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Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

Most suitcases have some type of a carrying handle on them, some even have wheels. People pull the suitcase along by its handle at their leisure. As soon as that suitcase handle leaves your hand it is entering the twilight zone. People at the airports, in some cases make suitcases completely disappear from this planet. That suitcase may as well be orbiting Pluto or some other planet. People land at their destination, they are expected to go to the baggage claim area and claim their suitcase. There’ll be hundreds upon hundreds of suitcases traveling slowly on a conveyor belt. All you have to do is get your suitcase and you are ready to go rent a car, catch a taxi and be on your merry way. Up to this point we talked about those fortunate enough to be able to claim their suitcase. Because in many cases that suitcase is still traveling long after your plane has landed. The airline will give you a promise that they will find your suitcase and return it to you.

Types of suitcases and how you use them might be dictated by length of trip, or destination. That is under normal circumstance. I had a Niece who joined the Peace Corps. When she left the USA headed to Nepal, everything she owned was in a backpack. Now that is what I would call traveling light! She spent two years in Nepal I would imagine that her other belongings were shipped in advance. Hopefully they arrived in Nepal before her two year tour was finished. She later made a Peace Corp trip to Africa under similar circumstances. Leaving this country with only a backpack. The young people seem to have a lot more courage than us older folks.

When you’re in the military service, you are issued a suitcase that they call a duffel bag. You are also issued a full set of clothing, when you enter the military service. This will include an overcoat, a class A winter and summer uniform with two hats, two dress shirts, three T shirts, six pairs of underwear and socks, two sets of fatigues and fatigue jacket and a cap. The the first thing you learn to do in the military is to roll or fold each individual item a certain way and place them all in order into that duffel bag. You also learn to take each item out of the duffel bag in order. You will place everything in perfect order, “ready for inspection” into a footlocker while you are happily receiving your boot camp training. After you leave Boot Camp you and your duffel bag travel to your first assignment, you somehow learn to carry that duffel bag when you travel, that is your new military suitcase.

Back in the days of the Great Depression, many men lost their jobs, they had no home, many hit the rails so to speak riding across country on freight cars looking for work, any type of work, just to get something to eat. Many hobos as they were called, were depicted with their belongings wrapped up in a large cloth and being carried on a pole over the shoulder. This no doubt happened to many men, they started out with a cardboard suitcase. Cardboard suitcases would not last long if you were traveling in the rain. I would imagine many of these men rode in pouring rain on railroad cars, cold, shivering, waiting for the next town to appear. There were many hobo camps in towns along the tracks, shelters made from what was available at dump grounds. I will always remember them carrying a long stick over the shoulder with a suitcase on the end, actually a piece of cloth with their meager belongings wrapped in it.

One thought on “Suitcases

  1. Pingback: NaPoWriMo – Day 14 – “Flowing With Affection” by David Ellis | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

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