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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern
  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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Suitcase Blues....

Suitcase Blues

baggage,luggage,suitcases,travelWhy am I always buying new luggage? I don't know, but here I go again. It seems that I cannot keep decent luggage for some reason and every time I go somewhere, I have to buy a suitcase. I'm going to a conference next week, and this time is no exception.

My red luggage looked so nice when I bought it years ago, three pieces all matching. A trip or two with airport luggage handlers playing soccer with it and it began to crumble. The inside has pieces of shattered plastic that I have to clean out before packing. The outside trim leaves a trail of plastic crumbs behind me, like I'm being followed by ants. I cannot bear the humiliation any longer.

I have a nearly new suitcase that I bought when we went to Egypt, a carry-on size. It is purple. When I bought it, purple was the only thing I could find on short notice that would meet the airlines rigid specifications for size. Do the math. This is not a very large suitcase. However, I have learned to travel light and to always buy a good suitcase.

As it turned out, purple was not such a bad color choice.

When hundreds of black suitcases all looking identical come tumbling out on the carousel at the airport, my purple one is easy to spot. So, I figured I would use the purple one again this time. I forgot that my daughter borrowed the purple suitcase and it now belongs to her. I agreed that she could have it, forgetting that there might be a next time. Besides, newer luggage now has four wheels and two-wheels are obsolete. Don't tell my daughter.

I can never seem to keep decent luggage. About the time that I purchased a nice set of leather Samsonite years ago, luggage with wheels came along. My no-wheels luggage was instantly obsolete. Who do you see walking around carrying a suitcase these days -- no one -- unless it is a small tote.

After my leather luggage went the way of the dinosaur, I bought a new black suitcase with wheels, the largest one I could find. "This will hold everything," I thought. It did. And it weighed a ton. Most airlines charge $25 these days to check luggage and it is much too large to carry on. My brother-in-law finished off the big black suitcase when he dropped it and one of the wheels broke. It still rolls, but it wobbles from side to side.

This time my new suitcase is blue. The purple, red, and green ones were all the wrong size. I hope blue will be different enough that I can find it. The suitcase salesman said that business travelers want black. Seasoned travelers have a small carry-on and take it with them. No checking luggage, no delays, no lost luggage.

Unlike the two-wheel versions, which still require a certain amount of balance and strain your back when you pull them through the airport, my new suitcase is a spinner, four wheels. You can push it, pull it, or walk beside it. And unlike the other suitcases, it has round wheels like a ball instead of flat wheels. It's the latest thing, the luggage salesman assured me.

Now that I've spent big bucks, I'm certain they will come out with something even better, something indestructible that can do cartwheels instead of merely spin, or put out an electronic signal so it can't be lost. My little spinner will be obsolete before I can use it twice. Suitcase designers are busy every day dreaming up new ideas.

My daughter probably has her eye on my new blue suitcase already.

Copyright 2013 Sheila Moss

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