A Backpack Full of Socks: How an Emergency Left Me Stranded with Poor Packing

I’ve been having a sock problem. I’m low. I can’t seem to find them when needed and I seriously think I only have 3 pairs in rotation at this point. I’ve been saying several times over the last few months that I need to buy more. The money spent will relieve my insanity!

So, when I got the phone call, the only thing that ran through my mind was socks. I need socks. I won’t make it without socks. So I threw handfuls of my husband’s socks into my book bag. I stuffed them in. I didn’t think of any other essentials besides deodorant, toothbrush, brush and some shirts.

And that’s how I ended up stranded in Tennessee with one pair of pants, one pajama pants, 7 shirts, pajama shorts and a million socks. The second day down here, I bought flip-flops.

What was so urgent that my expertise in minimalist-packing went out the window? The life of my family. My family was moving to Tennessee and were on their way to close on their house before a truck ran them off the road. They lost control of the vehicle and caused it to roll over multiple times. My mom, stepdad, and three young sisters were in the car. Three were ejected from the vehicle. Somehow my whole family is still alive.

Among them were their pets. Two are still missing today, 12 days later, and one had to be euthanized from all those big injuries in her little body. So far the death count of this horrible accident is one. Only one. How? I don’t know.

But when I received that phone call, my sister was dying. She was not breathing at the scene. She was twisted like a pretzel. Eyes rolled back into her head. A scene I didn’t see but my mother is traumatized over. Everyone but my mother had to be flown to shock trauma in helicopters.

I got the news 8 hours later. They were 12 hours away from me. My sister was dying. I had to pack. All I could do was scream. I was scaring my babies, but I couldn’t help it. My husband and I broke down. My little sister.

So I threw socks into my book bag and some shirts. And we fucking left.

My husband returned home a few days later to get back to work. But, I am staying for a month to help with recovery. My mom can’t handle all of this on her own so my uncle and I (and soon, my aunt) are down to help.

So, I’m stuck in hot Tennessee with a book bag full of socks and one pair of pants that are not PJ’s. I’m thankful I could steal a pair from my grandmother. But, in times of emergency, your planning will go out the window.

This wasn’t my best attempt at packing for travel, but check out how I’ve done it in the past:

And if you want my tips on socks, check this out:

I wouldn’t have made it without my emergency fund. Please save whatever you can. Here is an excerpt from my book, Simply Minimal, on emergency funds.

Start slowly with an amount such as $20 a month. Something doable. Then automate it. If you have your banking set up for automatic withdraws into a savings account every month or every paycheck, it will take the burden off of you to remember to transfer the funds. It may even stop you from spending it on something else!

So, set a goal and automate! Do whatever you have to do to save for emergencies because they do happen and they happen without notice.

Take Care,