Ready / by Anne

Pastry tips at the very well-prepared Rover's kitchen When I was a kid and vaguely interested in being a detective, I wanted to make a Ready for Everything Kit.  Usually I pictured myself stuck in a dark cave, underground.  But with my Kit, I'd definitely be ready.   I started collecting some items for it.  It included a small flashlight, a whistle, and a battery-operated fan the size of a pen. With the plans I had, all of my supplies would have filled at least a suitcase.   Really, I needed a Batman/James Bond setup, but this fourth grader couldn't afford the technology needed for that.   Even though that Kit was never fully assembled, thinking about it made me inexplicably happy. 

I have gotten this same pleasure when packing for a camping trip, our wedding day, and even Rosalie's diaper bag.   I'm happy getting ready for anything complex, especially if I have time to think about it.  Many extra points if there are many, many containers, particularly with compartments. 

This love of a Ready for Everything Kit carries over into my professional life, too.  When I used to take childrens' portraits, I could unload the gear for my "studio" in about four trips, because the equipment was so efficiently organized.  

When I taught at that wonderful private school, every year we took our 50  sixth graders down to San Francisco for a couple of days.  I had a binder with over a dozen color-coded tabs.  It needed its own backpack to be lugged around, but it had every single piece of information ever needed for such an insane but fun trip. 

One of the most impressive Ready for Everything moments I experienced at a job, though, was when I first started working for a catering company that traveled to event sites.  I remember the first time I went out with a team of people to cater a party of about 50 people.  It was on a large boat that would take a tour of the lake while dinner was served.  Talk about needing to be ready for anything.  I was so impressed by our lead caterer's composure as we essentially unpacked an entire kitchen and dining room from the truck and within an hour assembled it for action in an inconspicuous corner of the main cabin.   I don't remember what we served that night, but I remember the  fastidious preparedness and the speed with which we were ready to kick into gear and start serving people food.

I've been remembering and feeling this joy as I strategize the amount of chafing dish space needed, make sure the knives are properly sharpened, and collect small essentials like blue tape & pastry tips.  Now all I need is a battery-operated fan the size of a pen.  You never know when one of those will come in handy.