It’s good to have the necessities when traveling. For some families that might mean Doritos and a good cheese dip, or maybe carrots and low fat-ranch.

When my family travels, we always carry one staple with us: the blue toiletries bag. It holds everything we need for any toiletry-type situation and then some. Toothbrushes and toothpaste. A brush and comb. Hairspray and gel. Deodorant. Lotion. Q-tips. Nail file. Eye drops. Tweezers. Shaver. Wet wipes. Cologne. A corkscrew.

My husband brought the blue toiletries bag into our marriage, but it originated with me. I made it for him in preparation for a trip he took to Europe before we were married. Back when we were “just” best friends.

Still are, but we’ve progressed from there. Let’s just leave it at that.

The blue toiletries bag has been a staple in our lives ever since.

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In the month after graduating from college, he told me he needed a waterproof bag for his upcoming trip, but didn’t know where he could purchase one. I told him I could sew something. We shopped for the fabric during a horrendous storm. We saw a tornado on the horizon, looming, but continued shopping as naïve and immortal barely-20-somethings might do.

I showed him various options. He chose a blue waterproof fabric.

After the storm, we assessed tornado damage. It was substantial. Terrible. It made us pause. But we were young.

I had a bag to sew. He had a plane to catch and an adventure to experience.

Off he went to Europe.

Happily for me, he returned in three months with the blue toiletries bag and our growing relationship both intact. Little did we know the bag (and the concept of we) were to become permanent staples in our lives.

As newlyweds, we brought the blue bag to our honeymoon in Las Vegas. We had two toothbrushes and lots of cologne. We forgot deodorant and Q-tips because we were married but not quite full-fledged adults. I remember it rained just one day of our trip. Pretty mild on the storm ledger.

With time, we fully outfitted the bag with all the things needed for a week or weekend away. All we needed to do was grab it and go. It was beyond handy. We felt very prepared, and adult.

We had our first child and added a toothbrush, and then another, and another and so on. Each one had its own plastic bag. Tidy and germ-free.

Our trips to Las Vegas were replaced by vacations to Disney.

In addition to toothbrushes, we added sunscreen and baby fingernail clippers. There were many years we vacationed with a double stroller — until we blew the wheels out during a horrendous rainstorm. We survived; the stroller did not.

This year, we brought our youngest son to college not long before the barrage of Hurricane Sally. Later, we were in the area again for Delta. Storms can be devastating when you find yourself in the midst of the eye.

Much like the tornado we encountered in our early days of the blue toiletries bag, we dodged the hurricanes that nearly came our way this year. Back then, we were young and didn’t realize the dogged dodging we’d done. This time we do.

We dodged a storm. And we are thankful and happy — for storms and the ability to escape them, for history and family and vacations and everything in between. For our blue toiletries bag and all that it stands for and the cement it brings to our family.

Sometimes it’s the little things. For us one of those little things just might be blue — and waterproof.

Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright, author and member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Don’t miss a slice; follow the Slices of Life page on Facebook.