Tag Archives: friends

day 21

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One way I cope with this current situation is to not take new photos of these bags, but go into the photo library and find ones I took last year or before. This Rebecca Minkoff tote was photographed two years ago at Procter, my diocese’s Episcopal Camp and Conference Center. This tote was $5.99 at the thrift store so it was a no brainer. So well made and the leather is beautiful.

Today proved to be great – woke up at 11:41 am after many sleepless nights this week, got to visit with my dear friend Jill in the driveway – both wearing masks and more than 6 feet apart, and had a small zoom party with friends. And Kaia made chocolate chip cookies. Blessed.

day 2

If you’ve been with me any day before today, you know one of my favorite bag brands is Fossil. Yes, I love rocks and bags, and Fossil ties those loves together. There’s another reason I love Fossil bags – her name is Joy.

You might recollect me talking about Joy in past posts. She was my neighbor, aunt, confidant, mentor, teacher, and most of all, dear friend. She took care of me when I was young and treated me like a peer once I grew into adulthood. We loved to sit at her house and talk. She was a stay-at-home mom who worked harder than anyone I knew. She loved to shop from catalogs – we would sit and read them together, or she’d show me what she was going to order to see what I thought.

We also loved to go shopping together – mostly thrift shopping and to TJ Maxx. Notice a trend? Joy and her family had one car for several years, so I’d pick her up, and we’d go out for the day. She always treated me to lunch. Joy taught me so many things – how to eat healthy, exercise, and, most of all, that I need to create a corner in the world for myself.

When she died, I was beyond devastated. She left her husband and three sons, so when they were ready, I went over and cleaned out all of her closets. Several other family and friends had been through her purses, which was selfishly tough for me. I would have liked to have a couple of bags we’d bought on our adventure or that I’d given her. Just like her, they were gone.

Several bags remained, including this Fossil shoulder bag. I never paid attention to how many of the brands of bags she had were ones that I also liked. Even though this bag is smaller than the ones I would usually carry, and I almost gave it away during Lent, I kept it. I really do believe that you don’t need material things to remember a person. But the three bags I kept still smell like her. One of them still had tissues, mints, throat drops, and an emory board. Rest on, my dear friend. Rest on.

bag 30 – claimed

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There was a store in the Brentwood shopping center – I can’t remember the name of it, maybe Conway? Some TJ Maxx type store but not as nice. But hey, if a store is in my neighborhood and has purses you can bet I’ll be checking it out. I got this green Stone Mountain bag there when we used to live in College Hill. Structured hobo with plenty of space inside, adjustable shoulder strap in a sagey green. This is another bag where a friend of mine said, “If you ever get rid of that one…” So, it’s up for grabs for everyone, and I hope she sees it.

If you like this structured hobo bag, email me at 50favbags@gmail.com with bag 30, your name, your address. Peace!

bag #43 still available 

IMG_1994Here’s a cute little black faux mock croc purse by emille m. This is a brand you can find sometimes at TJ Maxx. It’s got a colorful lining and inside zipper pocket. Got this one from a friend at one of my purse swaps. I won’t tell you what she got. ­čśë

You know what to do by now, right? Email 50favbags if you’re feeling it.

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day 49

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cowrie shell backsack from Pier 1 – circa 1985, making this vintage


today is really day 50 in the world of the 50 days of Easter. but for me, it’s day 49 on my journey. i brought it full circle with a bag i’ve had for around 28 years. back in my high school days – early to mid ’80s, Pier 1 sold clothing, scarves, bags and earrings. the stuff was so cool –┬áboho long before the word boho existed. i couldn’t wear a lot of the clothes, maybe a skirt here or there, but i could definitely work with the scarves and bags. i got this one when i was maybe a senior in high school. sometime around there. i was drawn to the shells.

so how has this bag stayed in the family when many others i’ve had through the years have been given away? it’s the shells. i love cowrie shells. maybe you’ve heard, but wikipedia can tell you: they were used as currency in Africa, Asia, and North America, and also as a sign of rank and authority in some cultures. they are also worn as jewelry and adornment in clothing and the hair, and are a sign of womanhood and fertility. i made a cowrie shell necklace for my wedding and put a fertility symbol on it to boot, and wore cowries in my hair. let’s just say it worked and leave it there.

