Monday, December 4, 2023

C. Stroup: The Lost and Found

C. Stroup
C. Stroup

There’s an ill feeling I get in the pit of my stomach when I go to look for something of importance and can’t find it.  It is reminiscent of when I see a police car in my review mirror with its lights on.  Unfortunately, my hubby is familiar with this feeling too.  Allow me to impart a couple of his woeful experiences with you.

About twelve years ago, while wearing the diamond ring my dad had given him, he came home from Lake Texoma ringless.  It was bitter cold and he’d driven up to our harbor to check on our boat.  He noticed the ring had become loose on his finger and best guess, the frigid weather had something to do with it.  While Dad’s ring had considerable monetary value, to Ken, its sentimental value was unrivaled.

When he couldn’t find the ring anywhere in the parking lot or on the boat or on the dock or did I mention anywhere?  He shook his head and drove home while retracing all his steps in his mind. After all, this was not just any piece of jewelry.  He called back up to the harbor office and asked if anyone had turned the ring in.  (Yeah like that was going to happen.  I know this makes me sound cynical and that’s probably because I am.)  We contacted pawn shops, made a police report, and drove back to the harbor the next day.  Again, we carefully walked the paths Ken had taken as well as scouring outlandish places the ring would certainly never be.  And now, lo these many years later, the missing ring is still missing.

The year is 2020.  We’re getting ready to go out for dinner and Ken is going to wear the only 3 pieces of jewelry he owns.  There’s a diamond horseshoe ring I gave him, his wedding ring and a gold Italian charm Cornicello (horn).  Knowing how much my husband admired it, my now deceased brother had given the charm to him many years ago.  The trio fit nicely in a little ring box which prominently resides in plain sight atop our dresser.  But this day they are not on the dresser where he left them.

In panic mode we began the search!  Hours go by with no luck.  It’s getting really scary and my husband is having flashbacks to the debacle with my dad’s ring.  We have now opened and closed all nine of the dresser drawers nine times.  And, really, how many times can you search behind the dresser with, as well as without, a flashlight?  I lost count.  I’m Catholic and it is our practice to pray to St. Anthony to help find something that’s gone amiss.  It may take a bit to have the prayer answered but in some way he’ll usually come through.

We weren’t holding out much hope but decided it might be worth it to retrace his actions over the past few months. Maybe we could figure out when the last time was that the jewelry was worn.  So by looking at recent photos we discovered that the little box had traveled with us to Houston back in October.  We also took note that none of the jewelry was worn at Thanksgiving nor at Christmas time.  Searching through one of the suitcases that Ken had taken on that Houston trip provided the answer.  Deep down in one of the many folds of the side pockets was the little ring box which held the elusive necklace and two rings!  I figured it was St. Anthony.  Ken and I breathed a sigh of relief.  What was lost was found!

I have a couple of far less dramatic lost and found episodes of my own.  At our annual Christmas luncheon, my publisher, Max, gifted each of his contributors with a cool Cross Timbers Gazette T shirt.  While I probably wouldn’t wear it to church on Sunday, first thing I thought of when I saw it was, “What a great PJ top to sleep in!”  So I put it somewhere.  I first checked under my pillow and then the sheets, should it have gotten tangled up in there.  Then, after rifling through three closets, as well as the laundry room numerous times I was about to give up.  I tried the dirty clothes hamper but I was sure it wasn’t there so I looked there a third time.  (Please tell me why.)  Finally, in desperation (because now it was personal between me and the shirt) I texted Max and asked what color it was.  Thought this visual might help identify it.  Surnuf, it magically appeared in the back of the first closet I had searched.  Of course it did.  FYI, it is very soft and perfect for night time wear!

The other thing I lost, which was of great importance, was a couple of pounds.  These I did not wish to recover.  Regrettably their emergence came in the form of a few nights of binge eating an enormous bowl of buttered popcorn and about a half a can of peanuts thereafter.  To find the missing weight was a piece of cake, and another and another.  Knew right where to look for it!

Now this, unfortunately, is an excellent example of Lost and Found!

C. Stroup
C. Stroup
Cindy Stroup is a Double Oak resident and has been contributing to The Cross Timbers Gazette for over 30 years. Read her column each month in The Cross Timbers Gazette newspaper.

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