Things I’ve learned in life:
~ hold on to only the important things
~ have friends who own fabulous shoes, preferably in your size

The suitcase belonged to my great-aunt. It might not seem a likely thing for me to keep around for all these years, but it’s the one she carried on the train from Philadelphia to Phoenix as she raced to elope with her fiancee before he left for World War II. Readers here might remember another story about this night, so this piece really could be a bit of a prequel.

My dear friend J, who has stellar taste in footwear, helped me find just the right shoes for this photograph. She also let me take over her foyer with my equipment while our children behaved like crazy people in her home. The story this piece tells isn’t just about my aunt. It’s for all of us who’ve ventured out that first time alone. The possibilities, the nerves, the challenge of taking along only what you can carry.

I promise I don’t have a shoe fetish – I’m working on a commissioned series, and the only guidance was “shoes.” I decided each should be a little sonnet about life – our lives – something to which every woman can relate. What was your first solo adventure? I’d love for you to share it with me.