Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

April 16, 2014

Just don’t call me a bag lady

By Gloria Eversole-Tartaglia
Sun contributor

CROSSVILLE — Do you remember when you were asked “paper or plastic” with regard to how you wanted your purchases bagged at the check-out lane in the grocery store? I always thought that question could apply to the preferred method of payment, as well. We are encouraged these days to buy, use, and re-use bags to convey our grocery store purchases to our vehicles and then to our homes. Of course, the option of plastic bags which the store provides can also be utilized. These plastic bags can be re-used to dispose of those kitchen scraps that we do not wish to put in a garage disposal or to pick up after our four-legged friends. In general, I like bags. Bags help me stay organized.

Bags, such as purses, keep all those necessary items at my fingertips. Every little girl needs a purse, if only to keep a hanky at hand if needed. When a young lady becomes a mother, she needs another bag to store all those items required to keep a baby clean and nourished and occupied when away from home.

A bag for books and notebooks accompanies the college student pursuing a degree in nursing after the babies can fend for themselves. The registered nurse then carries another bag containing a stethoscope and other paraphernalia required to perform patient care. Years later the semi-retired R.N. has now added a bag for several community and church related activities. I often get teased about the number of bags in my collection, but I know exactly where everything is and do not have to waste any time looking for those items when I leave my home.

I possess many bags. Some of them carry an advertisement for some agency or business, but most of them came to me as gifts. I especially like my nursing bag. My penchant for bags does not make me a bag lady. Merriam-Webster states that a "bag lady" is a homeless woman who walks around the streets of a city carrying her possessions in a bag. Call me organized; just don’t call me a bag lady.