“I’m a disorganized mess. My purse is gross: I once found a shoulder pad, string cheese, and a Christmas ornament in it!”

Today is warm but dreary. It rained during the night, and the clouds are still hanging around. Every now and then a strong breeze blows the top branches of the pine trees. I saw a cardinal this morning. His bright red feathers caught my eye. The beautiful bird was on a branch near the feeders and reminded me I need to fill two of those feeders. I brought the seed in from the car.

When I was a kid and before my fashion independence, I always got a new pocketbook as part of my Easter ensemble. It was often white. I’d hold the one strap or carry the bag on my wrist. I can’t remember what was inside the pocketbook. I really had nothing I needed to carry. I’m thinking Kleenex but that’s all I can come up with.

I haven’t carried a purse or a pocketbook for years. The last one I remember having was a straw bag which was the victim of an attempted purse snatching on my first weekend in Ghana. I can only imagine what perfect targets we both made, the bag and I. There I was walking along a bridge, swinging my bag and swiveling my head to catch all the sights while a nimble thief waited his opportunity. He tried but didn’t get the bag. Later, I ditched the straw for a mesh shepherd’s bag and that’s what I used for the next two years. When I got home, the natural transition was to a small back pack sort of bag. My early ones were nylon with lots of zippered pockets. Later, I got a bit of fashion sense and switched to leather. I still carry one. It is my winter bag.

The bag is black with soft, beautiful leather. I bought it in a leather store when I was looking for sandals. This bag has a roomy middle but only two pockets, one inside and one outside, but I still manage to carry all sorts of necessities. Here is a rundown:

In the front pocket are my keys, a pen and a measuring tape. I use the tape to measure furniture I find to see if it’ll fit in a spot in my house. The inside pocket has my cell phone, a watch and a few gift cards left over from Christmas. Everything else is in the roomy middle. Besides the usual wallet, checkbook and glasses, I have a comb, two kinds of lip gloss and some dental floss which tastes like cinnamon. A small notebook is for sudden inspirations as is the case holding blank cards. My change purse has keys, never change. I have a Tide pen, and it gets used almost as often as my wallet. My trips have taught me to keep odd things so I have sanitizing hand-spray, dissolving soap sheets and a couple of toothettes in case I need to brush my teeth. I also have a small Swiss Army knife attached to my key chain. I figure I’m ready for just about any contingency.

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12 Comments on ““I’m a disorganized mess. My purse is gross: I once found a shoulder pad, string cheese, and a Christmas ornament in it!””

  1. im6 Says:

    Speaking of bags… I guess you’d better start hunting now for a clear plastic bag. First they were proposed for Parkland after the shootings and today I learned that only clear bags will be allowed in for the Final Four basketball tournament this weekend. I suspect public transportation, airports, etc. are next. I need to check out buying stock in the transparent fabric / plastic industry. Maybe that advice from “The Graduate” was right all along.

    • katry Says:

      im6,
      Nothing is uglier than those see through bags with all the contents exposed. I remember when they were actually a style but in purses, not bags. The idea doesn’t thrill me.

  2. Birgit Says:

    I often have a small bottle of water and chocolate in my back pack, a baseless fear of starving to death I guess.
    Public holiday today and first signs of spring here, the forsythia started to flower. It looks like we have more robins, sparrows and tits this year but less blackbirds. Rabbits are back in my garden, probably looking for spots to hide Easter eggs πŸ™‚
    I just saw Bob Dylan Trouble No More on TV, a nice born-again Dylan concert and appropriate for Good Friday.

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      When I travel, I always have a few snacks in my bag. Years back, my parents and I traveled several times to Europe together.My mother always packed all sorts of snacks. She kept us munching.

      Not a holiday here except schools are closed. Everything else is open.

      I filled the feeders. I hope the cardinal comes back. He was a bright spot on a dreary day. The usual birds drop by: chickadees, nuthatches, tits and gold finches.

      It was a quiet day here.

  3. Bob Says:

    I haven’t heard the word pocketbook since I left the east coast. Here the word is purse or handbag. One local completely produces purses which include a picket for a handgun. Stylish design with a deadly secret compartment. πŸ™‚

    Back in the 1970s man bags had a moment of popularity. I couldn’t see myself carring a man bag so I went for a photographer’s vest with lots of pockets. Now I carry a wallet in my right trouser front pocket, cell phone in the other and my keys in with the wallet.

    Today was gorgeous with clear skies and temperatures in the low 70s.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I do still hear pocketbook and once in a while purse but seldom handbag. Many women don’t carry them any more.

      In Africa, the male volunteers carried the same shepherd’s bags I did. Pickpockets were many so having the bag close stopped many thefts. Messenger bags are common with men now. Most are made of canvas, a more masculine fabric.

      Does your wallet, keys pocket take a beating?

      • Bob Says:

        Not really. My car has keyless entry and starting which uses just a key fob and I have one house key attached to the fob. So far the pockets have held up well.

        Carrying a messenger bag feels too feminine for my taste. πŸ™‚

      • katry Says:

        Bob,
        The messenger bags don’t look feminine at all. Quite the contrary. They are actually fairly common now, and I haven’t ever seen one which made me thing pocketbook or handbag.

  4. Coleen Says:

    I don’t have a pocketbook per se…I have round shoulders and it’s a bit of a waste.

    I do have 2 pairs of cargo pants, I love them! I can keep my keys, ID, some cash and whatever else in the pockets. I also have a small bag that I can place across my shoulders…perfect when on assignment.

    Can you tell I am a minimalist? πŸ™‚

    Waving (and Happy Easter!),

    Coleen

    • katry Says:

      Hi Coleen,
      I just use the backpack. I don’t have enough pockets to carry everything I need, no cargo pants.

      The shepherd’s bag I used stretched. It held so many things like stuff I’d buy at the market: fruits and vegetables and eggs. It became a travel essential in Ghana.

      Less is more!

      Waving!! Have a Happy Easter,

      Kat, Maddie and Henry

  5. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I use a leather wristlet pocketbook most of the time and have done so for maybe 20 years now. It holds plastic cards in the slots, license, folding money, a small Fisher Space Pen, and a metal card case that holds non-plastic and plastic cards. The change pocket holds a yarn store loyalty card and no change. There’s a cell phone pocket on the outside. My keys are either in my pocket or clipped to the wristlet strap. That’s pretty much all I need in my day-to-day business. If I’m going on a longish day trip, I’ll bring a beach tote with any additional essentials. There’s usually a small knitting project in the jeep in case of emergencies.

    There are flowers starting to bud in my yard! I saw some crocuses yesterday and thought they were just starting to open. When I checked them this morning they were dead. But the daffodils have buds with yellow tips and Little Quincey, the rabbit-ravaged baby quince bush, is starting to break bud. I put the snow blower back in the cellar. πŸ™‚

    Friday was warm and rainy. Today is cooler and very sunny. I’ll take it.

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Caryn,
      I think I don’t need any more than your list but I do have the soap sheets, tiny ones, and a comb. When I travel, I carry more stuff in the same bag I always use.

      My garden has several crocus blooming. I also noticed one in the front this morning. I’m keeping my eye on the daffodil bud, but I couldn’t wait so I bought a bunch of dafs at the store. They brighten up my kitchen.

      Today is actually sunny. I need dog food and a few other groceries so Henry and I will wander a bit.

      Have great day!


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