links to the past

There is a rummage sale going on at Braden's school/church. And when I say rummage I mean RUMMAGE. Yesterday (the first day of the sale) I walked around checking out all the merchandise. There was SO MUCH. You name it, it was there and then some.

I happened upon the luggage section of the sale. Among the soft sided modern cases there were a handful of 'vintage' pieces. Old orange leather squares with brass clasps. Powder blue makeup cases with dingy mirrors on the inside. They were totally dirty but completely intact. Either they were really well made or the baggage handlers 50 years ago were a bit more gentle.

Each piece also had a name and address on it. A small rectangular sticker with an airplane and an acronym that I didn't recognize held the information of the previous owner. Scrawled out in very fine tip fountain pen scratch I had a hard time reading the writing. I thought about that person. Who were they, when and where did they buy the luggage, for what purpose was their trip. Was it a happy occasion, or sad. Did the trip go smoothly or was it canceled. How long they owned the luggage. Why was it here at the sale, were they still 'here' with us, or had some family member dropped it off.

Travel had so much magic and wonder surrounding it back in the day. It was such a big deal to get dressed up and visit family far away or finally see the ocean or mountains. The other thing I noticed was how TINY the luggage was. Either these pieces were for short trips or people just didn't have as many outfits to travel with. Most of the cases were about the size of my carry on.

I felt like the luggage needed to be honored somehow, that it was a shame it was just sitting in a pile on the floor of the churches fellowship hall. That the stories they could tell would make us all wiser.....

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