Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Old Bag

Goldie, quite happy being in the bag

Florence's satchel finally came down from high cupboards.  When you need a ladder to get to stuff, it's easy to forget a person's life is packed away up there.

This bag is archaic compared to how travel is done these days.  No wheels.  No shoulder strap.  No knapsack.  Just a satchel.  Used briefly in later years to cross the East River or the Hudson for nights spent not in her bed.

When she was young, she hitchhiked up and down the eastern seaboard, well definitely to Washington D.C. or so she told me.  Just said to Sophie one day she was heading out and would be back soon.

Where those days less dangerous, or did young girls just say less?

And, in early marriage, she and my father biked long and hard all over the place, definitely to Philadelphia.

But her first plane ride was when she was way past 60.

And she never left the country.  Not even to Canada.  Just San Francisco and North Carolina.  And during a turbulent reunion with her first love, to New Rochelle.  This was one of the bags she carried.

The need to stay home greater than any curiosity about other places, the old satchel eventually got put to use doing other things.

Like secreting away papers and pictures and letters and magazines and scraps of paper and hidden thoughts that were a full portrait of her life, her goals, her daily duties as an artist.  Even if no one else knew about it.

I look at a lot of catalogs these days, an old habit left over from my childhood love for Sears & Roebuck's .   So many of these glossies aren't selling me functional Keds.  Instead, they are selling the look of a life well lived.
And so much of it looks like how Florence lived.

She may not have traveled to a lot a places, but she went far.

And she had a great bag.

Related Posts:

Home Sweet Home Is In The Bag

A Woman's Bed Where She Lies And Tells Poems

Another Sunday Memory, Another Mother's Day

Sunday Memories: On The Road

Sunday Memories Of Love's Labours Lost: Walking the Walk, Walking The Talk

A Labor Of Love

Sunday Memories: The Arrival of Summer From Sears & Roebuck's