Some years ago, Jon and I were planning a long trip; we would be on Saltspring for six months and it was uncertain until the week before we left whether anyone would be staying in our house. Without consulting, I decided to hide anything important in case the empty house was burglarized. My last memory of the sterling flatware was holding the cloth bag in my hand and thinking "What a great place to hide these!" The memory ended there. So for two full decades, I have been trying to find the good cutlery. Never did I go to the basement without a desultory check of the I-beams or a peek behind the furnace. Nothing. Nada. Rien.
While I was somewhat consoled by the fact that stainless knives and forks didn't have to be polished, it was a hollow victory. The guilt was horrific, because my wonderful father had chosen the pattern and started me off with a place setting. As a little girl, I had bravely tried to smile with delight when annual Christmas gift of a coffee spoon from my grandmother Keele would be unwrapped, for I couldn't imagine wanting to use it and knew perfectly well I wouldn't be allowed to anyway. Those spoons had belonged to The Dim Future.
But now, just when I was old enough to enjoy them, they had gone into hiding . (Did you notice how I transferred the blame? Inspired by Jian, I was playing "Blame the Victim"). It didn't help that, in the intervening years, silver - whether hollowware or flatware - had fallen out of favour for two very sound reasons: they can't be put in the dishwasher and they inconveniently blackened when ignored. Even so.... I still missed them and feared they might be buried for eternity under the golf course which crowns our city dump.
This weekend, the blessed Jon was in the process of running an ethernet cable to my studio, the permanent fix for my wifi woes. This section of the house has a shallow earthen subfloor. We had great hopes for it at one time, going so far as to cut a trapdoor access and to use it as a coldroom. The mice grew fat and I even fell through it once during a power outage, all of which encouraged our realization that it had never had any intention of being a coldroom; we eventually abandoned the notion. So soon old; so late schmart.
Past defeats aside, Jon was now determined to find a way through its subterranean stone wall and connect my iMac to the router. I was on Spouse Duty, listening to Jon's muffled requests from Down Under for this and that. The cable had been successfully fished through by Saturday morning but, being male, Jon had also noticed that the insulation was sub-par and had decided to redo it. No matter that we had planned a small dinner for a visiting friend. It was starting to get dark by the time he began handing me up ancient garbage bags filled with discarded insulation. One was suspiciously heavy and coated with dust; I expected to find petrified carrots. But lo and behold...one mildewed bag within another mildewed bag opened with a glint of reflection. They hadn't even tarnished!
See? I always knew they would turn up. I just hope my bifocals and the other red high heel won't wait so long.