As my wife and I reached our All-Star break destination we sat down with our two suitcases. These two suitcases contained almost the entirety of our "in season" wardrobe. You see we've gotten progressively better at packing/traveling/living abroad as my career has gone on. We've narrowed it down this season to whatever we can fit in the back seat, trunk, and any potential nook and cranny of my compact car. It hasn't always been that way...let's take a journey back in time.
Year one: Kingsport, TN
Professional college kid. Age 20. Single. Youthful exuberance and youthful hygiene. I brought one bag of regular clothes (clothes that I could wear to and from the field) and one bag of baseball clothes/equipment. I never once unpacked my suitcase, deciding instead to house my insanely diverse selection of white v-neck tees and khaki shorts within a 5 foot perimeter of said (Samsonite) suitcase. Having 3 other recently freed Collegiate roommates, our apartment could best be described as unorganized chaos.
Amount of times laundry was done that season: don't ask, don't tell.
Year two: Brooklyn, NY
I'm a city boy. Proudly and unapologetically. New York was the ultimate metropolitan paradise for me. However, for my clothing, it was unapologetically difficult. New York, as some of you probably know, can be quite sweltering in the middle of the summer. But unlike Atlanta, it get's downright chilly at night in September. My lone suitcase multiplied (thanks to Chinatown's Adidas sector) into a duffle bag hanging off the suitcase running (late) through the JFK terminal. My wardrobe expanded, unfortunately that was just about the time the airlines redacted the right of free checked bags.
Amount of knock off Ray Bans I collected that season: 3
How many I still have: ugh...0
Year 3: Savannah, GA
This is where it gets complicated. Ashley and I had been married for roughly 6 months and collected roughly 300 sq. ft. (our storage space) of wedding gifts and KitchenAid gadgets. Being new to a full baseball season and so close to home, Ashley and I decided to take both of our cars (and mom's SUV) down there. We packed the vehicles to the brim with an Industrial sewing machine, waffle maker, dishes, mugs (which I lost), etc. The cracks in the master plan began when Ashley left before the season ended, leaving me to pack up the aforementioned compact car. I crammed everything I could into it, including the oddly shaped mop that I stuffed through the back window. Unfortunately, on the first turn I lost the mop to Interstate 16, never to be heard from again. Something had to give. My vote was for the food processor...no, the other food processor...the smaller one.
Amount of shirts that I sweat through moving out of the top floor apt: 3...and 2 pair of athletic shorts
Year 4: Port St. Lucie, Fl: Atlanta, GA: Binghamton, NY
Yikes. Where to start?
We did a better job of packing this time around. We narrowed it down to just the back seats (trunks, nooks, crannies, etc.) of our two small cars. Our wardrobe was easily pared down to summer clothes. The FL heat made that an easy decision. We were settled and it felt good. And just like that, baseball yanked the rug out from underneath us. With Ashley back home in Atlanta for some work stuff and me in FL playing ball, the Mets promoted me 1200 miles away to Binghamton, NY. I had about 8 hours to pack up my two bags and catch a flight, leaving little to no time to pack up the rest of our life down there. When Ashley was finally able to join me in NY, she first had to drive back to Port St. Lucie, pack up everything we had from an apartment that we no longer lived in, then haul it up the Eastern seaboard. Not exactly how we planned it before the season started. On top of all that, we added another teammate passenger on the way back home. It was cozy. It was crowded.
Amount of times the mantra "We need a bigger car" was repeated: Everyday
Year 5: Binghamton, NY: Buffalo, NY: Present
We did it. We're down to 2 bags. Granted, we just upgraded Ashley's clothes receptacle from a couple Target bags to a ballin' Samsonite with 4 WHEELS. Movin' on up! We've also absorbed a couple necessities along the way this season. Pillow top mattress cover, Polartec blanket, and a mountain of mail that we've collected from various residences. The good news is, however, that we finally have room to grow. Maybe not enough room to have a baby or a dog right now, but definitely enough margin for the other important things. I believe that's what they call progress. Good to know we're learning something new every year in this whole journey!
Amount of years it takes to get it right: We'll let you know when we get there