Capturing the Ordinary

Starline luggage (1 of 2)

Thanks to Marianna Paulson over at the Auntie Stress blog and her recent post, "Capture the Ordinary," I was inspired to draft this brief memory post.

When I was a child and throughout my teens, Dad and Mom whisked our family of six (four daughters) off on many adventures, by way of my hard-working father's Trans World Airlines (TWA) pass. Throughout the years, we traveled nationally to Florida, New York, Washington, DC, and California, among other areas; internationally, we escaped to England, Italy, Portugal and Germany. 

This vintage Starline, hard-shell suitcase was one of a set of several that we deliberately packed up for our thrilling adventures. When my parents moved from their home of more than 35 years several years ago, they scaled down some of their memories, and permitted us (their daughters) to fetch items meaningful to us. This little suitcase was one such item I brought home. Not only have I enjoyed the memories evoked when viewing this nostalgic piece, but I also use it when traveling on driving trips, from time to time, transporting makeup or overnight clothing.

It is no small feat for a mother and father of four, ranging from 3-years-old to 13-years-old on our first European adventure, to manage such a trip. I will always be grateful to them for the memories we created.

As Paulson points out in her post, the reason we want to "capture the ordinary" in writing and in pictures is multifold. "It shows where we've been and how far we've traveled. It's a record that is part of the genealogy of our time here on earth."

Paulson has created a Pinterest board, aptly called "Capture the Ordinary." I recommend you consider visiting it and adding to the record of "ordinary things that will (or have) become extraordinary …"


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6 Responses to “Capturing the Ordinary”

  1. What a wonderfully poignant post! It's so true, too. I love capturing snippets of time and painting the moment to be remembered later, albeit in a not so organized manner. Good snippet!

    • Hi Donna,

      Thank you so much for your warm comment on this post.

      Having benefited from your Zentangle artform personally, it seems to me you have a poignant platform for illuminating snippets of time! Keep on 'tangling!'



  2. Jacqui, 

    I'm travelling on a fleet of emotions - all positive – after reading this post. I feel honoured and grateful that you've hitchhiked a ride to a new post. Isn't that one of the great benefits of reading and writing? New ideas, thoughts, and in this case, unpacked memories.

    My sense of wonder has also been tickled. I imagine the excitement and the flurry of preparations pre-travel, then the journey itself viewed vicariously through your eyes and those of your parents.

    Thank you for extraordinarily capturing the ordinary.

    • Good morning, Marianna,

      Your comments always sail into the blog post sea so mellifluously! Thank you! And, thank you for enabling me to 'hitchhike' your post (I hope you will pardon my hitchhiking the title, too – it was just so perfect!).

      I only wish I had come up with the phrase, 'unpacked memories' <- spot on!

      Finally, your imagination is clarifying, as yes, there was a flurry of preparations coupled with excitement, prior to each journey! Thank you for articulating that emotion.


  3. DorleeM says:


    I'm viewing your wonderful Starline suitcase as having a story (or stories) of its own to share… After all, it accompanied you and your family on all of those trips (within the U.S. and abroad). 

    It did not necessarily have the same experiences as you and your family because it was a piece of luggage. For example, sometimes it got thrown around by hotel porters or airline personnel. However, it was always thoughtfully retrieved and picked up by you (or one of the members of your family).

    It was perhaps initially stuffed with too much "stuff" and had to repacked so that it was not too full/heavy and would abide by airline requirements… When you were very young, perhaps there was a special doll, teddy bear or blanket that needed to accompany you that was always included as part of what you needed to feel at home in a foreign hotel/place.

    In traveling with you to all those places over all those years, perhaps it too became a part of what was familiar and what "home" and family meant to you…

    Thank you for this lovely "mini-mindful journey!" There is indeed so much beauty and extraordinary in the ordinary :)

  4. Hi Dorlee,

    What a thoughtful and delightful comment! I particularly liked the part about the different experiences (i.e., being 'thrown around by hotel porters) the little bag may have had. Fun!

    As well, your description of the packing (and repacking) experience was insightful, and the spurring of memories about special items a child may pack. Interesting to think about – I believe one year I brought a red, plastic piggy bank with me. Another year, I brought a purse-sized tablet to take notes on the journey (yes, I started thought-gathering/writing early-on :) And most profoundly, you have noted the fact that the Starliner luggage became a part of what was 'home' and familiar.

    Thank you for your sensitive and illustrative remarks and describing it as a 'mini-mindful journey,' and to our #SummitFriend Marianna Paulson for setting this journey in motion!

    Warmly, Jacqui  

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