The Suitcase Lady


February 9, 2021, 2:44 pm

During these pandemic times, not being able to visit friends in person is one of the biggest hardships. Family and friends are the keystones of life. How ironic that now we must show our love by our absence.

This crazy situation started me thinking about how we find friends in the first place. And then I broke out laughing. Many of my best friends hired me. Literally.

One hired me to be the art teacher at her school. Another employed me as the children’s programmer at her library. And more brought me into their libraries and schools to do programs.

The longest friendship I have had started in 8th grade and has endured all these years. My husband and I have also had the gift of good neighbors becoming good friends. More friendships resulted from my love of animals, especially the feline variety.

One day the pharmacist at our local drugstore starting chatting with me when I was picking up my cat’s prescription. We soon discovered a mutual love of cats, dogs and mid-century modern design. Two other friendships were sealed when acquaintances helped us find wonderful homes for five calico kitties we were desperate to place.

And finally, my husband and I met another lovely friend because of our sheer confusion. We were at Kinderdijk, the United Nations World Heritage site of windmills in the Netherlands. We had spent hours exploring this special place by foot and boat, and it was time to drive back to our hotel. Having lost our way several times driving down, we were staring at a large outdoor map of the site and surrounding area and laughing. We were trying to figure out a route back and knew we would probably get lost again. That is the moment when a lovely lady asked if she could help us. We then talked for an hour and a friendship was born. And her directions were perfect; we did not go astray on the drive and ferry ride back.

Friends do help us find the way…and not just with road navigation.


2 Comments for this entry

  • Audrey

    I was there in 2019 with my friend Susan. We loved the whole site. We also spent time at Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Versailles and Monet’s Garden at Giverney. It was a wonderful trip.

  • Liz Levins

    What a lovely post, old friend. We met when were both on the Historic Preservation Commission for the City of Milwaukee.