Choosing Wants

Redux

I Write Her

Untitled

I’d like to rub elbows with as many determined experiences as my life can possibly contain.

There will likely be uninvited events, surely wounding me.

But sandwiched in between, moments of soothing and reflective downtime.
And growth.

Bring it on, life.

I’ve never been more prepared.

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Simple Complexity

Redux

I Write Her

I’m new, fresh and a blank slate in every experience I live.

You come along and make me feel.
Youbeing every lifeconnecting to my world.
Cross my path, and I become ripe for an adventure.

It’s random or intentional.
It’s welcome. Truly appreciated.

Change comes out of discussion, influence, suggestion, disappointment, care, and investment.
Life gets richer from experiences changing us. We’re molded out of intensity or subtleness in every episode.

Youcontribute to the ever-updating version of me.
The variance in my thoughts ready to encounter the subsequent experience.

Life seems elaborate and intricate while I focus on how to become coherent.
My complexity deepens while the definitions of myself are simplifying.

How could I be otherwise?

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The Little Red Suitcase – Part 5

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Monday thru Friday flew by as it turned out to be an unusually stressful work week, clocking 57 hours the first four days. Ailsa was happy only to work 8 hours on Friday. She was ready for her getaway. Thankfully, the weather gods were on her side; the trip to Aisla Craig was a go! She’d transport over there after the last tour left shortly after 5 pm. Then the island would be all hers. With it being June, the sun wouldn’t set until around 11 pm, leaving her plenty of time to get the tent and campfire set up.

Shortly after she got home from work, she was ready and got into her little red suitcase. It was tight with all the camping gear and her food, but it all fit. She was careful only to bring what she needed for the night and the next day. With the latch closed behind her, she was gone.

Aisla arrived at the old lighthouse interior, not knowing what to expect. She was a bit eeked out because of the lack of maintenance on the property, dust everywhere, and all the remaining artifacts were either broken or in deplorable condition. Wow, so this is where they conceived me! She stood there in disbelief. Good thing I planned to sleep outside, was all she kept thinking.

With the tent set up and an intense fire going, she decided to hike around a bit. Thankfully, the spot she chose wasn’t very windy. As Aisla was walking, she recalled her research. The island, located 10 miles off Scotland’s west coast, was considered a volcanic plug. This remnant of a volcano known for its blue hone granite was quarried and used to make curling stones.

“Hello there! What are you doing here?” Aisla spun around to see a man standing a few feet away from her. He didn’t look dangerous, but who knew? What was he doing here at this time? She had made sure there wouldn’t be anyone on the island when she got there.

“Hello, I could ask you the same thing!”

“Well, my name is Daniel Craig, and I visit every so often.”

“Craig, as in Aisla Craig?”

“Yes. I was named after the island. It’s a long romantic story. My parents conceived me here.”

Aisla couldn’t contain her surprise or her laugh when she heard that. “You’re not going to believe this. I’m named Aisla Craig after the island too, and for the exact reason. My parents did the hanky-panky here about 30 years ago!”

“Well, I’ll be, that is fascinating! And the other thing is that we are also related if we carry the same last name! Can you tell me a little bit about your ancestry to figure out where our lines cross?”

They both walked back to the camp, sat by the fire for hours, and got to know each other better. It turned out that Daniel was her Third Cousin and his lineage came from the Great-Great-Grandparents, specifically the Great-Grand Uncle of that union. They were both stunned, learning they were long-lost cousins. More importantly, Ailsa found out that their suitcases were the only ones in the family! This was the first time either of them had ever spoken to another person about it but reckoned it had to be okay considering their history.

“Well, here’s to finally having a travel companion!!” Aisla said, both beaming with joy.”

“So, where are we going next?”

THE END

Thanks so much for your support of this series! See you next month!

The Little Red Suitcase – Part 4

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Ailsa’s Apartment – Saturday 3 PM

Without any sound or intrusive movements, Ailsa’s suitcase bubble immediately appeared on her bedroom floor. Once situated solidly, she unlatched the case and stepped out. Gathering her dirty clothes, she lofted them into her hamper. She pulled her black essentials bag out and checked the level of her lotions, perfume, and make-up to ensure there was enough for the next visit. She filled the bottles, dropped the little black bag in the suitcase and then proceeded to push it under her bed.

Ailsa’s head was definitely back in the US as her first thought was that it was time for PJs and a cup of coffee. If only she’d purchased some of the Parisian coffee while she was there. The rich brew was such a highlight during her stay. Oh well, she decided, she’d get some the next time she went to France. Maybe sooner rather than later since it would still be beautiful for the next few months. 

She moseyed towards the kitchen to brew the coffee, which would help combat the mid-afternoon blahs she felt coming on. Once her steaming cup was in front of her, a small snack as well, she pulled out her pencil and travel journal. She wanted to put down some thoughts and details about her visit, then plan the following week’s trip. Flipping to the Paris, France entry she’d created, she proceeded to write everything down. The front of her journal held the long bucket list of adventures, almost a year’s worth of trips planned. It grew every time she ran across information about another exciting place to visit. Her goal was to be able to see every one of those destinations before she died. Ailsa knew that traveling would become a daily event once she retired from her job. That was the only reason she busted her butt so much, sometimes working 60+ hours/week. She anticipated leaving the rat race at 50 years of age, leaving her still healthy and vibrant enough to travel extensively.

