Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Losing Stuff

I was afraid that today would be a day that would live in infamy in my mind.

Oh, no, nothing even a small fraction as horrible as D-Day occurred to me, and I probably shouldn’t even have thought of the analogy. But I was very concerned it would be the day I realized that my house keys were lost forever.

You see, even though I’m far from being techie, I’m getting spoiled. If I misplace my not-so-smart cell phone, I can still call it and it will answer. Same goes for the portable sets to our landlines. (Yes, we still have two for varied purposes, plus a borrowed third one.)

But I’ve spent the last couple of days diligently editing a manuscript that’s due in about a week, and I wasn’t thinking about much else. Today is our garbage day, though, and I took our trash and recyclables out toward the end of the day yesterday before it got dark, plus I moved the cans to the curb. Because I’m paranoid, I carried my house keys with me even though I unlocked the doors, just to be sure I could get back into the house.

Later, I realized I didn’t have the keys.

My keys are contained in a special holder of a style I fell in love with in Europe--a slim leather case with an inner key ring that comes out when you squeeze the sides. It’s small and dark and not especially obvious--especially if I’d dumped it in the cans with the trash.

I examined my pockets and the inside of my purse first, of course. It wasn’t either place. I looked around the house. Not anywhere there to be found. Then my husband Fred and I went outside to the garbage cans after running the gauntlet of taking a flashlight outside--when our younger pup Mystie goes wild even at the very sight of one, whether or not it’s turned on. She knows what happens when the light goes on--magic that she must bite, and yip at, and dig!

No sign of the keys at first, in the cans... and then I happened to think about my venture earlier that day: climbing the steep hillside behind our fence and beneath the platform where the cans usually rest. I’d dropped some trash there earlier this week and had to retrieve it. Could I have dropped my keys there?

I had! I saw them from the platform on the ground beneath. Because I’d nearly fallen in daylight going after the trash, I figured I’d have to wait till the next day to recover them, but at least I knew where they were. But my sweet husband, using a different, safer route, got them for me right away.

It wouldn’t have been the end of the world to have lost them, although one of the items is actually a hard-to-replace key that turns our burglar alarm on and off at certain entries. We have other ways to turn the alarm on, though. Still, replacing it, the house keys and the other stuff on the ring wouldn’t have been fun, and it’s not easy to find the kind of case I use.

But I suppose it would have been better than dealing with the missing Rolex watch that a neighbor’s friend lost, possibly on our street, last week. Signs are up describing a reward to whoever finds and returns it. It’s not only an expensive watch, but it’s engraved with something meaningfully personal to the owner. I hope he finds it. Rolexes apparently don’t emit signals when lost any more than an old-fashioned key case does.

And now I’m able to go back to my editing without the distraction of missing keys... plus, I’m plotting some new stories. Maybe I’ll use some missing keys--or a disappeared Rolex--as a clue!

And you--have you lost anything lately? Did you find it?


Janie Emaus said...

Actually, I couldn't find MY keys the other day and I had to borrow my husband's car key. My keys did turn up later in the day, but losing them wasn't fun.

Linda O. Johnston said...

It's always handy to have an extra set of keys, Janie--as long as you know where they are, too!

Betty Hechtman said...

I'm usually pretty good at finding my keys, but once when I was distracted because my mother had just died, I put my keys down somehwere and couldn't find them. For days, I looked everywhere and they never showed up. Then by chance, I glanced at the uprght vaccum cleaner that I had passed countless time and saw that I'd hung the keys on the hook the cord went around. Go figure.