Larry is notorious for losing things. I can't begin to tell you how many times we've had to search for his checkbook. But the thing he seems to lose the most are his keys. Last winter he had an entire new set made because he couldn't for the life of him figure out where the old set had disappeared to. Spring arrived and with the last of the snows melted away, the glint of metal caught the attention of someone mowing the lawn. Actually, for us, it's not such a bad idea to have two sets of keys. We both know that eventually he'll most likely misplace or lose one of them anyways, which, by the way, he did a couple of weeks ago. "I don't know what I did with that extra set of keys," I'd hear him muttering under his breath as he'd walk through the house peering into random drawers and containers.
So yesterday he returned from his pastors' meeting in Corning with that same furtive look in his eyes, the one I've learned to recognize quite well, glancing about and into those those places where he stows his stuff. "So what did you lose?" This time it was his wallet. After coming back downstairs after checking his yesterday's pants' pockets, I began to walk him through the events of his past twenty-four hours. He was obviously concerned, it was his wallet after all. He was also a bit testy. "I've already done that," he responded. "Did you check both offices at the church?" He answered in the affirmative. "How about the car?" Again, in the affirmative. "Did you look under the seat of the car?" He left the house and I walked upstairs to check yesterday's pants one more time.
An exercise bicycle takes up some considerable space in our bedroom. I used it for a time, but because I find turning wheels and going nowhere considerably boring, I've not used it in over a year. Okay, maybe two. But that's besides the point. It sits on Larry's side of the bed and I haven't the heart to get rid of it because he'd have nowhere to hang his pants and shirt from that day. His rationale is that if there's a fire or other emergency in the night, he'd like to run out of the premises looking somewhat respectable. But I digress. There, lying beneath the bike was the wallet. Obviously it had fallen out of his pants' pocket while hanging from the handlebar or more likely, being draped over the seat.
I found him getting out of the van as I came around the corner. Victoriously I held the wallet up for him to see. He had a look of triumph on his face as well as he raised his hand revealing a full set of keys. "I found them in one of the pockets in the car. I remember putting them there now." And we celebrated by having lunch.
I'm probably being a bit hard on my husband who would have been diagnosed with ADD if there had been such a thing fifty or sixty years ago. I can't lay claim to that same condition, but I confess, I have lost a few things myself over the years including the diamond out of my engagement ring. The first time Larry found it in a vacuum cleaner bag. The second time, nope. Going back a few more years, after a hurricane flooded our home, I discovered that my class ring had disappeared, most likely thrown out to the curb in a water-logged container of some kind. I always hoped that whoever found it would track me down through my initials inscribed inside the band, but it never happened. It was probably pawned off or melted down.
I don't know what it is with rings, but most recently it was one that Fawn had sent me for Christmas a few years ago. I had taken it with me to Green Bay when she gave birth to her little boy last fall, but after returning home to New York, I couldn't find it anywhere. I searched for weeks. I also didn't have the heart to tell my daughter that I had lost it.
One day this past summer we decided to take our grandkids to Letchworth State Park, one of my favorite spots, and not quite two hours to the west of us. I grabbed my sneakers out of the closet and a pair of socks from the drawer before I left, figuring I might be doing some serious hiking that day. A few minutes after arriving, I slipped off my sandals and changed into the more sturdy footwear. As soon as I stepped out of the car I felt something small and hard at the toe of my shoe. It took but a moment to discover that it wasn't in the shoe at all but in my sock. Yep, now I remembered. In a hurry, I had stowed that ring in the toe of that very sock before leaving Wisconsin. I was convinced that I had lost it for good, but suddenly when I had finally given up looking for it, there it was!
One of my favorite chapters in the Bible deals with lost things. There's a story about this woman that searched everywhere for a lost coin, and when she found it, she invited all her neighbors in to celebrate. Man, could I identify. I gave a whoop and a holler, "I found it! I found the ring Fawn gave me!" And I felt as if Someone was laughing and rejoicing with me in the find. I could almost hear Him cry out, "Surprise!" I basked in that for the rest of the day. Still am.