I suppose I’m first on your list of “the missing,” if you have one.

“Meh.” That’s what they say on Facebook sometimes. I don’t really know what it means but it seems to fit. I have no good excuses for being absent from “On the Ravine,” although there was Vacation Bible School, Birthday Month (mine!), and a serious need to water several gardens by hand around these parts. I’ve also re-dedicated myself to the novel. “Meh.”

But there are things, not people, that have gone missing from my life and I’ve put them on a list.  I started the list two years ago when we first moved to the compound. I re-visit the list occasionally so that I can mark off items that have found their way to a new home, whether the abode is now in The Compound somewhere, or somewhere else. These things I find show up in totally surprising places, at unexpected times.

Dave says if I would put things back after I use them, I could always find them again, you know, a take-off on “everything has a place, everything IN its place.”   Well…  Meh.

Sometimes I find something on the list but forget to cross it off and by the time I need it again I’ve forgotten where I found it so it is, once again, a thing that I can’t find. Like the levelers for the porch furniture…and the gift certificate to Arrington Vineyards…and the elephant ears bulbs from last year. Dad put them in his garage, in a vented box of peat moss, and we both thought we saw them early in the spring. After some collective pondering, we agree that we probably sent the box to ThriftSmart with one of the loads of Christmas decorations…in November.

Now I put those table levelers in a zip-lock back with a label on the front that says “Porch Furniture.” I know that I have found them several times—in the laundry room down here in The Cellar, then in the janitor closet upstairs, and another time in my desk drawer. Today that bag is not here—nor there. There is a covered wicker hamper on the porch where we keep the plastic placemats and barbecue utensils and I’m wondering if I moved them to that basket. (Let me just stop and jot that note on my list here.)

Son Jade and his girlfriend (now wife) Anjie gave us a gift certificate to the vineyards down the road. That was two years ago, maybe three. I put the certificate in a file—labeled—so that I wouldn’t lose it. What I lost that time was the name on the label. I looked in several places for “Gifts,” and “Jade and Anjie,” and “Arrington.” Then, when we scheduled a family picnic at the winery, I touched ninety percent of my files, in seven different places, and found it in my deep file drawer in my desk. It was labeled “Arrington.” I don’t know why I missed it all the other times, but now I felt accomplished, maybe even victorious. I moved it to a “safe place” so that I could put it in my purse on the day of the picnic, except that I forgot where the safe place is. I will find it, unexpectedly, and it does not expire…

But I’ll tell you the missing item(s) that I’ve never seen anywhere yet and I didn’t hide them from myself. There are four of the eight glass inserts for a coffee table that Davidlee and his Family Moving crew packed and moved to The Compound almost two years ago. The other four were packed in a box of framed pictures and I cleaned them up and put them in the coffee table in the living room. I continued to empty boxes of wall art and photos over the next year or so. Then I decided that the coffee table was too large for the living room and moved it to garage storage. I still haven’t found the four pieces of glass, but now I don’t care nearly as much.

So what are you missing? Sometimes, when I talk about something that’s missing, it turns up. Really.

We haven’t seen any of the foxes for several months now. Have I talked about how much we miss them?  Meh.

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