Day 23 of the #WingWritingChallenge comes off as quite sentimental.
Lost and Found
I have lived so much of my life out of suitcases and boxes that it would be difficult to hold on to possessions. I tend to go through my living area every six months or so and do a clean sweep of clothes or other things that can be donated and thus be rid of clutter.
I hate clutter.
I am also surrounded by clutter.
I’ve gotten better about clutter as I’ve grown older. Not everyone feels the same way I do and life is about compromise in some things.
That being said, there have been two things I’ve lost over the past year that, when I found them, my week was made.
I have a teddy bear that I was given as a child. He’s a panda, also known as Mr Panda. He’s been with me for every move across state/county/country, and for every major procedure in hospitals. He used to ride in my backpack when I had flights to catch as he made a good pillow and a handy good luck charm. One of his eyeballs is falling out, and one of his ears is starting to come off of his head. He’s a bit battle scarred, like I am.
When I have Mr Panda, all is well in my world.
I had a minor surgery last year, in July I believe it was. Mr Panda and his companion Mr Bear (from Mr Bean, we got it in a NerdBlock) went with me to the hospital. I was pretty drugged when we came home and, for about 7 months, we had no idea where they were.
I was bereft. My Companion felt awful. At one point I wondered if the neighbors had taken them for some reason. I mean, they’re cute, and Mr Bean’s Bear is probably worth a few bucks, but I couldn’t imagine why they’d take them. I had looked every. freaking. where. and hadn’t been able to find them.
When we moved to Orlando, I popped a random box open and there they were, sitting on top, together. Woohoo! I have moved them back onto my nightstand where they belong. I will randomly pat the tops of their heads when I get up in the morning, or before bed. They’re adorable and I love them.
So back off, they’re mine.
The other thing I don’t currently have a photo of, and I believe it’s in the dirty laundry. I refuse to go digging through that for your entertainment. Sorry.
It’s a t-shirt, another NerdBlock thing. I fell in love with it instantly. It has Donkey Kong on it, in neon yellowish-green it says, “They see me rollin'” because, you know, the original Donkey Kong rolled barrels at Mario after he’d kidnapped the original Princess Peach.
I laugh every time I read the shirt.
It was the first video game I ever played besides the weird Pong one on Atari. Maybe consider it to be the first modern video game I ever played with real graphics.
Anywho. When we moved to Orlando we had a company that came and packed up all of our possessions and moved them for us. Before the company arrived, we had to pack what we’d need into our suitcases and have them well out of the way.
That shirt was one of the first ones I packed. I was not going to risk having the movers lose it. I doubt they would have accepted my demand for $10,000 for the replacement, and they really wouldn’t have liked the ass chewing on the phone.
Yes, over a t-shirt.
So, we’re in Orlando for about a month at a temporary place. Everything’s going okay. We hated it, but it went decently. My Companion isn’t used to living out of suitcases. He unpacks at hotels if we’re going to be there for longer than one night whereas I’m good digging through my bag for what I need. To each their own.
Somewhere between moving from the temporary place to the permanent apartment, that t-shirt disappeared. Straight up Houdini’d its way out of my life. It was the only thing lost in the entire shit storm that was the move.
Did I say all of that went okay? I lied. I’m an author, we do that.
We moved in to the new place … I think it was the end of May or early June? It’s all a blur now. My Companion heard once a week how bummed I was that the Donkey Kong shirt was gone. He commiserated. He has favorites, too, of course. His is a tie between one of his Star Wars and Doctor Who Tardis shirts. He got it, and even helped me keep an eye out for the thing.
I looked everywhere. I have a box that has paperback proofs from Freedom’s Treasure and At Wit’s End, and I keep other memories, like the newspaper article I was in, my first ever business cards. I tore through that thing as it made sense to me that I might have stashed the t-shirt there for safe keeping for the last portion of the move.
We have a large box I bought for storing the wedding memories. For the move it became the sentimentality holder. Assorted NerdBlock items were added, my copy of Gone With the Wind (First edition, second printing) My Companion gave me for our first Christmas, things like that. I thought I could have hidden the shirt there.
About two weeks ago I was digging through random boxes that we have’t unpacked yet. They weren’t immediate needs and we’re taking our time getting everything unpacked, don’t judge us!
There was one huge box filled with pet toys – again, don’t judge us. Once I organized those, I saw our old wicker clothes hamper behind it. There shouldn’t have been anything in that hamper, we hadn’t used it in months because I had bought new baskets during the original part of the move.
The only thing in that basket was my Donkey Kong shirt. I nearly cried. I also had to tell My Companion.
There was much rejoicing.
So, lost and found is the topic, my friends, what have you misplaced only to rediscover?