The Prodigal Suitcase Comes Home

If my suitcase could talk, what would it tell me?

Would it tell me what happened that night 6 months ago when I let go of its hand(le)?

Would it tell me where it has been all this time?

Would it tell me whose fault it was that it got left behind?

Would it tell me when I messed up? When I took my eyes off this seeming extension of my right arm?

All speculation as to who, what, when, where and why fell to the ground yesterday when my long-lost suitcase made its way home.

What happened?

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On Flying and Writing

Type A’s, like me, resist surrendering control to anyone. Yet every time I board an airplane, I do exactly that. I don’t know the pilot and the pilot doesn’t know me.

So what do I do? Finding my seat, I think about something else.

Annie Dillard’s The Writing Life ends with a chapter on flight. From page 93 to 111, Annie describes her acquaintance with a stunt pilot named Dave Rahm.

First, at an air show, she watched Dave Rahm “write an intelligent message in the sky … like a brush marking thin air.”

Later, given the opportunity to fly in a single engine plane Dave Rahm piloted, she vividly describe her the extraordinary experience.

You can do that, you know, only if you walk away after the plane lands.

Dave Rahm flew Annie to see the Cascade Mountains. “The Cascades,” she said, “make the Rockies look like hills.” In Washington state, Mt. Ranier stands at 14,411 feet, the highest peak in the Cascade range.DSC_1632cr

Annie’s experience prompted me to write, first in the margins of her book and then in my journal about a flight in Alaska I had taken. Since I could relate to her words ––the parallel she makes to writing––I share my own experience on flying.

North to Alaska. Aaa-las-kahhh! Read more

My Taste of Italy Adventure

“We came to Rome because we’d always regret it if we didn’t, because every timidity eventually turns into regret.” Anthony Doerr, Four Seasons in Rome


I always say, A book is only as good as it is timely. This one was perfect.


Inside the Vatican, this ceiling is completely flat. Trick of the eye, or Trompe l’oeil as the French call it. This kind of painting appears all over Italy, turning flat surfaces into fake frescoes or scenes that appear 3-D.

All roads lead to Rome

Travel is about experience and personal experience is hard to share. Experiences, I have found, are not transferable.

Still, the traveler seeks to share his or hers anyway.

My adventure started and ended in Rome, only it’s not fair to say I actually saw Rome the first time through simply because I had to go through Rome in order to arrive at my initial destination.

But I wound up back in Rome before flying home. Read more

Returning from Italy made easier

“When I was at home, I was in a better place. But travelers must be content.”                      

Shakespeare, As You Like It


5 indispensables: Travelpro luggage, Magellan rain jacket, Mosey cross-body purse, a good travel umbrella, and Salomon tennis shoes (not pictured here)

Before I left home, I was already thinking about my return trip. For that, I planned to check the 21″ Travelpro carry-on (base luggage).

Previously, I made a big deal about the luggage I took to Italy. Originally I thought only of a smaller carry-on item I could attach to my to my wheeled suitcase, preferably placed over the telescoping handle as opposed to a backpack or say, a Vera Bradley tote. VB sells a tote with the slip over the handle (trolley) feature and as a personal item, this will hold a ton of stuff. But then it’s heavy.

Plus, my cross-body purse, a jacket and miscellaneous items that I placed in a Baggu and the smaller carry on item needed to meet the 2 item limit imposed by AA. (That’s American Airlines for you. Other carriers have different stipulations, but AA gate-checkers are getting crankier and crankier about carry-on limits. And some people carry on enormous bags, but that may have something to do with AA’s charges for checked luggage.) Can’t we all just get along?

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