It’s not really lost till Mom can’t find it.
I don’t remember where I heard or read this, but I think it’s true.
A few weeks ago, a windstorm upended our patio umbrella. Getting the base re-positioned required a special little tool that came with the umbrella when we bought it. Eleven years ago.
Did I find it? Yes, I did! (In a cardboard box I’d labeled “Umbrella Parts.”)
A couple of days later, I tested my finding skills again, this time to locate an old Madison (Wisconsin) Symphony Orchestra program that contained an anecdote I wanted to share.
Did I find it? Yes, I did! (The program was from the 2003-2004 season.)
But there are so many things I’ve looked for and haven’t found. Here’s one: I’ve carried on a decades-long search for a library picture book my daughter and I enjoyed reading together in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. I want to buy a copy, but neither of us can remember the author or title, only that the main character was a demanding little girl who wanted her parents to cut her toast in the shape of a hat.
“I want mine in the shape of a hat” has remained in our family lexicon to acknowledge a ridiculously fussy request. It’s our version of Mae West’s “Peel me a grape.” I’d love to find that book again.
People expect me to be able to find things, probably because I’m a librarian and a fairly organized person. I expect to be able to find things, too. That’s why I’ve indexed all my sheet music—a closet full—by title. As said, I’m a librarian.
Despite my best organizational efforts, I, like everyone else, spend way too much time looking for things like my cell phone and my car keys. I have solved the misplaced reading glasses problem though: I wear a contact lens in one eye for close vision. I put it in in the morning and I’m set for the day.
Sometimes my search for a lost item turns up a consolation prize: something good that I’d forgotten I even owned. I’m a minimalist, but I still seem to have a lot of stuff.
Oh, and that anecdote I wanted to share?
It’s from violinist Karen Bottge. When asked for her funniest concert experience, she reported this:
I was conducting South Pacific and told the pit musicians that they could bring snacks as long as they didn’t make any crackling or crunching noise. During an extended on-stage dialogue, I turned to the violin section only to find them warming marshmallows under their stand lights and eating s’mores.
It was worth the search.
Paulette Bochnig Sharkey