tote sized count as handbags? I mean…I’m just saying!
George: have you tried living minimally? With only 21 items.

Me (thinking in my head): This IS me living minimally. Half my clothes are still in CT.

I think I have been challenged by George Oliver​​. He suggested something about writing a theological reflection on my experience of living with less…

Now here are my questions:
1. Do accessories count in that number?
2. Do suits count as 1 item?
3. Should I take up the challenge?

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