Friday, March 22, 2019

An In-Home Treasure Hunt

A long time ago, I built a marionette. She hung out in a plastic bag in some not-yet-de-cluttered box, but she lost a shoe. Every now and then, the shoe would turn up, but then I wouldn’t remember which box held the marionette. Thinking they were fated never to manifest at the same time, I finally threw the shoe out. Then, during my recent de-cluttering binge in the laundry room, I know I considered tossing the marionette. I looked her in the eye and evaluated whether she gave me joy. But did I throw her out? That is the question because – you guessed it – a shoe has turned up!

When de-cluttering runs up against memory lapse, it’s unclear whether something is really gone or I-just-can’t-remember-where-I-put-it. I am sure the marionette will turn up as soon as I lose contact with the shoe.

A few years ago, my sister and I took a road trip to Corning, New York, where I made this glass mobile. Except that it doesn’t really look like that because as I was hanging it, I crashed into the window and broke the third glass strip.

I put the broken piece aside, awaiting repair.

Do you have things “awaiting repair”? Do you have a set location for items in limbo? I do not. The broken piece sat on the lamp stand for a year or so.

But then I moved it to a safer location because I knew I would repair it eventually.

I have no idea where that safer location is.

It’s all rather timely because last August, when my sisters and I went on a road trip, we encountered a glass artist. I talked with her about repairing my mobile, and she gave me a tube of E6000 to use. Of course, now I have to re-find the broken piece.

I have checked out all my secret stash locations, my pending piles, my do-something-with-it-someday spots. I checked the little decorative boxes that sit on the dresser. No luck. I can’t find the broken piece anywhere.

But then I discovered another decorative box downstairs – my raven box – hidden in what I guess is now a really secret spot.
When I opened that box, I discovered my chunk of the Berlin Wall and the scrap of Christo’s wrapping of the Reichstag from my sister! Yes, the very same items I’d assumed were inside the little, decorative, heart-shaped, wooden box upstairs when it was stolen two years ago and which I wrote about here!

Why do I feel like my house is a scavenger hunt venue? Or some escape room with elusive clues? Why do things-that-go-together (broken piece and glue, marionette and shoe) go their separate ways in my house? And you’re probably wondering, What’s with all the little boxes and hiding spots?

Note: they do not start out to be hidden. It’s just that in my world, everything has an assigned place; fabric goes in the fabric place, art supplies in the art area, books on the bookshelf. But when something is not easily categorized, it doesn’t own a designated home. Where would a chunk of Berlin Wall, a broken glass piece, and a marionette shoe belong?

Anyhow, despite all this treasure hunting in my house, there are now two things I don’t know:
  1. What was in the little heart-shaped wooden box that was stolen two years ago? (I’m guessing it was rocks. Rocks belong in my fancy boxes. Jewelry belongs in old, rumpled plastic bags tossed somewhere else. Personal priorities.)
  2. The Big, Still-Unanswered Question: Where is the broken glass piece from the mobile???


  1. Love this! You could easily have been describing my home and me :-) Thanks for making me feel validated

    1. And this comment does the same for me -- thank you!

  2. I recently started got a box and labeled it "My Memory Box" and put all my little souvenirs and things in it. Things that didn't have an obvious place to go.

    I think I will get another box and label it "My Fix-it Box" and put all the broken bits in it. And maybe all the special glue and other repair supplies that I have ordered.

  3. Those are great ideas, but I remember when I had a secretary who created a Miscellaneous file. After a few months, there were dozens of Miscellaneous files.... I don't think one box would hold all my location-unspecific items.

  4. Not to confuse things, but are you sure what you found is YOUR piece of the Berlin Wall and YOUR piece of Christo's Wrapped Reichstag that I gave you? Or might they be Mom's Berlin Wall and Wrapped Reichstag, which we figured you should have after Mom died, since the rest of us all have ours.

    1. I have BOTH chunks of wall at the same time! (I never got Mom's Reichstag.)


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