Few of My Favorite Things

Brian J. Sullivan

Worn at each of its corners, my favorite green suitcase still had two functioning wheels, albeit a bit wobbly. Its leather handle, now a darker oily shade of brown, still supports my tendency to overstuff it.

My suitcase and I have been traveling together for the better part of 10 years. We have formed a certain bond, a mutual respect. We are on the road 30 weeks of the year. I have learned how to keep it packed for efficiency.  When I return home, the first thing I do is to replenish any supplies and clothes. It sits by the front door like a puppy eager to go for a ride. We have been through a lot together, and it would feel like a betrayal not to take my green suitcase.

It rides behind me in my van, always accessible in a space reserved for a skin tight fit to keep it from flying forward in case of a sudden stop.

My radar detector with its electronic compass has come in handy more times than I can remember—not only for the inevitable speed traps, but more so for the compass in cities with winding streets and highways not aligned in north/south direction. It's simply another way to help check that I'm going in the right direction when heading into a city to which I've never been before. While the sun is a great guide when shining, rain and overcast days make it less dependable than my trusted compass.

I always use MapQuest or one of the other similar internet services for planning my route, but how do I know which way to go if I don't know where I am?

Sunglasses and water jug also accompany me on all my trips.