i think cowries are beautiful. they also feel great to play with – i read they’re also used as dice. i have a dish of them in my living room. i grabbed this purse because i knew i was at the end of this journey and it woudn’t be complete without this bag, as it has been with me for so long. also, i needed red for Pentecost. my church, Calvary Episcopal Church, had a joint service with my childhood parish, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church at a park in Mt. Airy forest. what a blessing THAT was!

the bag’s faded a little through the years, in part because i have it handing on my closet door where i can see it every day.

as i typed those words i was overcome with emotion. doing this work has reminded me of the many lessons that the strong women in my life, primarily mom and Joy, have taught me: live in the moment. appreciate and enjoy what you have. try to make someone else’s life better on your way. of course there are more, like those involving raggedy underwear… but we’ll leave those alone for now.

i remember one day coming home from working at the downtown library. we were living with my parents while david was getting his mba and n was a baby. this particular day, i had been asked for money by homeless people repeatedly. i asked mom, what do you do when people ask you? i feel bad when i don’t give, but i don’t always want to. here’s what she said: when the spirit moves you to give, give. if you don’t feel moved, don’t. either way, pray for that person and keep going. and pray for yourself to be open to the voice of the spirit within you.

happy Pentecost.

day 46

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the sak silverlake convertible – hobo style20130516-230756.jpgthe sak silverlake convertible – satchel style

 

this bag was my 2012 Christmas present to me from my family – which means i picked it out, bought it, kept it in a bag under the bed and then put it under the tree on Christmas.

what an awesome gift – exactly what i wanted.┬áno, i didn’t get it at my favorite goodwill, or any thrift store. this came from the one, the only, tj maxx. while it is always my dream to score quality bags at thrift store prices, that doesn’t always work when i have something specific in mind.

a few years ago, my close friend and 2nd mom joy wanted a yellow/mustard bag. she knew if anyone could find it, i could. she is very particular and won’t settle for just any style. well, i found her a london fog mustard colored purse for $70. instead of telling her about it, i splurged and bought it for as a birthday present. it barely begins to compensate for all the times she was there for me when i got locked out of the house, felt like no one understood me, and didn’t understand myself. i was thrilled to give it to her and she was beyond excited.

i loved the bag myself – so much that i went online and got myself one from overstock.com. if you find something you like at tj maxx and don’t buy it, then go back and it’s gone, try overstock or polyvore. so i got my yellow bag and i basically wore it out. the body is leather but the handles are covered in a thin, stretchy vinyl – the handles began to peel and that’s it for me. i can’t be too tacky.

so i started looking for a replacement last fall – and i looked for months and months. everything i liked was way out of my price range – i have this innate ability to select bags that cost $129 or more. not happening!

i found this bag by the sak at tj maxx for $60. well, $59.99 but who’s counting. as a present, i felt i could justify coughing up the dough. it’s a satchel that converts to a hobo; the shoulder strap folds underneath the purse and can be snapped into immobility. the pebbled leather is buttery goodness and i have to work hard to not just sit and pet it like a cat. what can i say, i have two kids with asthma. no pets. i loved this gift. having a yellow bag on a rainy or winter’s day brightens not only my mood, but others’ too. it’s the least i can do.

day 27

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michael michael kors bag

i let my three each choose a bag for today. i ditched their choices for this bag.┬ái got this michael michael kors bag at my birthday party and purse swap this year. my friend chris brought it, and she got a dooney & burke that i rescued from goodwill and a red patent leather maxx new york that i hardly used and no longer wanted. what a good deal. i would never buy this purse for myself, but it was fun to carry today for errands and then the party. and it’s got green leather. right?

the soiree was at a friend’s house whose home overlooks the river. it’s on a steep hill, and fortunately i could justify stopping short of the front porch to gaze upon the ohio river, but really i didn’t want to be huffing and puffing as i walked in the door. as i caught my breath, and inhaled deeply several times, i considered the other side for a few moments. it made me thankful to be living in 2013.

so i took thie picture of today’s bag on the steps of this amazing house, a historical landmark here in cincinnati. i had a great time with my friends, all the while feeling thankful to be present and in the moment. the time passed too quickly, as usual. tgff. thank goodness for friends.