It is around here someplace!

Melvyn Magree

Whenever one of us can’t find something, we say, “It is around here someplace!”

This has not always been effective in retrieving a lost object.

The earliest loss I remember is my wedding ring, the winter of our first year of marriage.  When I noticed it missing after a trip to the super market, I was fairly certain we would never find it again.  My guess was that it had slipped off when I took a glove off to get my car keys.  The snow bank was at least three feet high.

The next memorable loss was in a watery hay stack: the Mississippi River.  We were part of a flotilla of the Minnesota Canoe Association.  Probably for the vanity of not having a white stripe on my wrist, I had set my high-school-graduation watch on the gunwale of the canoe.  One of the kids asked for Kool-Aid and as I reached for the jug, he or she moved.  Kerplash!  No way would I be able to determine exactly where that watch was.

Books are something that seem to disappear easily.  I remember leaving a copy of “Abbé de Tours” on an airplane.  I lent “Dieu rit en Alsace” (“God laughs in Alsace”) and the borrower denies having it.  I have a vivid memory of John McWhorter’s “Power of Babel” being on my wife’s night stand.  Even buying another copy didn’t make it turn up.

A “good” place to lose something is the Essentia Fitness Center.  I’ve left behind in the locker room an iPod, keys, earbuds, and other stuff.  In almost every case, somebody had turned the item in at the reception desk.  Sadly, others have not always been so fortunate.

This winter I lost my cabin keys in Brimson.  We looked in every building and in the car, but could not find them.  Fortunately we could make copies with my wife’s set.  Then the snow started melting and there was a “golden” carabiner next to the sauna door.  Although I am paranoid about making sure that the carabiner is securely hooked onto a belt loop, I was wasn’t paranoid enough that one time.

A few days before my wife returned our granddaughter to Japan, she lost her cellphone.  She and I asked several times at every place she had been if anybody had turned it in.  I called her cell phone and all I got was my recorded voice.  I went to the provider’s web site and checked for unauthorized usage.  There was none but I suspended usage anyway.  After awhile I removed the suspension, but I kept checking for unauthorized usage.

We kept looking over and over in some of the same places, especially the kitchen counter where she often left her phone.  “It’s around here someplace.”

Halfway through my wife’s trip, I was about a day away from ordering a new phone from my provider or getting one on eBay.

As I do every few days, I was going to get some more groceries at the Whole Food Co-op.  It is important to mention the place because I had to determine how many and which of our bags to take.  Because we have so many floppy bags that are difficult to pack, I’m often tempted to use the Co-ops paper bags.  However, we do have two bags with rigid sides.  I selected on of these and then selected what smaller bags and jars I would need for the bulk items I intended to buy.

When I got to the co-op and was at the bin for my first purchase, I reached into the bag for a smaller bag.  There were no smaller bags!  Nothing!  Nada!  Ingenting!  How did I miss putting them in?  As if wishful thinking would put them in the bag, I peered into it intently.  I then noticed a red piece of cloth sticking out from the flap that forms a double bottom.

What is this?  A closer look and I was holding the embroidered zipper pouch that my wife keeps her phone in.  Unzip!  There was her phone!  Mirabile!  It didn’t even have enough power to show the low-power red line.  But, you guessed it, it was around here someplace.

Several hours later I had it fully charged, functional, and with all her data.

I emailed her that either she would never take it out of the house with it off or I would buy a Tile to attach to it. If she has it on and we have our computers set properly, we can use Find My iPhone to locate it within a few feet.

I am also guilty of not remembering carefully where I have put something.  We have a charger for AA batteries that I was sure had been on the kitchen counter.  In fact, I remember clearly that it had been plugged into an outlet above the counter.  As with the cell phone, I kept looking on the counter and in drawers, but I could never find it.

This past Saturday I looked in drawers at our for kerchiefs to keep the sun off my neck.  I found a couple in the next to the bottom drawer, but I was sure there were more.  I opened the bottom drawer and there was… the battery charger.

OK, now where were the batteries that I brought from Duluth to be charged.  Nowhere to be found.

When I got back to Duluth and put my laptop on my desk, there were the batteries: “around here someplace!”

Last time Mel looked, his head was still on his shoulders.