My Haunted Ride

Well I found the bag with my lost items and a good thing too, since the spare car key old Dave loaned to me was bewitched.

It has that touch pad on it, you know the one, that you use to make the back hatch pop up or the sliding doors open.

(This my car by the way, a 2005 Town and Country.)

Well none of those functions work with Old Dave’s key. His key to my car behaves so badly he has to bury it in the back yard so it will cease communicating with the vehicle. (OK, not really. Really it’s in his the bottom of his sock drawer, which is practically the same thing.)

With his key, when you’re done driving it, you turn off the engine, press ‘Lock’ on the little keypad that’s right on the key and walk away, secure in the knowledge that your vehicle is protected. Not with Dave’s key. With Dave’s key you lock up and within 20 seconds people are yelling that one of your sliding doors is.

“Hey, you left your DOOR open!” they call as if you’re the stupidest person in the world, but that’s only if you’re lucky.

If you’re not lucky, as I learned yesterday, you come back from 45 minutes in the grocery store and only THEN find that the car door is open and a family of raccoons has moved in and begun preparing dinner.

So the first thing I did yesterday was go the dealership to see about making a new key to replace my old key.

“That’ll cost ya $225,” the woman in Service told me.

“I can’t pay that! I said and went on to explain the problem with Dave’s key. “Can’t you just do something to make it stop talking to my doors this way?”

“Gosh, I don’t know. Let’s move you over to Parts.”

So over I went to Parts, where I explained my problem to the equally nice person manning that desk.

He listened as I gestured to my car, visible through the plate-glass window, just 50 feet away.

He tested its battery which was fine, and laid it on the counter to consider the problem.

Then “Hey! I didn’t even touch the key and look!” he cried, gesturing outside. “Your left rear door slid open!”

“What I’m sayin’!”

So he has ordered a new key with no smart functions at all that will cost me less than 50 bucks.

Of course Old Dave is trying to call this a waste of money. “The key is fine,” he said if you can call a key fine that has to be buried at all times to make it stop poltergeisting all over the place.

Anyway I go back to the dealership today and pick up my new, UN-smart key – which I’m thinking I will keep ON MY PERSON at all times – maybe inside my bra even, which is where I keep my Bluetooth – so that I never again find myself locked out as I was on Wednesday.

Still, all’s well that ends well and I am happier than I can say that my missing bag was found.

I went back to the mall in person again yesterday and walked from office to office asking after that lost RadioShack bag. “Sorry” they said at Macy’s Lost and Found. “No, Sorry” at the Mall Office. “Sorry!” at the Customer Service counter at the mouth of the Lord and Taylor walkway.

Then, I went back to EBar, the fancy-coffee place just outside Nordstrom’s. I had bought a coffee there Wednesday and that’s the first place I went in retracing my steps that day, but they hadn’t seen my bag either.

This time though on my second day of scouring I approached the barista.

“Nobody turned in a RadioShack bag to you, did they?”

“The other day?”  she said.

“Yes,” I said with a quickening heartbeat. ‘She walked ten feet down the counter and bent over to reach into a shelf.

“Here ya go!” she said. “Somebody brought it in at the end of the day.”

So it wasn’t stolen at all but only lost.

I love it when things are only lost because I believe all lost things come back to us in the end.  When I was two I lost my favorite ball toy and mentioned it aloud it in my prayers every night along, with the little stray cat we called Stranger who was with us for only about a week. God please find… “ I prayed.

Those two things aren’t back yet but hey: I’m still in the early innings here, right?

the lost bag and keys, found at last

the lost bag and keys, found at last

When Things Go Wrong

When things go wrong, they really go wrong. Or maybe this is just a bad time for me.

First, I lost my Nikon Cool Pix camera, a silvery little thing, skinny as an angel fish and slippery as a palmful of mercury.  It just slipped into another dimension is all I can say.

This happened in August and I whined about it here a week or so ago. Then this past weekend when I posted some photos here, a few especially alert readers commented, “Ah you found your camera!”

But I didn’t find my camera. I used my phone to take those pictures.

So finally, after I had wrestled with my conscience and argued with my pocketbook, I counted up all my coupons from Staples and went to that store and bought a new camera, a fancier one and, more importantly, one that bulges out on one side. Harder to lose, I figured.

Then today since I was at the Mall anyway I ducked into RadioShack  to look for a case for it,  which I found. And the salesman was lovely so while I was there I also bought a bigger media card and a battery for the remote control of my Bose radio. I paid,  pulled out my car keys, tossed ‘em in the RadioShack bag and started for my car. But then at the last minute I thought I might just run into that rest room outside Nordstrom’s – oh and maybe grab a coffee at the coffee bar they have just to the right of the entrance.

Then suddenly I was inside Nordstrom’s.  It happens but my excuse was a good one: we have a family wedding on the beach at 11am this Sunday for which I foolishly thought I would wear this gorgeous spun-sugar dress, a gossamer dream of swoops and scallops, the kind of thing Tinkerbell would wear if they ever let her out of those green cutoffs. Only now it  looks now like it’s not going to BE warm and sunny on the beach at 11am. It’s going to be 56° with temperatures climbing to the 60s if we’re lucky and a fair amount of overcast.

