When I started planning for my first big trip as a kid I wanted one of those. My Mother and I went shopping for my first luggage (of my own!) I was looking for one of those big trunks. Even though I had no idea how I would cart that trunk around on my own, I was already having the adventure of planning everything I would pack into it!
I didn’t find a big trunk. But I wasn’t disappointed. I got a new suitcase, vintage 1970’s, blue, with tiny wheels. Mine was pretty plain and practical, none of those handles that extend out, no extra pockets on the outside to stash secret treasures or books to read. It’s long gone now. On some kind of trip of it’s own I guess.
Later, I wanted a suitcase like my Grandmother’s. It was plain brown with a broken handle. It’s only real charm were stickers from all kinds of places. I don’t know if she had been to all of them herself or if some came from other family and she kept adding to them that way. I do know that she came from Ireland as a young woman and went out to BC as a married women with her husband and children. After that she moved back to Ontario again, when I was already born or at least heading that way.
We went on family trips, sometimes my Grandmother took trips with us. I never noticed her getting stickers for that suitcase then, but I was just a kid. There was a lot I didn’t notice and a lot I did notice. We were in dozens of US states up and down starting from Ontario and ending up back there eventually. We took drives out to BC in a big, huge camper which we delivered to Red Deer, Alberta and then took the train the rest of the way. She may have added more stickers to that suitcase all along the way.
She’s been gone awhile now. I don’t know where the suitcase is. I never would have dared to go looking through her things, it just wasn’t something I would have felt right to do and I know she liked to have her things left alone. I don’t have any truly firm beliefs about what happens after we die. But, if we get to choose I think my Grandma would be keeping up with what we are doing and yet, I hope, she takes a few road trips too. Pack up her suitcase with the essentials and enjoy her sense of adventure forever.
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