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?”


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

Wired For It


Roughly translated from German:

Music is love.

     It can laugh with me.
     It can cry with me.
     It can bring together what was once separated.

Music can tell me what lips are afraid to say.

Music can bring back what I lost.

Music alone therefore is chosen.


Margarete Kernbach is my grandmother on my mother’s side. I found this parchment with her words following my mother’s death in 2012. It was among the things she left behind, very simply preserved in a plastic frame. I never knew my Oma wrote poetry. Nor do I know if this was the only poem or if there were ever any other writings by her. I only know of this one.

Discovering this little poem ties me to my grandmother in a profound way, at least for me it does. Not that I realized it at that moment though. I kept it for sentimental reasons, like so many things that I took from the apartment after my mother died. It wasn’t until I began writing poetry these last few years that I remembered I had this in my possession. But then I realized, I had a connection to her that was far more substantial than the entirety of our relationship as I was growing up. She never played an influential role in my life as she was a very distant woman, as I recall. And incredibly superficial, like most of my family.

She may have had some depth about her after all but obviously was not able to have it with her own flesh and blood. I’m still sad in that regard. But I’ve been moved knowing that I maybe share this love of poetry with her.

It helps me understand where my love for words, expression, passion, and emotions come from. And also, where my desire to be honest about my feelings regarding all things sprang from. She’s in my blood obviously, but now, she is meaningful to me in a way she wasn’t before.

Today, I still consider her more of a mystery than anything else, but at least we have one thing in common now.

I kinda like knowing where I got my start.