Thursday, March 28, 2019

Found it!

I found it!

I found a whole ton of things! Lost things are popping up all over! I am on an incredible roll!

When too many things need to be found, the frustration eventually erupts into a war on crap de-cluttering. So I went to my art desk, saw an old, unfinished project I wasn’t interested in any more, and picked up the papers to recycle. Guess what was underneath?

The broken piece of the glass mobile! And I still had the glue and the broken mobile. All required pieces accounted for! Hooray!
So that freed me to stroll down another mental tangent. When Sophie graduated from high school and had her senior picture taken, I showed her mine. It was startling how much we looked alike (and I’ve always felt she looked exclusively like her father). So recently I came across my mother’s graduation photo, and I thought I’d line them up next to each other.

You know what that means: I have to have three things in the same place at the same time. That’s a challenge. First, I had to find my high school photo. I pulled out the carton of saved memories (yes, the same one that housed my Tab Hunter novel that my mother did not throw away).

Sitting right on top was the marionette! The marionette without shoes. And I still had the shoe. A shoe. (I actually believe one was thrown out many years ago in one of the earlier iterations of this recurring lost-and-found story.) So I put the shoe in the bag with Yvette, the Marionette, and they will lie there together, resisting de-cluttering. At least, when they go, they’ll go together – minus one shoe.

But still no senior class photo.

This saga requires another mental tangent. Two weeks ago, out of the blue, I heard from Jim, a former freshman when I was an R.A. in his dorm. We hadn’t crossed paths in forty years, but he’d discovered that Sophie and his son had shared the same freshman dorm.

A few years ago, when Jim’s class of freshmen were having a reunion, I wanted to send them the posters I had made to welcome them to college. I’d arranged all their senior pictures in a floor plan I made of the dorm, roommates with roommates. But, of course, I couldn’t find the posters….

So here I am now, looking for my own senior picture. Under the Tab Hunter carton, I discover another carton. I open it up, and right on top are the dorm posters! Jim won’t have another reunion for three years, but I’m putting the posters in the mail today. I can’t be trusted to find them again three years from now.

Eventually, in that carton, I find my senior photo. Whew! Then I have to find Sophie’s, but that should be easy. Well, not quite. She tells me over the phone that I’d picked the wrong one, she describes another photo. I’m very confused, but I have a photo that will work (although not as dramatically as I remember). This is us:

Distracted now by this box, I find all sorts of stuff. One of them is a newspaper clipping from 1972 from the local newspaper in my hometown, The Long-Islander. My high school social studies teacher, Mrs. Angela P. Ryan, had edited a book and noted she was inspired by my graduation speech, which she quoted. I remember trying once to find the book on Interlibrary Loan, and I remember trying to find her; but I never had any luck. I decided to try again.

This time, the Internet yielded a home address, and I’ve written her a letter.

If my luck holds – and some amazing alignment of the stars is putting things in their places in my universe – then I may find Mrs. Ryan, too.

A broken piece of glass, a shoe-less marionette, an old dormitory poster, a senior class photo, and an address – together, they feel like a triumphant victory of Order over Chaos. What was lost is found, what was broken is restored, what was forgotten is remembered. Now – in this very moment – my world feels so stable and organized and meant-to-be; I must be in my right spot, too.


  1. I love your makes my world feel right.

    1. Thank you! Hearing that -- said like that -- makes my day.

  2. Wow! The planets must be aligned! Kidding. They always are, aligned as they are and should be at any particular time. I think the key here is YOU, you saver, you, and your mom and all the other people in your life who value all these human connections that are aligning through you. And to quote SW, the gorgeous is strong with you three! Wow!

    1. Thank you so much. To think I'm part of the alignment! But I have to admit, I'm stumped: who's SW? It's not Yoda, who is it?

    2. Sorry, I was using Star Wars and the Force in general. Not Obi Wan, not Yoda, not...I just asked the Google Oracle and dang me, it's Darth Vader who says, The Force is strong with this one (his son). It was SW in general, but I think I'll quit misusing Darth Vader compliments. Love the one month sabbaticals you take. I've always said I want to spend a month in Boston somewhere just to listen to the remaining Irish accents there--reminiscent of my granfahtha and all the immigrant nuns coming from Ireland and going West to work in the hospital and school systems. But I'd also like to try other places, from the largest to the smallest, and soak them in for a month, all those nice to visit but maybe not live there places all your life. You are a trailblazer for that, too, and part of the alignment wherever you go.

  3. Finding a lost thing is one of the most satisfying feelings.


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