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Anna and the Red Suitcase

July 19, 2011

Those of you who know Anna know that she has always had somewhat of a flair.  In some respects, it a little hard to describe.  It is not just an odd eccentricity or anything like that.  It’s cheery and optimistic, a little daring, sort of subdued sometimes, but always fun.  Add whip-cream and a cherry and you got Anna.  I suppose its part of the artist side of her, but she always adds a splash of color to any room she’s in.

So she manages to find an old red suitcase.  A really, really big old red suit case.  This thing is from the 70’s, I suppose.  But it’s simply Anna.  The thing is much bigger than she is, and she can fill it with more stuff than you can shake a stick at.  I spent a week in Germany one time with little more than what I could carry in my pockets.  But not Anna.  If she is going to spend the night at a friend’s house, she takes far in excess of her own body weight in clothes and hair appliances and makeup and shoes and books and pillows and blankets and snacks and gum and who-knows-what-else.

This suitcase came with a set of wheels, not wheels that were attached from the factory.  No.  There was this little kit – still in its original packaging – inside the suitcase when she brought it home.  It looks like it might have been one of those Saturday afternoon TV offers.  But the previous owner must have thought, “That’ll never work.”  And so they were just thown into the suitcase.

Anna surely must have known how heavy this suitcase would be, but having seen the wheels, she was confident that it would all work out.  So the night before she went off to aviation camp over at the university, we glued the wheels onto the bottom of the suitcase.  That’s right – glued them.  I always hate to be the curmudgeon about things like this.  But the engineer in me agreed with the previous owner who had the good sense to just pitch the whole package of wheels into the suitcase and never bother to attach them.  Nevertheless, we followed the directions and glued them onto the bottom of the suitcase.

I think that they lasted about 200 feet in total across bumpy sidewalks and down carpeted hallways.  Since Anna did not want to attach the pull strap, she had to push the thing everywhere she went, and it always pulled to one side.  By the time Terrie and Anna got that suitcase home, one of the wheels had popped off.  I tried to re-glue it, but that did not hold either.

So now just this last weekend, Anna left for two weeks at camp up in the mountains of North Carolina.  And now without the benefit of functional wheels, she had to scrounge a little suitcase dolly.  Terrie took her up to camp and shot several pictures and a short video of Anna trying to get the suitcase out of the back of the van.  It was all very entertaining.  I am certain that Big Red had her by at least 20 pounds, but she managed to wrestle the thing out of the van and hustled it up to her cabin.

There is no telling what all she has in that thing, but you can rest assured that she will wish she had room for more.

Hurry home, sweetheart. We miss you… and Big Red.

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