Woody Packard

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Jamie and Judy
When the call finally came asking Judy to confirm our flights for Friday morning at 5:45am, it was already Tuesday afternoon. That left Wednesday and Thursday to wrap up everything and close our bags. We listened to those who helpfully pointed out that we should have been ready to go, since we had so much time to prepare. But having packed and unpacked so many times, and living out of the same suitcase that I was trying to pack meant that I only imagined that I had everything organized and ready to go. Packing clothes for four seasons was only a small part of our problem.

I pulled everything out and went through it one more time, and with clipboard and paper, made notes on what was missing, while into a another bag went what I could do without. Then close, weigh, and repeat until I had compressed what I could. Fort-nine pounds in one bag, sixty-four pounds in the other. (The excess of fourteen pounds was waived because the computer system at the airport did not provide the agent a way to charge me for it.)

One last round of back-ups, gather all the cords and batteries and chargers, then shopping for items found to be missing as I herd gear into small piles, and then stuffed it carefully into carry on bags.

Finally, there were people to see. Although we had phone calls to make and friends to visit and visitors to see, the health of Judy's sister and mother made leaving them particularly difficult, and several times we thought we were saying good-bye for the last time. But on Wednesday we went to Kalispell, and on Thursday we sneaked out to Missoula, giving us a chance to see each of them again before leaving.

Returning home from Missoula at ten thirty, there was time to pack my desktop computer up in boxes for storage, clean the rooms we had been staying in, and close our eyes for a half hour before getting up at 3:30am for the drive with John to the Kalispell airport.

Even then, I had to pinch myself. We were going to Mongolia.

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Judy and Amelia

Jo Ellen

Philip and Helen

Jillian and Ellyn

Duet with Jasmine

Flatman and Judy

Flatman and Ed

Marian and Judy

Roy, Cooking

John, Jamie

Judy, Jamie