Suitcase Time Machine

I’m packing my suitcase for Hungary. We don’t have a ticket, and I’m still totally unsure when we are leaving – or how long we’re going for, but nevertheless, I’m packing my suitcase.

Easter Monday in the Brunelle Samson household is really all about packing. Actually, we’re finishing with the packing of this apartment. Today involved Zsolt pulling apart the living room with his old PHD papers, contracts from England, left over visa applications, books and video games and more video games.

I’ve been in the bedroom, emptying the closet and dresser of every single bit of clothing I own. One piece after another, I folded the shirts and tank tops and socks and sweater and trousers and scarves, and stacked them on my grandmother’s old sofa (for which I’d made a dark blue slip cover, and now feel sentimental about giving away).

moving

Onto the bed I opened our burnt orange suitcase. This will be my case for the entire summer of displacement and –hopefully- escape.

Hanging from the curtain rod in my bedroom are a thick collection of dresses. Summer dresses, autumn dresses, cocktail dresses, gala dresses. I take the coral baby-dress from the rod and lay it in my burnt orange suitcase. The strap is broken, and I’m hoping Zsolt’s mother won’t mind sewing it since my kit is packed away. I can picture myself by the lake Balaton, wearing this little bit of coral nothingness, and feeling just like I felt almost a decade ago when I first found that slice of Hungarian paradise. I will pack this dress, Anna will sew the strap, and it can be like old times again.

There is the wine purple Karan Millen dress that I wear to nearly ever formal occasion ever. This is not a dress anyone would need at Lake Balaton in Hungary. But I slide it into the suitcase nevertheless, in hopes that somehow we’ll be able to take the boat between England and Halifax. I wore this exact same dress on the Queen Mary while we sailed to Canada (via New York) about two years ago. We were excited for Zsolt’s new job, and thrilled with the glamour of the cruise ship. It was a highlight in a life full of wonderful moments. So maybe, if I pack the dress, we can live it again.

There is this raggedy dark blue tube top folded and resting on top of the pile of clothes for consideration (do I put it in the suitcase, or put it into the cardboard box for storage in my friend’ basement?). I concoct some possible outfit in my head, and slip it into the suitcase. Maybe if I pair it with my high-waist black skirt… maybe I can get away with wearing it again. And even better, maybe my husband will notice. This is tube top I wore one fantastic night in Nice while out at a nightclub with a group of Hungarians. I’d had some light mesh shirt over it for most of the evening, but when we ended up in a club’s crowded basement sweating and dancing like crazy, I’d headed to the ladies to cool down. Off came the mesh top, up went my hair into a high ponytail, and on went the vibrant blue headband that matched the sleeveless top. Walking out of the ladies, I passed that cute Hun I liked. He did a double take and said, ‘woah.’ . . . he liked me.

summer

So, I’m here packing my suitcase for a trip that isn’t planned, and reliving memories imprinted into my clothing. And I stopped just now to write this blog post, because I didn’t even realize what I was doing until about 10 minutes ago. I’m taking action. I’m doing something to make this all real, and to have another summer, hopefully with a few new piece thrown into the wardrobe, to make all kinds of new memories.

The suitcase is now nearly full. It’s packed for Hungary. And whenever we get there, it’s going to be a damn good time.

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6 thoughts on “Suitcase Time Machine

  1. I love the memories that certain things spark. We decorate our house with small mementos of our adventures together, they remind me of escapes and happy memories. ❤

  2. Lovely, Catherine…only you could make packing so poetic :). Hope you’ll be able to blog from Hungary, it sounds like it’s going to be a gorgeous trip!

  3. I love the thought that these simple objects can conjure such memories and feelings. As someone who has been a lifelong wanderer, (five countries in the last seven years!), I’m always amazed that I manage to still be such a packrat, but often it’s for the very reasons you so beautifully highlight: small things can be anchors to happiness when life is in flux and full of questions. Thanks for validating that 🙂

    If you fancy connecting with a fellow blogger in person, let me know! We’ll have cause to be in Hungary, (which is only a short train ride away), a lot this coming year, and it would be cool to meet you.

    • I can understand that, Jan. I’ll keep track of the adventure. If you can’t come with me, you can read along and I’ll do my best to capture the adventure. Step one: Booking the tickets. Playing connect the dots between airport terminals and train stations across Europe!

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