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My new Cheetah Suitcase Travels to Philadelphia

This is a picture of Philadelphia. At least the Philadelphia I’ve always heard about. Cream cheese, (YUM) Independence Hall, (who doesnt want to be independent?) Liberty Bell, City of Brotherly Love (all we need is love, right?) and cheese steaks. I was so excited!!! I was off to a writers conference and totally pumped. I’d been planning this trip since May.

The trip started off a lil shaky. First of all, I realized that my GPS, Judy, (yes, we named the GPS) was once again taking me to the wrong airport in Columbia. BAD JUDY! I figured this out when I hit a very un secure section of town and had small, barefoot children pounding on my car windows asking me to buy hand-woven baskets. I re-calculated Judy. I got to the airport early and to be honest with you, I was in a terrible mood. I couldn’t figure out why. My kids were taken care off, all my plans set, my classes bought and paid for, this was my first plane trip flying solo and a chance of a lifetime. I even bought a new cheetah suitcase for the trip.


So sassy, yes? Ok, so maybe I was a lil nervous about the flying part. But there was something else, a heaviness on my chest that felt like a jet airplane had used my heart as a landing pad. I was standing there minding my own business…. when some invisible force started filling me up with water. Up, up, up, all the way up; water up to my eyeballs. All it would take was a single thump.

Yup. you heard me. A simple thump would be the kicker that threw me over the edge. Nothing life altering, just a thump.  I couldn’t put my finger on it until somebody else did it for me. My friend Dee, shined a light on my thump by sending me a text. Short and sweet:

Hey – know it’s been 3 years since you’ve lost your dad, thinking of you and wishing you peace in this hard time.

Dee thumped me. With a text.

At first, I tried to ignore the thump. Suck it up, you’re out in public! I told myself. There was a lil bird skipping around the airport. I found him mildly amusing to watch.


For about 32 seconds. I tried to read on my kindle. A man and his child sat next to me and my new cheetah suitcase.

“Now, I like that suitcase!” The stranger told me. “It’s got a lot of spunk.”

I told him to spunk off.

I was in a terrible mood.

I continued to read my story and without any stinking control on my part…..I could hold back the thumps no more.  Tears shot out of my eyes like bullets and ran out my nose. I could not stop crying. I’m sure I looked real purty. I made a dash to the bathroom, but the first one I came to was closed for cleaning. I made it to the second one, all runny nosed, puffy eyed. I locked myself in the last stall on the right, stuffed a tissue up each nostril and…

Began wah-wah-wahing it up.

And afterwards, I felt better. I got on my flight….only to have my brand new cheetah caged and the flight delayed…what was it….4 hours? Uggg. I finally arrived in Philly at 6:00. By now, I had a new attitude about this trip. I wasn’t going to be a victim who knows nothing in a strange town but a writer doing what she has to do. So I did what I did.  This included marching right off that plane… parading proudly down the crowded halls of the Philadelphia Airport. My steps felt light and confident. I was a woman on a mission.

Within 15 minutes, I discovered the reason why my steps were so light. This could be due to the fact that I was cheetah suitcaseless.

Crap. I forgot my stinking suitcase.

I won’t go into the hour long details of retrieving my poor suitcase. I got it back; mangled, scratched and dented, but I got her back. Determined to not be discouraged, I kept telling myself, these things happens, sometimes they happen to certain people a little more than others, but never the mind. I was off to my writers conference…

Now, all I needed was a cab.

My near death experience with a deranged cab driver is not to be told without a glass of wine. Meaning, I must drink a glass of wine to steady my hands to type out what actually happened on that cab ride back to my hotel. Will report soon..


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