A Little Tip for You


Mother’s suitcase looks a lot like this except it’s shinier and has lots of shiny brass

At four this morning, I dropped Mother off at the airport to accompany Phyllis on a trip to visit my niece, Amee in North Carolina.  That was the tail-end of my story and the very beginning of Phyllis’s, Mother’s, and Amee’s. I was not jealous at all as Phyllis wrestled Mother’s bag out of the car. I look forward to some stories when they return.

A little backstory, when you travel with an eighty-eight year-old-lady, you can look forward to some special circumstances.  First of all, Mother is diminutive.  Though she enjoys excellent health and walks without difficulty, her short, little legs make connections a challenge.  We always order her a wheelchair for connections.  She’s also tight, so her travel buddy have better have a little cash for the attendant or risk embarrassment as Mother fumbles pretending to look for her dollar.  She always looks so gratified when someone else covers the tip.  She’s been fumbling with that same dollar for years.

She spent the night with me, so she cleaned out my refrigerator to pack a lunch for the two of them.  That  lunch bag probably weighed ten pounds and was a lot more precious to her than her carry on.  She had four boiled eggs and four biscuits for their breakfast, English Pea Salad, chicken salad, leftover brisket in gravy, a sleeve of saltines, and two apples for lunch.  They could have served a buffet to everyone in coach from the look of that bulging bag.

Mother refuses to pay to check her bag, reasoning she’s riding through the airport in a wheelchair with her bag any way.  Normally, I’d agree, but on our last trip, she’d opted for a “cute, little, old-fashioned metal suitcase, just like they used in the forties.”  Well, there’s a really good reason nobody uses those anymore.  Hers boasts roughly the weight and convenience of a safe.  Not only that, even though it’s small, it takes up a lot of space in the overhead bin and infuriates stewards when they have to help out.  If that’s not bad enough, it has a couple of rough edges that have been known to scratch.  On the first leg of our last trip, the handle broke loose, making it even more difficult to manage without maiming unsuspecting passengers for the rest of the trip.  Unfortunately, a well-meaning friend repaired it for her.  When we got home, I suggested she save that suitcase for automobile trips since airline trips were sure to ruin it.

We got up at three-thirty to be sure we got Mother’s coffee and got her to the airport on time.  Of course, Mother was concerned that Phyllis might oversleep.  Happily, Phyllis was waiting for us outside when we drove up.  As I hugged Mother goodbye, Phyllis struggled to get Mother’s “cute, little, old-fashioned suitcase from the back seat.  I look forward to hearing more about that.



29 thoughts on “A Little Tip for You

  1. Clearing out cupboards at my mother’s house, we found several of those suitcases. I remember one tiny one, not much bigger than my laptop case, was my suitcase for our holidays back in the forties – a sure sign I didn’t have a large wardrobe!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is what I call “adventure travel”. A most enjoyable read. I have one of those “cute, little, old fashioned, metal suitcases” that my mom used to have. (she doesn’t need it anymore for her travels around heaven). I use it as a treasured memento and a storage container for odds and ends.

    Hope your mom keeps travelling, and for yourself to keep travelling along. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Sheri Lawrence de Grom Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s