Of course you first must pack and most of the time there’s lots of excitement and anticipation with that aspect of travel. We layer things according to whatever planned activities are in the offing or the level of delicacy of the items being packed. Undies in a separate bag, heavy jeans on the bottom, all things taken into account as the – on sale at Macy’s – luggage is loaded. The whole adventure lies before you.
But time goes by on a freight train when you're having fun and in no time at all, it seems, the bags are back on the bed or gaping open on the floor and it’s time to unpack.
Is it possible to return home with some essential essence of where you’ve been tucked up inside your softsided satchel? I think so. My sister, Shari, has been with us for the past week and that's why I haven't been here much. We so enjoyed her visit. I sent her home with a book for her Down Syndrome granddaughter, Penny. We found it in the Chatham bookstore where we visited and met the new owner, Nicole, (who was amenable to the idea of me doing a signing there). The book's title? Penny and Her Song by Kevin Henkes. Was that a sign or what? I’m sure the memory of that visit will come flooding back when Shari pulls the book from her suitcase side pocket.
Or how about the plastic shopping bag I gave her because it carried our wine glasses and bottle of Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine back from the Hudson/ Chatham Winery. Will she catch a bit of the heady fumes from our wine tasting as she smoothes the bag and remembers our bright Sunday afternoon visit? I hope so.
We made deep fried dill pickles a few evenings ago. We both loved them when we had them at the Pirate’s House in Savannah last October and I couldn’t wait to make them myself. Now, I have to report that whenever you heat oil and get to frying anything in this old house the odor lingers for days. So perhaps some hint of dill or seasoned cracker crumbs crept into the sweater she’s unpacking right now, and her mouth waters at the thought of those pickles. We sat at my kitchen table and crunched them down with a glass of wine as we discussed world affairs.
All of these whimsical musings come to mind as I sit here typing. I’m in the room where Shari stayed with the king sized bed behind me – the one she took such care to make before she left yesterday. The room feels oddly empty to me this morning.
I hope your unpacking fills you with lovely memories, Shari, and mirrors the excitement and anticipation of packing. I’ll certainly miss watching Robin Hood at night with you where our attention was riveted every time Richard Armitage breathed a line. I’ll miss having afternoon coffee – right at 2 – with you, showing you off to friends as we tooled around town, seeing your interaction with our grandchildren, and countless other little things.
I guess I’m unpacking some memories, too. As Mom would say – love you much – and miss you more.
‘Til next time,
Your big sister,