Farewell, old friend

My trusty carry-on bag is not so trusty anymore.

Somewhere between Greenville, SC and Orlando, FL in November, my bag’s right wheel sustained significant damage–and I didn’t realize the extent until today, somewhere in the Charlotte airport around the C terminal. The wheel I thought was just a bit wonky was actually broken.

I discovered this calamity after getting stuck on the exit bar of the people mover and required assistance from the kind gentleman who was actually conversing with me about the loud rumble it was making as it traveled the metal platform.

Upon closer inspection, I found a shattered and exposed metal frame, which was likely what got caught on the people mover, and a crushed bottom edge that was actually keeping the wheel from rolling properly.

Using all of my best survival skills gleaned from more than a decade of Girl Scouts and even a few years as an Explorer Boy Scout, I pressed down the exposed metal spikes, smoothed out the frayed fabric and pushed out the wheel cavity. It seemed to work, as long I didn’t perch my lady-briefcase on it or drag it across carpet. (There is a lot of carpet in the Charlotte airport.)

I am resolved to make it home without purchasing a new bag–at twice the cost –at one of the airport shops. Wish me luck.

In the meantime, I am sitting here at the gate for my final destination and making a mental list of where this bag has traveled since receiving it as a high school graduation present (gasp) 18 years ago.

– Charleston, SC to Munich, Germany to Nice, France and back
– Jacksonville, FL to Boston to Augusta, Maine and back
– Greenville, SC to Washington, DC to Indianapolis, Indiana and back
– Savannah to Seattle, Wash. and back
– Jacksonville to Dallas, Texas to Denver, Colorado and back (twice, a few years apart)
– Savannah to Dallas to Chicago and back

I am sure there’s more, and there’s been countless car trips, a few train rides and six moves.

It’s a little frayed in some spots, with a few pulled strings in its honey-wheat tapestry.

This unique pattern with pinks, turquoise and golds made my luggage stand out on the conveyer belt, declaring to all it was mine, and although I always thought it was a bit grandma-y, the classic tapestry never showed dirt or wear, at least not from a distance.

And, I guess since it was something I had picked out in my late teens and I still liked it, it was a true extension of my personality and style. Classic and grandma-y. I’ll take it, especially since that grandma reference gave me comfort. My Gram gave me my first piece and was there when I picked out the pattern and set my senior year.

Without a doubt I am a little sad and reluctant to say farewell. It is so roomy despite its compact size. It will be a long search to replace; plus, once I replace I will need to replace my entire seven piece set, all received case by case from loved ones as presents on my graduation day.

I am willing to say goodbye; I just hope it makes it to my final destination first.

Actually, I just hope it rolls down the gangplank!

I will take a proper picture of it and post it once I get to the hotel. In the meantime, here’s a pic of my morning commute: GSP to CLT.

2015/01/img_4274-0.jpg

Here’s a pic of the damage:
1. Wheel cavity is cracked in half.
2. Wheel/bag frame (light tan plastic) is cracked in half.
3. Exterior frame (metal) is exposed, broken and deteriorating. I think this is what is catching on the carpet.

2015/01/img_4279.jpg

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