Knickknacks, doodads, mementos, comforts…baggage. Call it what you will, we all have it. Some, like me, have more of it than most. I’m notorious for toting around extra baggage. (Yes, Doc, and all that may imply.) If you doubt it, consider this, I’ve just returned home (after, in my defense, what anyone would call a lengthy trip) with 2 checked duffels, 2 checked boxes, 2 carry-ons and my huge purse. (Of course I had to pay for extra baggage.) And the first thing I did when I arrived home was wander around looking at all my stuff. A few weeks ago, I had occasion to experience a few days of life without stuff. We finally took possession of our new home in Westhampton Beach. A home that although we had to chip off a large part of our rock for, we have not seen for more than 1 hour, tops, in the 6 months it took us to buy. A home for which, although we will now doll out monthly payments, we don’t expect to see for at least 6 more months.
Since I was in the neighborhood and homeless for a week, I decided to mosey out to Westhampton Beach and get a feel for the place. Wander around the grounds at leisure. Snoop in the attic and cupboards. Try out the plumbing. In short, to assert squatter’s right. So, I tossed my baggage into the back of a rental car and headed down from New York.
My friend, Katie drove with me.
On the way, we stopped at Target to power shop--stock up on necessaries: aka "stuff". Curtis and I had bought a bed from the previous owner. Katie and I bought stuff - bedding, towels, a lamp, picnic dishes and breakfast food - to go with it.
William Morris is credited with having said “Have nothing in your homes that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Add "comfy" to that list. And with regards to packing, substitute “luggage” for “homes.”
Beauty being in the eye of the beholder, this adage can be stretch to justify about anything.
A few days into the week, after Katie had gone, all alone in that big empty house with the wind blowing outside and rain coming down sideways, I was struck with a bone-deep need for something sweet. I rummaged around inside my baggage and finally unearthed a Cup of Gold from the Dollar Store. Who knows how old, torn, crumpled wrapper, lint, and all, it looked more like a cow pie than a treat. But dang if that nutty chocolate mallow-centered cup wasn’t beautiful and useful.
That’s the thing of it: you can never be sure that something won’t come in handy someday…