Miraculous Miracle Bag

BY CARLA RIEDEL

If you’re like me, you read every travel tip you run across on the world wide web.

I’m a sucker for any side bar article titled ‘Travel Tips Only Travelers Know’ or ‘Pack Like A Paratrooper’. Surely, I’m only one click away from discovering the secret to cramming in one more pair of jeans. You know, the extra pair I might need just in case.

We all know two pair of jeans is plenty for any long weekend jaunt anywhere in the civilized world. Unless the weather’s super hot or super cold you need very little: flats and a kitten heel mule, white blouse and white tees, navy all-season wool blazer, jewelry, a couple of shawl/scarfy things and you’re set.

even found the perfect rolling travel bag that fits under every airline’s seat and serves as a nifty footrest. Heavily researched by ordering ten bags at once and spreading them across the living room floor, I packed and rolled and twirled each one and came up with the miraculous miracle bag that is perfect for me.  It holds all the stuff I need including sundries and my iPad and, in a pinch, a kitchen sink. It has a hidden collapsible handle and tiny-but-sturdy wheels.

On one trip, the plane was super full and there was a last-minute announcement that we were allowed only one small personal item in the cabin. No carry-ons. Everything had to be checked into the hold – which meant that once we landed I’d be standing on the jetway with the car seat/stroller/that’s-way-bigger-than-14 x 22-you-doofus crowd. No way. Been there, done that. I tossed my miraculous miracle bag over my arm, threw my shoulders back, and shot a raised-brow “Really?” scowl at anybody who dared meet my gaze.  As in “Really? You think you’re not gonna let me carry this ‘purse’ onboard?”  Or “Really? You don’t believe I lug this 25 lb. ‘purse’ around with me all day every day?” Maybe it was my confident posture or my steely gaze or my mom face – no matter – I totally got away with it.

The great thing about this bag (besides the fact that stylish female fellow-travelers always stop me and ask me where I got it) is that it makes me feel like I can go anywhere and do anything at any time.  It represents spontaneity, independence, and an ability to conquer the world.  Even if I don’t actually have the freedom to do as I please it’s thrilling to know that, if freedom ever presents itself, I can absolutely rise to the occasion. In a way, even if the bag is empty, it has everything I need.

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