V is for Valise

New Thoughts on Words


Aging & Attitude

Valise, I like its sound. Valise is of French origin from the Italian word valigia and reminds me of my grandfather. Pop-Pop called a small piece of luggage a valise. Something larger was a trunk, as in steamer trunk, the type slapped with vacation stickers and seen on cruise ships, headed towards the old country.

The definition of valise is a small overnight bag, a size manageable with one hand by ladies. Today’s equivalent would be a tote or backpack

My grandfather said, “Where’s your valise?” Never asked what was inside or if I had everything. We were treated as adults but I recall instructions on how to fold pressed dresses with tissue paper to prevent creases during travel. It works.

What was in the valise?

A toothbrush, no toothpaste, that was provided by the host. Other toiletries were not necessary, we bathed once a week at home and shampooed our hair at the kitchen sink with bar soap if need be. I did not need six different skin care products to prevent face wrinkles, nor numerous medications.

What was in the valise?

Perhaps one extra pair of underwear but pantyhose washed, rolled in a hand towel, and left in the bathroom to dry overnight. Certainly, I packed a nightgown and house coat not to be indecent.

What was in the valise?

Probably an extra sweater, put under your coat when real cold. We wore a scarf around the neck. The scarf protected the coat collar from grime and make-up, and doubled as a head cover. If the weather turned hot, the sweater replaced your coat.

Life was simple.

Make-up consisted of  blue eye shadow, pink lipstick, and white nail polish and stored in a handbag, along with a rain hat, two aspirin and a wallet.

What was in my wallet?

An orange library card, five dollars, and yes, my social security card.

I may have carried a bubble umbrella.

What was in your valise?

….just saying

S is for Squandering & Spider Solitaire

New Thoughts on Words


Aging & Attitude

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred is the number of minutes in a year. The point is driven home by the song, Seasons of Love, (known as 525,600 Minutes because of the lyrics), in the musical Rent.

Nobody has more time, and nobody has less. We cannot buy time or give our extra to a friend.

What we do with our time is personal, a matter of choice. Many believe successful people use their time wisely while others question their definition of success and the genius of workaholics who ultimately are lonely.

Regardless, I have squandered my time. Yes, squandered, frittered away days, weeks and the past month. I have nothing to show for it.

Well, I take that back. I have played 2153 games of Spider Solitaire, and won 793. My winning percentage is 39% and longest winning streak is 37, losing 47.

When I rant that I am throwing away my life playing a stupid game instead of writing, Mr. Wonderful responds, “You’re retired, it’s relaxing you must get some enjoyment from it if you keep playing.” Reminded of a quote, “There is never enough time to do all the nothing you want,” I threw a wet sponge at him.

I planned to write the next posts for The Alphabet Series before going on vacation but when I achieved 37 consecutive wins, believed I could do 40 and kept playing.  That is when things fell apart. Playing Spider Solitaire became a segue activity.  I soothed defeat with other mindless online pastimes and spent hours checking email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the price of airfare to Italy instead of writing.

Blink and it was vacation time and my only accomplishment was losing.

Mr. Wonderful’s advice “Don’t  worry, we’ll  be away  twenty-one days, you’ll break this addiction, if you insist on calling it that.”

I did well, no computer; no email, Facebook, Twitter or Spider Solitaire. We had a fabulous family vacation.

The first thing in the door returning, Spider Solitaire.

….just saying