Bill Kirby

Online news editor for The Augusta Chronicle.

Some people have a knack for finding lost items

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You know what makes a good loser? Practice.

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– Ernest Hemingway

My mother-in-law has a mysterious talent for finding lost things.

My wife can’t explain it.

I can’t explain it, either, although I am aware some people supposedly have a deal with St. Anthony, who has been known to help such lost causes.

Higher powers have been invoked since antiquity, when the Romans supposedly had a god of lost things. He (or she) was named Nataero, but was of such diminished status, his (or her) mythology is scarcely mentioned in references.

This surprises me because if there’s one thing humans do and do often, it’s lose things.

Glasses. Car keys. Umbrellas. Elections.

And when cold weather comes, you’ll usually find me with them, because I can’t keep up with gloves.

It began when I was young and my mittens went missing with such regularity my mother had to connect them with a long string that ran through my coat sleeves.

The trend continued in college where the Army quietly kept resupplying (very nice, very warm) gloves to short-haired ROTC cadets, such as myself, hoping we’d eventually learn our lesson.

I did not because it happened again last weekend.

I was out for a walk on a chilly morning when I reached into my coat pocket and found one glove waiting and another glove MIA.

“It’s got to be someplace,” I said to myself, and set out to find it.

You can sometimes do this on a weekend because you don’t have to rush, and so I began searching.

I repeated my activities from the previous day.

I went to the park near my house and retraced my walk.

I even took along my little terriers as trackers, giving them the other glove to smell, then letting them go.

This didn’t work, which is probably why the cops rarely use terriers to track jail escapees.

But I continued to backtrack. I went back to the house and walked around the yard, front and back.

Then I recalled I had been to the grocery. So I put the dogs in the car (they love rides) and we drove to the strip mall and parked where I usually parked.

I got out.

I took perhaps 10 steps.

And there was my missing glove.

It was actually not on the pavement, but someone had apparently picked it up and placed it on the top of a yellow-painted curb where it could easily be seen, waiting for me to find it.

Whoever you are, thank you.

You made my day. Heck, you made my weekend.

Anyway, that’s my latest lost-and-found story. What’s yours?

How do you find things that go missing? Send me an e-mail if you have a successful method.

My mother-in-law still won’t reveal hers.


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