Blog, memories, Writing

Unclaimed Freight

Day 153

Image from

I was in grade school when my family first moved to Ohio. I was a country girl who was now living in a much more urban space. Our house was in a suburb nestled into a nice community, but I felt out of place and far from everything I knew. People made fun of my accent — even my teachers. I learned very quickly how to change my speech and my dialogue to fit in.

My dad worked in a steel mill in a very industrial part of town. He discovered an unclaimed freight store and our family often went there on Saturdays. To be honest, I am not sure what they were looking for because I am not sure I remember them ever buying anything. Maybe they bought a carpet remnant at one time. Perhaps it was a way to just pass the time.

I have written about this before. For me, the unclaimed freight store was a place my imagination ran wild. There were often suitcases, locked with no key, waiting for someone to buy them. I begged my parents to buy a suitcase, but of course they never did. Such a shame really, because I am sure they were filled with mystery and intrigue.

Image from

I was sure that a mysterious woman had boarded a train in the early morning hours. She was running away from someone, or perhaps to someone. Unfortunately, she met a tragic death on the rails, trying to move from one car to another, running from something…or someone. Inside her suitcase or her travel bag were clues that would give away her identity and answer the questions about where she was going and why. Did she murder her felonious husband? Or had she boarded the train with money she had stolen from the wealthy banker for whom she served as a low paid laundress?

I was never to find the answers to the mysteries I conjured up in my head. Suitcases and trunks, often abandoned, show up frequently in my writing. I guess there are some childhood thoughts we never quite outgrow.

14 thoughts on “Unclaimed Freight”

    1. Kim, that is a funny coincidence. I did not know you had family in Ohio. Looks like we also share an interest in hidden treasures. What’s not to love?


  1. That Pixabay picture is a marvel. I think similarly about luggage, because a) I’ve moved a lot and b) I love to travel. I’ve also done the accent adaptation as had my mother, and I don’t now. Northern sounding me still sounds southern to most here. I’ve also moved small town to suburb as a kid, and I gotta say, that’s hard stuff. Seems only other kids who did it can understand how hard that was.
    I don’t remember now how I found you or you found me, but I am grateful as I do so enjoy your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My imaging action came later, I’m afraid. When I was a child, my Dad worked so much that we never went anywhere that would foster an imagination or dreams. However, as an adult I became involved in my friends estate sale business. I would get SO attached to things that were going to be sold….thinking of the people in the very old photos ( mostly the Victorian age fascinated me) and I even ” adopted” a photo of a magnificent child…..can’t the if its a boy or a girl, but what a gorgeous face. I could not let this photo be thrown in the trash. It sits in a beautiful frame on my dresser. Hope they can ” see” that someone still cares. That’s until I go and my kids heap it on the trash pile with all my other great ” treasures!”. Lol. Thanks, Maggie, for stimulating some great memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I cannot imagine working in an estate sale business. When I go to antique stores, I always imagine the hands that held the teacups and wonder what happened that all their belongings ended up there. I love the idea of your “adopted” child. How sweet of you!


  3. Oh, I love the stories in things we find that have been left behind, thrown away, or otherwise “lost.” I think there are quite a few of us who love the story aspect. I tell folks that I do not like malls at all, and seldom buy anything new but skivies because everything new is pretty much tabula raza. I love trying to figure out the stories in clothing, etc. that I find. Yes, I am sure there are a lot of soul sisters and brothers in this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such common ground, Anne. Antique stores can be hard for me because I get lost in imagining stories about the people who originally owned the merchandise.


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