Beautiful Bag Ladies

May 20, 2019

Just turned 75. All is not perfect, but near enough.

 

Doors close as you get older. With each new season, another door closes. I have no idea why I still want to open all those doors, but I do.

 

A few of us women, no matter how dressed-up or dressed-down we are, carry huge beautiful bags. Isn’t that a strange thing to notice after church on Mother’s Day?

 

Beautiful bags. Beautiful ladies. Beautiful bag ladies.

 

That set me to thinking—that’s a door that hasn’t closed for any of us.

 

As we left the church that day, I asked two ladies if they’d expose what they carry in their beautiful bags, if they’d just email me a list. (Don’t worry, I told them I’d be putting it in a blog. No trickery here.) Later in the week, I asked two more ladies, then there’s me.

 

Five. Five ladies. With big bags. Now this was exciting. I suddenly felt playful, like a teenager. I wanted to have a little fun.

 

When you are 75, you can make your own fun, as long as you aren’t hurting anyone. Why not? My husband and his buddies do it all the time.

 

In fact, he pointed out that I’m now three-quarters of a century old. He is too. Incredible. I don’t feel 75, nor does he.

 

What you read here is based on my list and the lists given to me by the beautiful bag ladies. You understand that, right?

 

Not that it matters a lot, but I think two of us may be big picture people, three into details, significant details. That’s just to say, we are different personalities, but we delight in big bags.

 

Whatever women normally have in a bag, all the bag ladies carry that, too. You know, the necessities—keys, cell phone, sunglasses, credit cards, money, tiny pouch for coins, notebook, pens, check books, ibuprofen/Advil, another med maybe, tissues, cough drops, hair brush or comb, chewing gum, lipstick.

 

But these beautiful bag ladies are as prepared as any scout on a camping trip!

 

Here we go—

 

Tide-to-Go thingy. They know they’ll spill and mess up! They live in reality. A Tide stick cleans it immediately and is colorfast!

 

Note pads, pens, book, post card. Not going to be bored in anyone’s waiting room.

 

Bracelets to give to women who might need the encouraging words written on the bracelets. How I love this bent toward nurturing.

 

Manicure kit, hand cream, hand sanitizer, deodorant. Women, keeping it soft and pretty.

 

Scissors, measuring tape, sewing kit, chalk, rubber bands. Clearly a mother-grandmother peculiarity.

 

Bag of flash drives. Needed by the nerdy few.

 

Business cards and loose ten-dollar bill. Right, never leave home without them!

 

Caregiver items: urinal, depends, wipes, spare change of clothes. “Hey, I need more than one bag. It is what it is.” Oh my…I think I might cry. Her strength, her openness, her willingness.

 

Sun visor, eye drops, contacts, glasses, sunglasses, eyeglass cleaner, flashlight. We women want to see it when it’s happening and not miss a thing!

 

Written lists: things to do, places to go, calls to make. Not wanting to be guilty of forgetting something important.

 

Hmmm. Maybe unwritten dreams are in the bags, too—you know, how we help others reach for moon and stars.

 

Wrist watch with a dead rechargeable battery. See, someone forgot!

 

Water. Every day has its desert times.

 

Glow stick. For finding things in the dark or to be found in the dark?

 

Rosary, prayer cards, affirmation list, prayer list. Touching.

 

Band-Aids, McDonald napkins, plastic utensils. Life happens every day. Adding a little more caring.

 

Old shopping receipts, raffle tickets, church bulletin, dirty tissues. They have their reasons….

 

Two tea bags. Yes!

 

Hearing-aid supplies, phone charger cord, small two-year calendar, another pair of shoes, activity books for children, stickers. It’s just part of living the helper-role, which can feel innate.

 

Knife, gun, extra shells. Just a safety precaution, I’m pretty sure….

 

In my opinion, these beautiful, hard-working, tough but gentle ladies deserve a cup of coffee!

 

Can I get an Amen to that?

 

God bless,

 

Pat Durmon

(patdurmon.com)

 

P.S. Yes, please, comment and share. You are the kindest.

Photo of beautiful, big bag taken by Pat Durmon, May 19, 2019.

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