What was once lost is found again

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By Christopher Brooke


Beth and I finally discovered where the last lost-in-the-move items were nearly three months after the move following a recent visit to my parents’ house.

Weeks before, we had already recovered all the cardboard boxes from storage in their basement. 

But, after accounting for all the contents, my wife expressed bewilderment when none of the many dozen brown boxes yielded the other half of our silverware set or an apron handmade by her grandmother for me.

So, at a family picnic when carry-out barbecue was brought in to feed my visiting in-laws, it seemed a little incongruous when my dad walked in the living room while tying on an apron.

“Why would he need to cover up from BBQ splashes when he’s not even cooking?” went through my mind, still slow to make the connection.

Beth expressed her excitement to be reunited with our practical and sentimental stuff, a morale boost when we have felt a bit adrift, this despite our strong connection to Louisville through my parents and my brother all living there.

Honestly, with all the trash we put out at the curb, all the items recycled or given to friends or Goodwill, I couldn’t keep track of where all the belongings went, how it got packed or if we even held on to it.

Unlike the scene of most new arrivals at their new domicile, we did not leisurely pace ourselves to get established. Stuff flooded out of the boxes as quickly as they could get opened within hours and days of arriving. 

They say that moving is one of the most stressful events that happen in life. 

That’s putting it mildly, I think.  Relocation results in such forgetfulness, obsessive behaviors and dread, there might should be an entry in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders for it, if there isn’t already.

Beth made a list from memory of the items that had impossibly disappeared and stuck it on the refrigerator.

Just glancing at the list could induce a cringe when it brought up how our lives could become complete again if we could put our hands on our beloved stuff.

Moving experts say to make a list of what goes in the box, but packing takes so long, who has time to add another chore on top of that?

I don’t. Oh, sure, I made a general contents note, like “kitchen,” “living room,” “compact discs” or “books,” but in terms of finding specific items, not helpful.

And, we own so much stuff it took just about every container, bin and bag and relative’s vehicle available to fit every last non-fiction book, every photo album, every LP, every pair of shoes, etc., in.

My dad helped us solve the mystery when he noticed an unrecognized plastic tote in his basement.

A friend had given Beth the tote full of yarn for Beth’s knitting and crocheting hobbies. Into said tote, which I did not recall owning until it resurfaced, I took advantage of the available space by hastily shoving the silverware and the apron in among the yarn. 

Maybe next time, I will hire life coaches, professional organizers and movers to make our journey easier.