Women and Adversity: Aging and Square Feet



Souvenir shops are the blight of all vacations.

People yearn to remember their travels so they buy spices in Istanbul, crystal in Waterford and religious articles in Jerusalem.

My husband and I spent four weeks in seven countries recently, and I bought NOTHING.

What I remember from our trip:

  • The scenic views of Scotland
  • The sheep in Ireland
  • The cows in France

I have memories of:

  • Normandy, which left me emotional and patriotic
  • Brugge, which made me hungry for chocolate
  • Liverpool, which recalled the hyperactive days of the Beatles

My house is filled with reminders of past vacations, but I don’t have room for any more souvenirs.

  • Two ceramic plaques from Lisbon sit behind a closed cabinet in my kitchen
  • A wooden spoon from Cardiff, Wales hangs hidden on the baker’s rack
  • The postcards from South America are stuffed in a drawer

As people age, they don’t have space for souvenirs any more. They have spent a lifetime collecting, so it’s time to divest themselves of “stuff.”

My memories are my photos. Www.mymemories.com is a digital program that contain all the souvenirs I need. These scrapbooks are on the coffee table in my living room, and I renew my love of our travels by flipping through them. Try doing that.



Article By: Jo Ann Mathews

I’ve been a professional freelance writer for several years and specialize in writing feature stories. I have more than a 1,000 bylines to my credit and have written on countless topics from autism to zoology. My columns on fashion and the Internet appeared in a Chicago area newspaper in the 90s. “Brunswick Buzz,” the column in The Sun News, the Myrtle Beach, S.C. daily, ran for seven years then “Events on the North Strand” took over in October 2013, also in The Sun News.

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