Are you one of those people who is constantly losing things? Car keys, cell phone, sunglasses? You search and search only to find the missing item right where you left it or somewhere you are quite certain you could not have left it. I’m one of those people and aside from the time I walked around the house for twenty minutes searching for my sunglasses only to find them perched on top of my head, when things go missing in my house, there is something or someone else to blame.
It all began about ten years ago when we were living in a townhouse in Manassas. A single pearl earring went missing from my nightstand. As these were a gift from my husband, I was quite upset and relentless in my search. Finally, my husband convinced me to order a replacement. A few days later while vacuuming the master bedroom, the electricity cut out, not to the whole house you mind you, just the vacuum. I unplugged and plugged back in. I switched on and off, on and off. I turned on the lamp plugged in the same outlet to see if it was a house wiring problem. After a few minutes of contemplation I decided to check all the vacuum connections to see if a loose fit was causing the disruption. I wiggled the cord, spun the roller, and then I pulled the hose out of the back. There sitting on the precipice just above the lint bag was my pearl earring. Odd? I’d say so. While I sat there on the floor marveling at my luck, I was a bit startled when the vacuum cleaner suddenly regained power and roared to life.
A few months later, with the case of the missing and recovered earring just a fun little party story, a second earring went missing. I repeated the search to no avail. A few days later, the earring appeared in the middle of the master bedroom floor. When it disappeared a third time, I started to get suspicious. Was this a joke? Is someone trying to drive me mad? Or was there something supernatural about all of this? We did in fact live in a house built on a civil war battlefield. I stood in the middle of the bedroom and spoke out loud to the would be thief, “Um, excuse me, if you don’t mind I’d like to have my earring back.” While I felt a bit silly at the time, the earring was returned the very next day to the same spot as previous recoveries.
This activity went on the entire time we lived in the townhouse. An earring would go missing only to be returned a few days later to the bedroom floor. When we moved away, I thought it would come to an end and truthfully, I was a bit sad. It had become a strange but playful routine between me and my thief. However, my disappointment was not to last long. Apparently whatever or whoever was responsible for the missing earrings came with us when we moved. But in this new house, the thief kicked it up a notch.
All things shiny and small became fair game. While it or he or she as the case may be, still had a preference for my pearl earrings, other items of jewelry soon began to disappear and reappear a few days later in the middle of the master bedroom floor. I can’t honestly say that I was upset about all of this strange activity. I mean it was kind of cool. I seemed to have my very own little poltergeist who was essentially harmless. After all, he did return everything he stole.
Then one day I was talking with my mother on the phone and going about the business of putting away laundry, loading the dishwasher, and cleaning up as we spoke. I walked into the bedroom, and there in the middle of the floor, a shiny nickel. Interesting, I thought. He’s moved on to loose change. I snatched it up and walked to the kitchen to drop it in the change jar. I returned to the bedroom and there in the middle of the floor in the exact same spot, a shiny nickel. “Mom, I’ve got to call you back.”
Yes, I was a tiny bit freaked out. I’d never had a back to back event like this. Where did this coin come from not once, but twice? The, imagine how I felt when it started to return items of jewelry that didn’t belong to me. An earring, a pendant, another earring, and I am certainly not ruling out the wedding band my husband found in the woods as another item stolen and returned. But stolen from whom and why are they being returned here? Has my house become some sort of portal for missing things? Or worse, are these things gifts?
There has been a lull in activity for a few months now with only a couple of items disappearing and reappearing. He has found a new return spot in my studio where I now spend much of my time writing and working on projects. Last night I removed the SD card from Nikon D50 and transferred the photos to my laptop. I then placed the card on top of my camera as I was too lazy to open the little plastic door to put it back in. I know, don’t say it! So this morning I go to take a picture for a book I am reviewing, no SD card. Gone. I searched everywhere. Even checked in the vase the dog was growling at last night. I searched until I was frustrated and then stood in the middle of the room and shouted, “Seriously?” I then went to get a replacement card from my camera bag. On my return to the studio, there was the card in the middle of the floor in the exact same spot where a missing quilt block was returned to me several weeks before.
Recently, some light has been shed on the identity of my thief and things have gotten a little strange around here, but that is a story for another time. This is a story about when things go missing. When that happens, I simply ask for them back. Eventually they are returned. Odd I know, but it works for me. Maybe the next time you can’t find your car keys, cell phone, or sunglasses, you should give it a try. Right now I have to get ready for work. By the way, I’m missing an earring. Have you seen it?