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3:09 AM

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The Caller’s Wife

Travel-by-Air Tips B Y



When packing for a flight we’d lock up the luggage, put some detail on it to immediately recognize it at the carousel and go on about our vacation. Now, getting anywhere on vacation is causing us to need more vacation time to recover from the stress of going on vacation. GGRRRrrr


hy do we need to walk barefoot through a public metal detector when we wouldn’t go barefoot in a public pool or shower area? It’s required by TSA rules to get through airport security. It’s unsanitary to say the least. Goto: and check out the web site before every foreign or domestic flight. And look at the list of do’s and don’ts. Locking our luggage was to avoid the risk of having things stolen or have it fall open. A year ago, you couldn’t put a lock on it. Now you can use TSA approved locks, obtainable through certain places where they can charge you what they can get away with. I think the gas prices are linked to the same word: Gouging. One key opens ALL the TSA locks. Security? Safety in numbers? When my checked luggage goes into a TSA Inspection Office, I don’t want the thought of a strange person going through my delicates or anything else in my luggage. Now, I put all my undies in a clear zipper bag. Everything goes in clear bags. It also makes it easier to see if you’ve packed everything. Take the inexpensive look-a-likes in your carry-on. In case they are stolen it’s less traumatic for you and the insurance company. Traveling where there are souvenirs to be purchased, I wear clothes and shoes I’ve decided to drop off at Good Will or consignment shop. Good enough to wear. Not worn-out. Tired of wearing them. By wearing these soon to be cast-offs, I won’t feel so stressed when I leave them behind. Yes, leave them behind. You can either throw them in the trash or ask the hotel if there is somewhere they can donate them. More space. More souvenirs. Lighter luggage. ALWAYS, ALWAYS keep your medication and any other kinds of medical equipment in your personal possession AT ALL TIMES. Medical equipment does not

count toward the carry on luggage limit, keep it with you. Have an extra set of clothes in your carry-on for when you go to Puerto Vallarta and your luggage goes to Canada in January. When traveling with a companion, put a day’s worth of clothes in the other’s luggage. In case one suitcase is lost you have one day’s spare in the other suitcase. Then hope they both don’t get lost. If you need to get new clothes from Wally World or Jacques Penney, keep your receipts with your airline tickets and ask for a re-imbursement when you document lost luggage. You won’t get all of it but there is an allowance. Place your business cards or address labels all through your suitcase for identification if the outside tag disappears. Take photos with a camera that can display time and date stamp on the photos. Take pictures of our luggage in case some damage is done. If anything is missing from your luggage when you open it, and no TSA note is in it, you have proof of what was missing. If you are on special medication, maintenance medication or have a special diet, keep a record of those items and doses with you at all times. It is best to keep medication in their original containers too. If something happens, emergency medical services have more knowledge to help you. ICE? It stands for In Case of Emergency! Program ‘ICE’ into your cell phone with a number that connects them to family, friend, or doctor. Additionally, program a number that EMS can use to notify someone of your location, condition and ask questions about your health. ‘Mom & Dad’ or ‘Home’ listings are great! Play safe, travel safe, and arrive safe. If you have any ideas or experiences you’d like to share with me, send them to:



3:08 AM

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A Big “Thank You” B Y



Dances are great fun! Weekend festivals are terrific too, but each dance or session I attend or call is unique and the fun is the sum of so many different things. The moment I drive into the driveway and see the hall, a picture becomes painted in my mind.


f I’ve attended a previous dance or weekend in that same location, it’s amazing how easy the mind shifts back to the many details about the previous event. Sometimes just the smell of the air outside my car and the migration of dancers toward the hall can get my blood moving and I start becoming excited about the evening to come. Last night when I walked into the front door of the hall, the treasurer stood, smiled, and shook my hand. One of the club members, standing near the front table, was there with one of those sweet square dancer hugs along with a great smile. These club members were greeting me like I was a guest in their own home! Because the dance was a Luau, I could immediately tell that the food that was to be served that evening was already in place, because the smell permeated the hall. It was as if I had just walked into a restaurant and meals were being served at any minute. The round dance cuer was already cueing a round. The sound of people talking, shoes shuffling on the floor and the music playing created an energy that was definitely contagious. I set my sound equipment on the stage, and stopped to greet a few dancers that were sitting around the hall. I realized that the temperature was beginning to elevate, or I was personally warming up due to my own energy. Now I know that as a guest caller, I’m not required to be concerned about things like the temperature of the hall, but I also know that sometimes things like that can be inadvertently overlooked. I personally think the caller or cuer can and should be responsible for helping out when necessary, without offending anyone or even making a big deal out of it. I verbally checked with a few dancers and spectators to make sure that I wasn’t the only one having a “power surge”, and began to open a couple doors. I also found a few wall switches that activated six ceiling

fans that were not on and the hall cooled right down. Later that evening, I was glad I took a couple extra minutes to help increase the circulation of air in the hall. The evening was very comfortable. After setting up my equipment, and greeting a few more dancers, I was fortunate enough to have the time to dance a few rounds. I immediately could tell that the floor was a little slippery in two areas and made a mental note to make a humorous announcement about it before the first tip. Sometimes just a quick comment can save someone from slipping during the dance and occasionally you can fix the situation prior to everyone squaring up. When I first started round dancing that evening, I made a point of checking out all the decorations that the club had placed, and realized how much that one thing seem to add to the evening. I could feel that the energy of the arriving dancers was up a notch or two, because of the extra effort the club had made to make that evening special. I made a point of thanking those club members during the dance that night, that had worked so hard decorating the hall, preparing the food, and handing the other behind the scenes duties. I wanted to point out to the attendees that evening that the special touches the club had added were really appreciated. The dance was a great evening of fun, and the point I’d like to make here is this. The effort that goes into running a regular or special dance is deserves a “Big Thank You.” The work involved in putting on a multiple day event is valued even more. I salute all those individuals in our activity, who bring in our new dancers, make so much fun for our existing participants, and work so hard to keep our clubs, dances, and festivals vibrant and alive. It makes this dance of ours so much more enjoyable, and the activity as a whole, so much more special.

Notes on Square Dancing - by Bev Sutter, Mike Seastrom  

Bev Sutter and Mike Seastrom each had an ongoing column in Square Dancing Today magazine.

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