the antique suitcase
What journeys has this old suitcase seen? What memories are held within?
It began in a suitcase factory in Finland... when? in the 1940's? Who in the family bought it?
My own memory is unclear, I think it was given to me by one of my mother's brothers in 1967. That year I'd spent a summer in Finland researching Finnish art history for my thesis. I had bought a lot of heavy second-hand art and history books in Helsinki as well as having many Finnish gifts that were given to me and or I'd bought so I really needed another suitcase. I seem to recall it was found in my grandparents' attic on the farm, maybe it had been my mother's. If so, why did it not come with us when we emigrated to Canada?
For many years the suitcase must have been stored in my parents' home in Winnipeg for when they moved to Vancouver after retirement to live the winters with us, it came with their other belongings. After my parents had passed away and I was going through their things, I found it in the bottom of a closet, stuffed with extra linens like crisp white sheets with hand-crocheted trims in the old Finnish tradition.
Since then, it was stored empty in our somewhat musty crawl space along with other old suitcases that had seen better days. When our eldest daughter Anita went to Japan for half a year as an exchange student sometime in the early 90's, I think, she borrowed this suitcase. Maybe she had it with her when she was later living and studying in Victoria. Then it spent many more years in storage again in said crawl space.
Last month, our 'English' daughter Elisa was once again needing an old to-be-discarded suitcase to take some of their belongings from here to their current home in London. Though this old faithful was looking sad, worn, and water-stained, she fell in love with it and its history. I quickly took some photos for posterity's sake in case we'd never see it again. It's now in England, used for storage again. Where will it travel to next?