Next week’s adventure was a visit to Cape Town, South Africa, but having just talked about her place of conception with the attendant in Paris, she decided to visit the island of Aisla Craig instead. A while ago, she’d found out that it was owned by The Marquess of Ailsa and had become a bird sanctuary. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds was leasing the island until 2050. The weather channel indicated that it should be pleasant, but she would continue to check throughout the week. This way if the weather got bad, she’d implement her backup plan. But the possibility of going thrilled her immensely. It would be so peaceful and scenic with it being closed down to the public. Ailsa thought back to the last time she’d camped out. It was fun “roughing it”, as she recalled. Hopefully, everything would fit in her suitcase.

TO BE CONTINUED ON FRIDAY…

Hello Readers – now it’s your turn! Please cast your vote in the comments below for the type of ending you would like to see. Try to have your choice noted by 5PM CST.
Here are your ending possibilities this week:

Fun
Sad
Unexpected

I look forward to writing how the story will end! Here’s hoping you enjoy it! 

The Little Red Suitcase – Part 3

Part 1

Part 2

Ailsa slowly woke up after a solid night’s sleep, her wide yawn shaking off the remnants of sweet dreams. With the bed being so comfortable, she debated for just a moment whether to snooze further or push through the usual fuzziness upon wakening. Her sense of adventure determined her next step as she threw her legs over the edge of the bed.

After a quick shower, she quickly packed all of her things in her suitcase and headed downstairs to check out. She asked the concierge to hold her suitcase as she would be sight-seeing this morning and into the afternoon. He gave her a claim stub for her bag, and off she went.

Ailsa had decided to forgo walking to both places because it would take away almost an hour and a half from her excursion. The Paris Metro would be perfect for getting to and from, and who didn’t love taking public transportation? Especially when it was so modern and inexpensive. She wasn’t willing to cut corners on other comforts as she’d dropped a pretty penny on the five-star hotel and their equally rated restaurant, but transportation, yes.

Her first stop this beautiful morning would be to take in the exquisite exhibits at the Louvre museum. She especially looked forward to seeing Leonardo Da Vinci’s – Mona Lisa – and Venus de Milo’s statue – Aphrodite. Ailsa was happy to check off two more bucket list places. But first, a Parisian coffee and a croissant before boarding the Metro.

She arrived at 9 AM on the dot, just as they opened the doors. Ailsa estimated she’d spend a couple of hours at the museum but ended up staying there for an hour longer. All the exhibits were fascinating, and she was happy to immerse herself more in-depth in the artwork and history. The time passed quickly, but she still had plenty of daylight to get to the Eiffel Tower.

Aisla looked forward to seeing the fantastic view of Paris from the tower. But just as excited to ingest a glorious lunch at the restaurant located 125 meters up from the ground. She decided to go straight there as it was right about Noon when she arrived. The Michelin-starred restaurant – Le Jules Verne – had three rooms offering a breathtaking view of the Champ-de-Mars, the Quai Branly, and the Trocadéro.

The waiter was happy to give her a window seat as requested. The view was so much more than she had expected! Oh, this trip sure was turning out to be one of the best she’d had to date, she thought to herself. The lunch, another exorbitant expenditure, was definitely worth it!

Ailsa took a deep breath as she looked out over Paris. A few thoughts crossed her mind about Monday, but she quickly pushed those back down into her subconscious, trying to focus only on the joy she was experiencing at that moment.

After lunch, she checked out the other attractions and exhibits, including more artwork and the tower’s history. Ailsa also perused the gift shop, where she spotted a limited edition rivet to add to her collection from her travels. Her trip was complete!

It was almost 3 PM, and she’d seen everything; it was time to go home. The Metro took her back to the hotel. She gave the concierge her claim ticket, promptly retrieving her bag. Aisla went into the lobby bathroom, opened a stall, and was careful not to lock the door. She quickly opened her little red suitcase, stepped into it, and said her goodbyes to Paris.

TO BE CONTINUED ON THURSDAY…

The Little Red Suitcase – Part 2

Part 1

Hôtel Plaza Athénée – Paris, France

Undetected, the translucent bubble carrying the little red suitcase arrived at the hotel. Aisla unlatched the suitcase and stepped out into the lobby. This ingenious device teleported easily and without any disturbance in the new surroundings what-so-ever. It always left her astounded as none of the people in the area seemed to notice she’d just suddenly appeared. It was as if she’d arrived like every other tourist checking in.

Closing the suitcase and smoothing down her shirt and pants, Ailsa walked towards the reception area and checked in with the front desk. She smiled at the attendant and put down her suitcase. “Bonjour, Monsieur, Parlez-vous Anglais?”

“Yes, Madame. I speak English,” the man behind the desk said, smiling and nodding. 

