Thursday, November 14, 2013
Suitcase Packed—With Memories
Do you ever wonder what thoughts go into the decision regarding what to stow in a carry-on bag?
Some people—like my daughter, recently—choose to put everything in their carry-on bag (or "Rollie," as my daughter prefers to call it). Why check any bags at all, when you can crush, mangle and obliterate all your clothes in one single portable device?
Some people—like business travelers—prefer the speed and assurance of keeping their secrets (and their underwear) close at hand.
And then there are people like me. The ones not willing to risk loss of a very different type of irreplaceable.
A couple years ago, it was me, stashing a year's worth of blog posts in the form of letters, photos and memorabilia from Irish Chicago ancestors in my carry-on bag. There was no way I was ever going to risk losing those.
"Have you ever lost a suitcase?" my husband demanded.
Well, no. But I came close. On one trip to Columbus, I arrived without my Sealyham Terrier. He got shipped to Albuquerque.
I always wanted to travel to Albuquerque.
But not then. I had to wait for him until after midnight that night. He arrived at my mother's house via taxi. I had to tip the cab driver for a passenger I bet he hadn't expected to have that night. And why not? You didn't think my dog was going to pay up for that tip, did you?
When it came to the treasure trove of memorabilia I received during that wonderful trip to Chicago a couple years back, you can be sure every last wisp of that ephemera arrived at my home, courtesy of my carry-on bag. No way stuff as irreplaceable as that was going to be checked.
And yesterday, I played re-runs. While not as hefty a haul as was the stash from Chicago, my booty from Columbus also claimed a special berth in that same carry-on bag.
How could it be otherwise? I can hardly wait to get this pile of papers home and organized, scanned and catalogued.
That's the kind of project that keeps one looking forward instead of dragging backward into the mire of things that cannot be changed.
Sometimes, I'm grateful for the therapy of memories.