Moments of Extreme Emotion: Where’s My Spyglass?

The photo of a pair of transitions eye glasses attached to a scarlet lanyard is still posted on my Facebook page dated April 14, 2016. “Hubby makes a lanyard for my glasses today. He is not being kind. He just doesn’t want to look for my glasses anymore! . . . well, yes, he is being kind.” Those were my words.

“The accompanying script in red and black reads “Forsake not the assembling of your glasses with your body.” St. Cliff 1:1 with date 4.14.16


Comments came from sympathizers and a naysayer: “Funny that I got a store bought one in my Christmas stocking.” “Doesn’t look very practical. I predict you don’t use it much.” ” I can absolutely relate!”

Reading over my Facebook heading again now I sense myself thinking at the time, “I won’t lose my glasses again.” A trace of boastfulness? Perhaps. Presumption? Probably.

Here’s how the glasses story subsequently unfolded: On Friday, April 29, I went to my power-pump class at the gym. Obviously I wore glasses to drive there and back. I’m nearsighted without them. Why, without glasses I might have a wreck.

That evening, we saw a scary Netflix movie, a British gothic flick “The Making of a Lady.” I must have worn my glasses then. I don’t remember squinting or sitting up close cross-legged to see the screen. I also don’t remember whether my lanyard was around my neck or somewhere else at the time.

The next morning I planned to drive to Curtis’ soccer game at 8:30 a.m. At 8:10 I grabbed my keys and and my glasses. My g – g – g l a s s s e e s s s; where are they? Too embarrassed to ask Cliff for help right away, I scoured the usual places: My computer desk, my dresser, the coffee-table, the kitchen counter. I couldn’t even find my back-up pair usually sitting snugly in the console by the driver’s seat.

Then, I go into full-out search mode. With and without Mr. Red Lanyard Maker, I . . .

  1. Look on every surface without a flashlight.
  2. Check every surface with a flashlight, lifting seat cushions.
  3. Walk outside and check the patio furniture, flower-bed containers.
  4. Re-visit the front porch table.
  5. Repeat steps 1 and 2 at night.  I hoped I’d catch a gleam with my flashlight, after five hours of searching all told.
  6. I awoke with a jolt at 2:00 a.m, with the strong image that my glasses had fallen off my lanyard and into a garbage bag. So I cull through two plastic bags of trash to no avail.
  7. I prayed ardently. After alI, I do remember the story of the Woman with the Lost Coin in Luke 15, a woman who lost one of her pieces of silver, lit a candle, swept the house, found it, and called her friends together to celebrate. I was ready for celebration!

Catholics would appeal to Saint Anthony, the patron saint of lost items. One online source printed a prayer: “Saint Anthony, Saint Anthony, please come around: Something is lost and needs to be found!”  A woman named Madeleine suggested that one call off the hunt as a sign of faith, claiming that “once you say the prayer stop looking for whatever it is you lost.”

Well, I did call off the hunt on Sunday, yet kept an eye out. There is always a chance for a miracle. Maybe those two shiny lenses would spontaneously appear.

Apparently, I am not alone. Hunting for lost or misplaced items is common. According to one source, the average person spends one year of life looking for keys, wallet — glasses. Among the more distressing losses are diamond rings (Oh, I lost one of those too!) and honeymoon tickets (We didn’t need tickets for air travel – just a pickup with a topper.)

Websites about lost items are usually accompanied by blatant suggestions to get more organized and be more mindful going about one’s daily tasks.

Sunday afternoon, the highly-motivated Red Lanyard Maker drove me to LensCrafter’s to fix the problem. After all, Mr. RLM can’t be my chauffeur for the foreseeable future.

At the office, I got an eye examination, another prescription, and new glasses with identical frames promised in a fortnight.


As I write now, my lanyard is securely hugging my neck with glasses attached. More mindful? Yes, I believe so.

To this day, I haven’t found my glasses. Nor have the back-up pair appeared either. How had some genie or sprite spirited away both sets of glasses? Odd and distressing! If the originals make their appearance, I’ll be thrilled to use them as my spare.

* * *

From my experience, our possessions seem to disappear in direct proportion to their degree of importance in our lives.

How about you? Tales of woe – or discovery are welcome here!



Moments of Extreme Emotion: A Broken Leg & Ecstasy Expressed

Moment of Exasperation

One of the mysteries of life is how things happen at our house. Specifically, how did the leg on this piano bench break? We still haven’t figured out the answer for sure though we have speculated on some possible explanations.


How did this happen? Vote in this short quiz:

a. Piano bench overloaded with music books

b. Over-weight pianist

c. Kids had wild party while parents were gone

d. All of the above

e. None of the above

(Answer on next blog post.)