“Oh, wonderful! Thank you for making it easier for me. I’m still learning the language.”

“Are you checking in today?”

“Yes, please. Ailsa Craig.”

“Oh, like the island in Scotland?”

Ailsa flashed a broad but surprised smile. “Yes! Most people don’t know that! My parents decided to name me that as I was conceived on that island when they were on holiday.”

“Ah, that must have been before they closed it?”

Nodding in agreement, she said, “They’d heard it was going to be closed to visitors soon and wanted to visit the sights before it was too late. Mom and Dad packed a picnic lunch, brought some wine, hung out at the old castle, and good times transported them into each other’s arms!” Ailsa laughed, telling the story she’d heard so often before as sweetly as possible.

The attendant laughed with her and, with a wink, said, “Well, it sounds like they had an enchanting time and brought home a wonderful keepsake!”

“Indeed!”

“As per your instructions, we have a table reserved for you tonight in the restaurant at 6:30 this evening. Here is your key. You will be staying in Room 304. Is there anything else I can help you with?”

“Please, could you tell me what time the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower open to the public? Also, do you have a transit map for the Paris Metro?”

“Yes, of course. Here’s the map, and the sights are both open at 9 AM.”

“Wonderful! I thank you so much for the information! Au revoir”

“Enjoy your stay, Ms. Craig!”

Aisla turned and headed towards the elevator. The door opened just as she arrived to ring the bell for one. She pressed the third-floor button and looked forward to getting settled in the room. A big, deep breath and a long sigh out escaped her throat. She was beginning to relax now.

After a luxurious bubble bath, she showered off all the soap and wrapped herself in a plush white towel. Aisla fixed her make-up, blew dry her hair, and brushed it all into place. The cute black dress laid out on the bed, just waiting to be stepped into. After a small spritz of hairspray, then checking herself out in the mirror, she decided she liked what she saw. Her hunger beckoned, though; it was time to eat. 

Opening the door of her room, Aisla couldn’t help but say, “Hello, Paris! Are you ready for me?”

TO BE CONTINUED ON WEDNESDAY…

The Little Red Suitcase – Part 1

After dropping the keys on the stand in her apartment’s entrance, Ailsa made her way to the bedroom. She took a long deep breath, happy to be done with the workweek, ready for her adventure to begin. She smiled to herself, knowing it would be fun. TGIF!

Ailsa pulled her little red suitcase out from under the bed, clicking the latch open. She marveled how it didn’t look a day over brand new. Even being at least 50 years old, this precious gift from her parents was barely scuffed. To herself, she uttered – Thank you, Mom and Dad, best present ever! For a moment, Ailsa got sad. She wished they were still with her to share in all the travels they bestowed upon her. It would have made the trips she’d taken even better if she could talk about the joy she experienced. But the tragic car accident two years ago when they were visiting Scotland – their homeland – changed everything. While her travels were still delightful, she didn’t have her parents in her life anymore to relay her stories to. And she couldn’t talk to other people because no one could know about the suitcase. That was the only condition in receiving this gift; Ailsa had promised her parents she would never tell anyone.

A small drop escaped her right eye, and snapping herself out of it, she thought to herself – nope, don’t go there. She forced herself in the direction of her closet to pick out what she needed, then next, packing her clothes.

Her little black bag containing the necessities for an overnight visit lay within the suitcase already. Now, what else to bring, she thought to herself. What does one wear to the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre? She decided on something comfortable and casual but nicely put together for the sightseeing on Saturday. Ailsa decided that a lovely little black cocktail dress would do the trick for dinner at the hotel this evening. She’d look quite fetching in it, she decided.

The weather promised to be sunny and comfortable, as all her trips were. Every place on her bucket list had to happen during the pleasant months of late Spring and Summer. She always thoroughly investigated every destination beforehand to ensure it. Cold weather was a turnoff for her. Ailsa had to get her fill of the sun, having given her all to her job. Every day, she conducted her work in a window-less office under the fluorescent bulbs. It was draining, and she was usually exhausted when she got home. So for traveling, this is why a comfortable temperature was a pre-requisite. It’s what gave her back a bit of sanity, leaving her feeling restored.

One last check of what she’d packed and a quick look in the mirror eyeing her lipstick, going through her mental checklist making sure not to forget anything, Ailsa grabbed the last thing she would need – her purse – and then stepped into the suitcase, closing it on top of her.

TO BE CONTINUED ON TUESDAY…

Reblog – Light by David Palethorpe

This piece reminds me to be inquisitive, adventurous, and inspired! Even with all that 2020 has brought us. Enjoy!

David Palethorpe

The light at the end of a tunnel

May not be an oncoming train

It may be the greatest adventure

To miss it would be such a shame

The light at the end of the tunnel

May not lead to danger or strife

It may just be what you have needed

So go on explore the joy that’s life

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Little Rascal

The daily adventures of owning a pet monkey. 🙂

August! You better get down here!”
“Why won’t you listen to me?”
“You sure are a cheeky monkey!”

#Whatdoyousee

Image credit- Lewis Roberts- Unsplash