Senior Advice: Emergency bag can combat travel boredom
May 25,2007 00:00 by Doug_Mayberry

Q: Recently my husband and I were caught in one of those aircraft tarmac delays because of bad weather. This was the first time we have ever had to contend with something out of our control. We were able to fly onto toward our western destination after a few hours. We were simply not prepared for such a situation.

What can we do for our next trip?

A: Whether your trip includes the use of an airline, auto, cruise ship, train or any other form of transportation, consider buying a small emergency carry-on bag in which you can put a few items you can count on. In today's fast-paced world, who knows when and if we will be exposed to a natural disaster, big rig accident, fire or some other catastrophe. I recommend you purchase a small Velcro-closing canvas kit in which allowed articles can be packed with your basic needs such as medicines, paper cups, water bottle, some food, a notepad and pen, a blow-up pillow, Band-Aids, toothbrush, eyeglasses, a plastic flashlight and a cell phone with a charged extra battery.

Having this kit in your possession will diffuse some of your stress concerns. Recently I was on a train, which was delayed by two hours on a sidetrack because of an emergency track repair. I had my pocket book and water bottle.

The secret is to make sure this kit is in your possession at all times so it should be small enough to be used as a carry-on in your suitcase. Keep it packed and ready to go as you walk out the door.

Assuming a positive and relaxed attitude will also make your trip more pleasant.

Q: I am getting both panicked and paranoid about the possibility of my husband leaving me. Last year, after 32 years of marriage, I reluctantly agreed to move from our original home to a "sun city" retirement community. I really didn't want to leave our community, but my husband felt strongly about it so we went. He really has become enthusiastic about living here much more than I do. He wants to participate in numerous activities, and I have watched him tease some of the widows during some clubhouse activities. I am jealous because he no longer teases me but takes me for granted. I fear he may leave me someday.

Do other married women have these kinds of feelings?

A: Absolutely. The fear of divorce or abandonment occurs to both men and women on a regular basis. In your case, what your husband is doing frightens you. It's extremely important to communicate your concerns to him. He may not be aware of how his flirting is impacting your relationship.

He is obviously aware you really didn't want to make the move but he insisted on doing so. His new enthusiasm may be partially based on his effort to encourage you to become more involved and happier. Few of us like change, but once it is done we all need to let our past go and positively accept our new reality. Put your arms around him, give him a big kiss and express your concerns. A wonderful compromise would be to ask him if you could both go back to your old hometown for a vacation. Often individuals find what they believed to be perfect there was not. Experiencing this helps point out the new advantages. Also, suggest to him you would like to invite some of your treasured friends to visit. If he agrees, you may soon find your extra bedroom frequently occupied!

Doug Mayberry lives in a retirement community in Southern California. Send your questions to him at or write to him at P.O. Box 2649, Carlsbad, CA 92018.  © Copley News Service