Monday, January 16, 2006


My house eats things. It doesn't matter if the house is messy or clean. Things will just disappear. Sometimes they reappear. Sometimes they don't. At first I thought it was just me. Every few months, my glasses will just seemingly evaporate. Despite my ever worsening vision, I still don't wear my glasses all the time, and I have had those times when I've mislaid them.

The first time it happened, I knew that I had left them on the open book on the ottoman by my chair. My first thought was that my deliciously mischievous cats had decided to knock them off the book. No seat holds as much appeal as a book that I'm trying to read or the mousepad when I'm trying to write. When they didn't turn up after a frustrating search, images of me as a grumpy grandmom looking for my teeth deluged me. A few days later, they showed up in a different room on the floor. The odd thing was that I had just cleaned that room and would have noticed them when I crushed them with the vacuum cleaner.

It's not just my glasses. I love nice pens and bookmarks. A good pen doesn't have to be expensive, but it does have to have a good weight (I prefer a little heft), an ink flow that feels just right and visual and tactile appeal. My favorite was an embossed pewter pen whose surface was covered with flowering vines. Its weight felt significant in my hand and reminded me of the muscle memory of writing. Its lovely patina was a great focus point when I was day dreaming. Using it for a signature in a business deal always brought a pleasant comment. It absorbed a lot of my energy, and people connected that pen to me as part of my image. I was always careful putting it away in the inside zipper pocket of my purse. Never did it get carelessly thrown in the bottom with my receipts and mints or mindlessly tossed in a drawer. My husband and daughter are pen junkies as well, but they have their own preferences and would never use this particular pen. It disappeared several times and would reappear in the oddest places, like my bathtub or on top of the television set. It's been gone a few months now, and I'm still hoping for its surprise return.

My favorite bookmark was thin, delicately engraved sterling silver, and it fit on the corner of the page. It was the only bookmark of this type I've ever seen, and using it was a little thing that made me feel prosperous regardless of the status of my checkbook. Its beauty and practicality enhanced my reading pleasure. I could instantly return to my stopping point, and I reserved its use for only hardback books that delighted me. It has disappeared three times now. Twice before it returned to the top shelf of my living room bookcase, even though the book it had previously been in was not on that shelf or even on that bookcase. It is still hiding in lost item limbo.

So are my glasses. I'm stumbling around with my old, scratched pair with the outdated prescription and hoping that my better glasses will come back soon. Despite my cleaning frenzies and constantly updating organizing schemes, I will never be the kind of housekeeper who can immediately locate anything in her house. My lack of domestic aptitude still cannot explain these disappearances or why the only items that disappear are meaningful. I'd like to think that we have a friendly ghost who just wants to get to know us better. (That might also explain why my daughter's room is noticeably colder than the rest of the house.) I'm sure it's something more practical and boring than that, but for whatever reason it's happening, I do have a request.

House, please, can I have my stuff back?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the part about your daughter's room...

January 16, 2006 8:40 PM  
Blogger Judith HeartSong said...

gnomes and elves...... that is the answer.

January 17, 2006 2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Occurs to me that this entry about losing "things" is a bit like your recent concerns about losing "yourself."

As your house has taught you, you just have to trust that they--YOU--will be back.

Just a thought.(I'm finally feeling better...!)

January 17, 2006 5:44 PM  
Blogger Nelle said...

The same thing happens here.I used to stay up hours late trying to find things. I now just notice they are missing and wait to see where they turn up. I do often wonder if the animals might find things interesting and relocate them. Once I was missing an engagement ring from the table I KNOW I placed it on. Several weeks later it surfaced on a carpet in another room where the dog liked to move things to. I am still looking for the card I bought Rob for some holiday that vanished. Thing is, now I can't remember WHICH holiday! Seriously!

January 17, 2006 6:09 PM  
Blogger Virginia said...

There was a wonderful Twilight Zone episode where each minute had to be "built" and in some minutes, small things were forgotten... I loved that explanation as to how things just disappear.

Peace, Virginia

January 17, 2006 8:57 PM  
Blogger Gannet Girl said...

Gremlins. They live all over my house.

January 18, 2006 7:23 AM  
Blogger Cris said...

our house has "the borrowers". the little civilization that lives between the walls and floorboards.

some things are returned right away, others years later, and some that are never returned.

i'm hoping the borrowers are enjoying my things!

January 18, 2006 9:02 AM  
Blogger ckays1967 said...

my own house is always neat a pie and I still can't find a thing...LOL

January 18, 2006 6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anne/ksquester said...

Glass, I understand, but the other things??? I have had a few things disappear in my life, only to reappear IN MY HANDS. The only explanation I have is there is somebody on the "other side" trying to tell you they are thinking of you!

January 20, 2006 9:45 PM  
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February 24, 2006 4:56 PM  

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