Subject: One thing you must have
I know we weren't supposed to mention clothes, but I always carry a swim suit. It's the one article of clothing that isn't always easy to purchase when you need it. The few times I haven't had one along, I've had reason to regret it. Once we unexpectedly ended up staying a quaint country inn in northern Italy. It had a beautiful pool and we had no suits and couldn't use the pool. There were no shops within miles of the place. Another time we came across a lovely river beach. We had a great picnic there, but couldn't join the swimmers as we had no suits and no place to buy them.

Most of the things I like to have along, I can manage to do without or purchase along the way if I forget them. In fact, some of my fondest travel memories are of shopping for forgotten items. And such items become very special souvenirs.

There's the ducky cup sitting on a shelf in the bathroom--a blue plastic kiddy cup which was the only drinking vessel we could purchase in a small village in Mexico where we didn't want to be seen swigging our wine straight from the bottle as we picnicked in a public park.

I open my sewing box and find the remains of a skein of blue embroidry thread I spent an hour searching for in Athens when I ran out of that color for the project I'd bought along on a trip. I pull it out and remember an almost forgotten morning of trying to match the color and in the process discovering a part of Athens I'd never visited before.

How about the rest of you? Do you have some special object that was purchased on a trip, not as a traditional souvenir, but rather as a near necessity?

Martha in Connecticut