Mary, Mary, quite prepare-y, what all does your bag hold?
Lamps and plants and hatstands and at least two mirrors, we know.
Shoes and a coat, and measuring tape, with some unusual markings, though.
My own bag keeps some items similar in purpose and practicality, and some nothing at all like our wide-traveling Mary's.
When I find a pair of perfect jeans or favorite shoes, it stores a lifetime's supply of them, so when one pair runs out, there's no need to panic. If I don't find something I like well enough to replace them, I'll just use the next backup.
It carries cures for the hangries (so hungry you're angry = hangry). A wide variety of snacks to fit any mood, with recommendations, for those times when you're so starving you just can't think well enough to know what you want. "Madam, you seem cranky. May I offer you a taco?"
Whenever I need art supplies, or don't quite have the right shade of colored pencil or decorative masking tape, I can find it in my bag. Furniture, too, for regular abode rearrangings, as the fancy strikes.
Books. So. Many. Books.
Every single drawing my daughters have ever made can be found sorted, dated, and filed neatly in there. I never have to feel the wrenching debate of which to keep and which to toss. I know they're always there, to enjoy those precious details of their developing talents and love for creation, but not in a stack as high as the Chrysler Building threatening to overtake my living space. The first and subsequent 400 sketches of mermaids or fairies (pronounced 'veries,' at the moment) or princess frogs, all with curly-que eyelashes and tutu skirts, are all in there. Not a single one has had to be tossed, not ever.
Their first outfits and hats and baby blankets and lost teeth, and every time they picked weeds to bring me a bouquet. All there, forever.
Brilliantly, this bag also holds all the subtle, nuanced, precious memories associated with each item it stores. It's got the post-beach trip grains of sand I cleaned out of the carseat from the day my baby first called me Mama, and all the overwhelming love she and I shared in that moment. It keeps the blue maternity tanktop I reached for and clutched tightly to, the moment I realized, "I can't get dressed for the hospital... this baby is coming here and now." It keeps these things so I can feel my history.
The quirky, clever lines and ideas I've thought or dreamt up, and mourned at discovering they were forgotten before I'd had a chance to record them--that sadness doesn't happen anymore. I whisper into my bag constantly, while it safely tucks my musings away.
Everything I want to have convenient, and all that I treasure and hope never to lose; it's my bag's job to hold safe and ready. It's really quite a clever thing.