What do you keep in your bag just in case? What is in there for survival? Entertainment? Nourishment?
I had recently trimmed back the amount of stuff I carry in my purse, mostly because I carry plenty. It’s not the only bag I carry. There’s my bookbag/briefcase, my computer case, and sometimes, even an extra cloth bag full of random stuff. Some days what I carry is so heavy it makes me list to the left as I walk. Some days, it’s stupid I carry so much. I don’t need a bit, don’t even open the flaps. It’s just stuff I haul around to be comfortable and able to be entertained at the drop of a hat. You never know when I might need to get some work done, or entertain a small child, or my father.
Turns out last night, at the ER with my Mom–don’t worry, she’s fine–I had to help keep my father entertained. He paced, slouched, made loud proclaimations, then settled in to show me through his pocket packet as we waited for my mom who had disappeared behind closed doors. These are cards with thoughts on them, quotes and quips to be remembered for all posterity and some to be claimed as my father’s own. Some things in his packet are just cut outs from magazines…pictures or ideas he has deemed swell enough to carry around. You may find a folded dollar just in case, but for the most part these are random in size and random in interest. That’s because I’ve taken lots of tours though the pocket packet with my dad. Once we wore that out, and I even feigned interest in something inside my bag, I pulled out my new wad of church administrator keys and gave them to my dad to look over. I actually thought he’d be interested and he’d spot the star he had made me years ago with my name stamped into it. Sure enough he did. Then he got busy looking at the individual keys, the brands, the size, the cuts and dips and divits in the brass or silver metal. He spotted 4 duplicates that I have since removed to save myself some weight and aggrevation. Gee the keys kept my dad busy for a nice amount of time.
At some point I realized I had given my keys to my dad to keep him busy the same way I had given my keys to my daughter as a toddler or the way my dad had given me keys to keep me busy. I was glad to keep his mind a little busy as we both sat and avoided thinking things might be worse. And I was glad I had gum.