The story begins at the end of our second trip to Ireland. We were leaving our rented Portmagee cottage at 4 AM to make our early flight out of Shannon airport. The horrible hour of departure is a common thread in these travel woe tales, but the good airfare lured me in.
My husband and teenage son were in charge of loading the heavy suitcases into the car, and I was in charge of dressing and then herding the sleepy girls into the same vehicle. I left my black roller suitcase at the top of the steep staircase, and neglected to let either of them know that it needed to come downstairs. We are a three-identical-black-suitcase family, which will prove to be our undoing, as you will see. After lugging our tired bodies and lots of luggage into the car, we drove the dark and windy roads to Shannon. When we unloaded the car, we counted out the black suitcases…one, two…where is the third one? It must still be in the car. No, it is still sitting at the top of the stairs in Portmagee, grinning from eluding another day of endless rolling. 🙂
My husband thought about driving back to retrieve it, but that would mean he would miss the flight, and have to pay extra for his return ticket. So we assumed that we could just have it shipped back later. Little did we know that this would entail a second mortgage and naming our first grandchild “Rumpilstiltskin”! Nothing in my suitcase was worth near what it would cost to ship, so we waited and hoped that someone we knew would be heading that way and bring it back with them.
Our sweet landlady drove the wayward suitcase to a friend’s shoe shop in Killarney. College friends of my husband’s were headed to Killarney, and said they would be glad to bring it back for us…hallelujah! Unfortunately, the suitcase arrived about three days after their visit to the shoe shop. So, to this day two years later, I don’t know if that suitcase still sits in a backroom of the shoe shop, or sits in an Ireland landfill, or has been immortalized as a cautionary monument to all forgetful travelers everywhere. All I know is that my suitcase is living life in Ireland somewhere. If you travel to Killarney and happen to see it, tell it “Slainte!” for me. 🙂
Happily for me however, I find I must now plan another trip to the Eire, as I cannot bear to leave a defenseless little suitcase all on his own there! Lisa