Mystery Moment


Completely befuddled, Patrick and Curtis react to the Mystery Trip announcement sponsored by Grandpa and NaNa:

Patrick: What’s a mystery trip?

Curtis: Is it safe to drive with Grandpa?

Moment of Extreme Ecstasy

Patrick and Curtis about 6 years ago at O'Charley's Restaurant
Patrick and Curtis about 6 years ago at O’Charley’s

Grandpa’s paying!

Have you had a moment or two of extreme emotion lately? Or long ago?

Thank you for adding your story to mine!

Moments of Extreme Emotion Series: Curio Cabinet Explosion

It was twilight.

And twilight was turning to dusk as Cliff and I sat down to eat supper.

He said, “Let’s light a candle.”

She said, “Well, that’s a good idea. It’ll look pretty.”


One of us said, “Let’s put the candle into the curio cabinet. The mirrors behind will amplify the light.”

“Okay,” said the other. And so we admire the ambient light illuminating the cups and curios.

“It would look even prettier if we closed the glass door. More shimmer and glisten.”

Just so you know: We have surrounded a lighted candle with irreplaceable china (Dumb)! The deceptively romantic light disguises the fact that the candle flame is heating the upper glass shelf (Dumber than Dumb)! We leave the dining room momentarily to clear the table.

BOOM, BANG, POW—The glass shelf shatters, and shards of glass cascade into the once placid display of nineteen antique cups, some from Grandma Longenecker, some from Mother, and some from the travels of itinerant artist Cliff.


I scream with the first boom. Then I scream louder as I survey the damage. Cups with dismembered handles.. Saucers in slices. Family heirlooms gone with a poof!

Blog_Curio Cabinet disaster_7x10_300

Just because a scene looks artistic doesn’t mean it‘s not dangerous.

Just because a candle is seated in a pretty place doesn’t  mean the laws of combustion won’t operate.

What remains:

Doll bell from Mother Mug from Buckingham Palace
Doll bell from Mother & Mug from Buckingham Palace
Japanese teacup from Grandma Annie Metzler
Japanese teacup from Grandma Annie Metzler

And a few more cups and saucers, not pictured.

Have you experienced the loss of family heirlooms? Other losses? What remains of value?

Your comments make me happy, and I will always respond.

Do read My Gutsy Story on author Sonia Marsh’s website:

Voting for My Gutsy December 2013 Story begins Jan. 2 and ends Jan. 15, 2014.

Moments of Extreme Emotion Series: My Marriage in Vacuum Cleaners

My Marriage in Vacuum Cleaners

My mom still has the same vacuum cleaner she’s had for decades, a blue, bullet-shaped machine with a snorkel hose at one end. Think of a mechanical Dachshund, a hot dog with a waist-line problem. “It still does the job,” she says.

We are not quite as frugal or married to a brand as Mom though. As newly weds, Cliff and I bought a Filter Queen, a squatty brown thing that rolled along the floor on four little wheels, a vacuum cleaner that came with a great sales pitch: It could suck up marbles and had a Hepa filter: Picture the cone-shaped spaceship that returns from outer space, splashing down in the ocean: that’s the Hepa filter. The salesman also said it was clean enough to use on a submarine. Cliff experimented with the suck-up marble trick, but I don’t think he ever tried it on a submarine.

Vintage Filter Queen vacuum cleaner: image via eBay
Vintage Filter Queen vacuum cleaner: image via eBay

A few years ago I was getting tired of my upright Kenmore vacuum, sick and tired of its spewing out more dust than sucking in. Usually we employ due diligence researching a good replacement, but Cliff was out of town on his spring tour, so I thought, “I can handle this myself . . . how hard can it be?” A woman with a mission, I went to Linens and Things, a chain store now defunct in Jacksonville, to check out my options. I totally discounted mainstays like Hoover and Electrolux sitting snugly side by side. Then I spotted a vacuum cleaner at 70 % off. (Going-out-of-business sale!) Overlooking its heft, I compared it to a cleaner parked close by in the showroom, a Dyson, my gold-standard at the time. “It would be perfect, sturdy and top of the line both,” I think.

When Husband came home, he just stared at my purchase open-mouthed and started laughing, then a wild guffaw. His comments: This thing looks like it can suck up the rug in one fell swoop. Why, it could even pull a red wagon with a child sitting in it around the block–a vacuum cleaner on steroids, that’s what it is. A turbo-charged Bissell beast!Blog_Vacuum Cleaner_drawing_300

I have to wonder: Can a vacuum cleaner help a writer find her voice?

Join the conversation. I will always respond!

Here is the link to my entry in the Gutsy Story Contest now in progress on the website of author Sonia Marsh:

My Gutsy Story: Rising Above the Pettiness to Focus on the Positive