I do have another get-up I can wear but no shoes to go with it, which is why I went into Nordstrom’s, after hitting the bathroom and before hitting the EBar where they make such awesome coffee.

Somehow, in one of those three places, I set down the RadioShack bag, which, remember, had my car keys in it.

I got out to the car and immediately got that awful feeling you get when you realize you can’t get into your vehicle.

I had to call my friend Mary let herself into my house with the extra key she keeps for us, went up to old Dave’s bureau, found his key to my car and drove all the way to the mall to rescue me.

I kept thinking as I waited for her that surely I would find the keys inside the car. After all I had made two trips to the car earlier because I’d had my laptop with me and that was too heavy to lug around shopping . Then I bought two skirts and I didn’t want to be carrying them. Thus I had made at least two offloading trips to the car.

Or was it three? Surely the Radio Shack back and the keys were in there too?

Only they weren’t. The RadioShack bag is gone, along with that brand-new camera, a media card, a camera case, the battery for the remote for my Bose radio – AND ALSO my car keys, my house keys, the key to my Post Office box, and the special skinny key chain cards that in my case get me the good deals at CVS,  at Mahoney’s Rocky Ledge Nursery and at Rite Aid. Oh and the one I need to gain entrance to the Y every day.

All this bad luck broke on me at 4pm yesterday and I feel just sick about it.

I called Nordstrom’s and RadioShack and the Mall Office but no one had seen any such bag. I left my name and number.

You don’t think about people stealing stuff but maybe if you’re such a fool as to set down a bag from RadioShack so as to paw through the tumble of discounted shoes, this kind of thing will happen.

I wonder if that happened. Nobody has stolen from me since 1980, when a couple of second-story men shimmied up the columns to our porch, pushed up the window to my study, and relieved us of all our wedding gifts. And my mother’s ring from the Boston Latin school. And my own National Honor Society pin. And the charm bracelet my high school boyfriends kept adding to, wee silver trinket by wee silver trinket until it jingled on my wrist like the ankle bracelet on a gypsy queen.

All gone now, along with this latest list of things, like that new camera that I didn’t get to use even once.

It’s a lesson for me all right and not an easy one.  I’m just hoping for a better day today.

Keys like the ones here – only my key ring holds a good 15 keys plus the 4 mini-cards

The Squirrels Know

feel for this guy, who I found trying to raid the hawthorn tree for berries before the poor birds could get to any.

They’re running out of food out there!

It’s been mighty mild for these parts but still: The critters know what’s coming.

I hung around in my bedroom for almost an hour to get this shot. (I have 20 lousy shots.)

There were four squirrels in the tree at the time but this guy seemed the perkiest. And then he turned and gave me his handsome profile.

And I was just close enough, my breath fogging the cold windowpane  – though if you click on the picture to enlarge it you’ll see the mesh of screening.

Just look at him, shoveling it in with those slim little fingers.  

I suppose he’s offering a lesson to us all, but with the holiday aftershocks still bouncing against me, I’m still too fried to figure out what it is. 

Tell Someone

People are mostly mystified. I know I am. Last night at 9 when I walked into my house I know had my I-Pod because I had been listening to it for the past two hours as I drove the two hours home. But 20 minutes later it had ceased to exist, was gone, lost, vanished. Today I have looked under every piece of furniture and in all the wastebaskets to no avail.

I was also mystified to find that I had exited my own vacation: I drove those 200 miles in 24 hours to see a doctor whose appointment I could have easily postponed and bring food to Uncle Ed who, I seem to have convinced myself, will die entirely without my ceaseless attentions. I think I also drove all the way home  because Dave was driving home for a can’t-miss business thing and I feared I might take on some insane project like refinishing my car in his absence.

So I exited my vacation at 6pm one day and got back at 9pm the next day. Dave meanwhile, left the lake here 12 hours after me, got back four hours before me and was contentedly watching the Red Sox-Blue Jays game when I walked in with a world of groceries, four kinds of cleaning supplies and two fancy bras I apparently  didn’t think I could get through the week without. I didn’t have the heart to tell him about the missing I-Pod and how I had to listen to the radio the whole way up, bouncing among six or eight stations wobbling in and out of range.

I did catch enough on one station to learn that the good people at Kent State  who have just buried a time capsule to be opened 50 years from now are all pretty sure they also buried one 50 years ago now, though nobody can quite remember where.

See? They’re mystified too – which supports my theory that we should tell everybody everything lest all knowledge be lost. Every one of my kids knows the whole story of our family. They know where all the coolest old letters are filed. They know what spinster Aunt Mame said every time she read about yet another engagement in the paper even though she was born just 14 months after the death of Lincoln. They know where sits the little wooden trunk packed by their four-greats-grandfather as he fled starvation in Ireland in the 1840s.

They know all these things and are holding them for me even as I held them for my sorrowing single-parent mom and she held them for her sorrowing widowed dad. I can’t tell you how cheerful this makes me feel. In fact maybe I’ll call them all now. I’ll bet one of them can  just picture what I did with that I-Pod.