SOLILOQUY: Where to find lost things

Farm Forum

If they are keys, and you need them immediately because you are late to an appointment or to church or to class or to a funeral — and you live with an active toddler — they are in a shoe, and probably in one you haven’t worn for a while.

If they are your grown daughter’s keys — and she has a hundred things to juggle and was just stopping by for a moment to get the recipe for Irish soda bread but stayed for a cup of coffee, placing her groceries temporarily in the fridge — you will find them behind the sour cream.

If they are shoes — the bronze flats that your husband said looked like trout, the ones you’ve only worn twice but would look great with your new skirt — they are high on a shelf behind the box containing the half-crocheted baby blanket you were making for your nephew who is now 16.

If they are sci-fi books and they belong to your husband, and you have scoured the entire house for them, and your husband is sure you did something with them while you hurriedly cleaned before guests arrived, he’s right. You did. They are under a stack of binders high in the hall closet, and you will not find them for another six months, long after he has forgotten the beginning chapters, and he will have the pleasure of reading them all over again, and if you are lucky, he will thank you for giving him that pleasure. Or he might just kindly say nothing about where they were found at long last.

If they are music books, they are never behind the piano or in a piano bench. You can skip looking for them there. Most likely they are in a long forgotten backpack in the trunk of the old car, but they might be wedged between the ancient, coverless geography text and a photo album on the bottom bookshelf.

If they are pages of sheet music, you will need to replace them. They have wafted into an ethereal place called Lost-melody Land and will never be seen again, although there is just the slightest chance they could appear five years later on the back of a grandchild’s crayon landscape.

If what is lost is a pair of glasses, very expensive to replace even though your wife says they make you look nerdy, and you’ve hunted everywhere, including under couch cushions, and you’ve checked your head several times in the mirror, and you’ve searched every inch of the computer desk, the bathroom and the kitchen, then you will find them at an odd angle under the couch or else right in plain sight on the coffee table near the chess book.

If it’s a remote, if it’s not in the bathroom, it’s hiding under all those unused remotes belonging to obsolete and long-ago-discarded video machines.

If it’s a purse, and you have a highchair in the house, you will find it on the seat of the highchair; otherwise, it is under a jacket, but it might be in the car. There is a slim chance it fell out of the car and into the gutter. It’s worth checking.

If it’s a pair of scissors, search the windowsills. Inspect for preschooler damage to curtains, or traces of secretly cut hair.

If it is a red sweatshirt, size 3X, with a foamy and slightly ripped lining, it is in our front entryway. We have no idea how it got there. You may claim it at any time.

Donna Marmorstein writes and lives in Aberdeen. You can contact her at