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  • Writer's pictureTerri Tomoff


Do you remind yourself of an experience or trip with buying a souvenir(s)?

The English Oxford Dictionary says souvenir is a noun: a thing that is kept as a reminder of a person, place, or event. Through travel, I've got mementos all over the place.

I'm a sucker for a good gift shop, and there were plenty on our trip, even in the National Parks. I had to keep reminding myself that I don't need a thing! But did these little reminders stop me? Nope. I bought a few things, gifts for other family members and stickers, patches, several books, and a couple of handbags.

Two souvenirs stand out on this trip. My wool bracelet and a mug with a bear handle. I love bracelets of any kind. While in Bostwana years ago, our guide, Master, made me a braided bracelet from the bark (which looks like wood strands but is soft) of a Baobab tree. I still have it and wear it on special occasions.

My new wool one was picked up off the ground in Bozeman, Montana, at a ranch where my friend, Nancy Creel, was practicing sheep herding (Indian Desert sheep) with her three border collies. The sheep are not shorn but lose their wool just strutting themselves in the corral or fields. I fashioned a piece and tied it on my wrist, where it still remains in place today. I wish I picked up a few more strands to manufacture a few more wool bracelets!

My second souvenir was purchased while in Hope, British Columbia. Linda and I wanted to find a nice park to stop for lunch, and the town of Hope was where we decided to take a peek around. The town is noted for the chainsaw carvings across Canada (or at least we've been told), especially the John Rambo carving from the First Blood movie franchise. It definitely has the resemblance to Rambo or Sylvester Stallone, the star of those movies.

While stopping at one of the shops on Main Street, the kind shopkeeper mentioned an art gallery on the next street. The mention of an art gallery got our attention, so we decided to take a "looksy" before heading on to our next destination. Within the first few minutes, I had a handmade mug (they are my favorites!) in my hand. I loved the handle that was in the likeness of a black bear. I secretly hoped if I bought it, maybe it would change our luck to have a bear sighting. As we walked around the gallery admiring the talented area artists, I put the mug back. My thought was, I don't need another mug.

The want won.

And, despite buying the bear mug, no such luck on the bear sightings the entire 8000-mile trip!

But I'll always have and will love my bear mug!




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