Finding stuff is, thankfully, not a lost art

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Who hasn’t, at one time or another, lost a precious possession?

I suppose losing stuff teaches us to “let go” of possessions, lest they possess us. That can be a hard lesson, though. Here are a few of my own “lost and found” stories with happy endings. Feel free to tell me your own.

In September 1998, a friend and I toured by bicycle the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington. Right before we boarded the ferry back to the mainland I bought a small silver bicycle pendant at a local gift shop that had tiny wheels, pedals and handlebars that actually turned.

Back home that fall I lost it at some point while on a ride. Gone for good, I figured. The following summer I was standing next to my bike in our gravel driveway getting ready to go for a ride with that same friend. I looked down at my feet and there was my little bicycle among the rocks. It had survived a snowy winter and been driven over by cars and pick ups. A bit beat up, its wheels and pedals no longer turned and the handlebars were tweaked. A jeweler trued everything up, more or less, and all its moving parts are working again; now it’s got “character.”

Then there was the time I was hurrying off to Easter services and the last thing I put on was the gold crucifix my mother had brought back from the Vatican for me.

As I sat down in church I discovered the chain had come undone and was dangling around my neck. The cross wasn’t with it. After checking my clothing (as inconspicuously as I could in a church crowded with “C & E” customers (as my father-in-law called the faithful who only come at Christmas and Easter), I dashed out the side door to search in and around my parked car. After Mass, I left a note with the usher with a sketch of the cross and my phone number.

My husband and I returned to the scene again that day and searched to no avail. Now, reportedly, everything sold in the Vatican gift shop has been blessed by the pope. What that entails, I’m not sure. Maybe he just breezes through waving his arms and sprinkling holy water over the cases — couldn’t hurt.

At the end of the day, as I was putting on my robe, my cross gently plinked to the floor. It was the best Easter ever.

Years ago my husband and I hiked to Bluebird Lake in the Ten Lakes Scenic area outside of Eureka. A bluebird kind of day, Jim had already landed his first of many trout to come before I could even get the net off my backpack.

Just as we were ready to hike out, Jim stood and his gold Italian horn fell off the chain around his neck.

We looked straight down in the coarse stubble thinking it would be right at our feet. Nothing. We crouched, careful not to move our boots, and lightly brushed the surface with our fingers.

After 45 minutes Jim was ready to give up — the horn was a gift his parents gave him as a teenager, bought and brought back from Italy by a family friend.

I said, “That horn is somewhere on this square foot of God’s good earth and we’re not leaving ’til we find it!”

And we did.

Several winters ago, I arrived at work one morning, pulled off my gloves, but the left one was snagged on something. I worked it off and noticed the prongs on my engagement ring were sticking up … and the diamond was gone. (A jeweler had even warned me the prongs were worn and needed to be rebuilt.)

The diamond must be in the glove, right? After turning the glove inside out, the search broadened to my desk and the floor. Coworkers joined in, even turning out the office lights to search by flashlight, hoping to catch a sparkle.

After ransacking my car, I reluctantly called my husband to tell him.

A couple of hours later, he called back. Remarkably, he’d found that little (but well-loved) diamond by flashlight in a hallway rug. And to think it could have fallen out of its setting anywhere ...

This past week while on a bike ride I stopped on the bridge over Ashley Creek to take off my windbreaker. Three other cyclists were taking a break and we chatted while I stuffed the jacket in my back jersey pocket. I rode about a half mile away ahead of a nice tailwind only to realize my jacket was no longer in my pocket. Tail between my legs, I rode back and, sure enough, there it was about 30 yards past the guys. I must have looked real cool riding away with my jacket parachuting into the air behind me …

Yes, I’ve had a few lucky breaks finding stuff. I only hope I haven’t called in my last marker with St. Anthony, patron saint of lost things.

Community Editor Carol Marino may be reached at 758-4440 or

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