Friday, 17 April 2009

In case of fire...

which items would you save?

During our move in recent weeks, as items, bags, boxes and furniture were removed piece by piece, from one house to the other. I left a few choice pieces in full view, so  they wouldn't get mislaid, misplaced or misused.

As someone who is in recent years quite forgetful. One who has been burgled of some prized items of jewellery. One who has also stupidly through my own fault lost other items. One who may have left their purse on a car roof and driven off littering the motorway with money, jewellery and photos.  Lost forever. One has to be more careful. Doesn't one?

I try and keep special pieces of jewellery with me always or at least kept protectively hidden. I have irreplaceable and priceless items such as drawings and cards made by the children in infant school. All these and more would be lost if not coveted and stored well.

But I am at a loss what I should do next to protect my treasures and keepsakes, after the latest debacle!

Three special items were kept on plain view on  our undressed mattress in house #1 during the move. This included a copy of The Family History, a manuscript my mother has written for us her children. This is MY copy and although I do have a digital copy it is valuable to me. 

Another treasured item in the 'pile' on the bed was a personalised book, again  written and illustrated  by my mother. I cannot describe its worth. It is a one off. Written solely for me, about me. With love. 

The third treasured item was an large envelope containing a coveted family document. Recently sent to me in trust by my father.  I was honoured that he felt he could release this document to my trust and keeping, not to mention the Royal Mail in getting it to me. This document is essential to my application for my French passport. I postponed my application due to the house move. Without this document I could not apply. My father has had this 'Livre de Famille' since his 18th birthday. He is now 73 . I know it's  significance.

We took our time moving. We retained both properties for a two week overlapping period to ease the stress and strains of the move. One of the last items I brought into house#2 was the pile of folders from our bed.

I have spent the last two days, taking everything out of the shed. Twice. I have emptied all the cupboards in the house. Twice. I have been standing on chairs. I have been on my knees and not in a good way. Looking for them. How could I have forgotten where I put them? Where did I squirrel them away, after I brought them into this house? How stupid! How ridiculous! I got every box, sack, drawer and folder and rifled through them. Twice. At least. I got hot and bothered. Not in a good way.

I decided I could not go down to my folks as planned next Wednesday, as I couldn't face my father. I could not, pretend if asked about it fib or lie. I could not. I would not. 

What should I , could I, would I do,  if and when I had to admit to myself it was indeed missing? How could I tell him. He hoards. He cherishes. He is sentimental. I am like him about certain possessions. Their history. Their story. Their relevance. I was filled with dread and self loathing at my stupidity. If only I had told someone where I had placed them for safe keeping.

By 6pm on Tuesday I was beginning to feel sick. I went upstairs. I sat on my bed. I wept. From somewhere I know not where. Perhaps St. Anthony himself.  I may have mumbled a few words, dredged up from the dogma of my catholic convent school past. Perhaps. Into my mind came the thought to look again in the bedside table.  I had already looked there twice. There the Manuscript and My Story were lying beneath the detritus of pens, pencils and list making paraphernalia. I ran downstairs. I expressed a moment of relief. But still no Livre de Famille.

My daughter helpfully asked, 'Have you looked in the Household folder, like I suggested yesterday?' I had not.  I knew it wasn't big enough to hold the envelope. SoI thought I would look now as she was being helpful and I did not want to ignore the suggestion in front of her. 

She was also right! There it was! I was shamefaced. I was saved. I called Mum and Dad. I would definitely be down on Wednesday evening. 


  1. I am so pleased you found your treasures. It is such a sickening feeling when you cannot find something that important and meaningful. Here's to happy endings!
    Sarah x

  2. There, I told you it would make a good post. I can see you searching and feel what you were feeling-remember-when I was looking or my pearls? I searched for days, again and again in the same places. Now you can relax and come down and let me pamper you. XXXX

  3. So glad you found it all. Isn't it weird how you look somewhere and one min it's not there and then later it is!

    I'm sure your parents would still have wanted to see you anyway. People are so much more precious than things.

  4. Saint Anthony can always be counted upon, sometimes in a roundabout way, but nevertheless. You have reminded me that I owe him. I'll have to make good on that debt, otherwise the next time...

  5. As I was reading your blog, St. Anthony came into my thoughts for I ask St. Anthony for his help in lost matters. Glad you found what you were looking for and I'm glad St. Anthony came through doesn't matter your faith, St. Anthony will help all if only ask.

    And, as an almost 50, I ask all of the time...St. Anthony, St. Anthony come on down, I lost my mind and it can't be found. FOUND IT!

  6. Who's that? St Anthony? Do you think he could help me find my lost Michael Buble CD which is driving me insane? Obviously not as important as the items you were looking for, but I am so frustrated about it. I never lose anything (I'm known as Mrs Organised at work) so how has this happened? So glad you found your things though. I guess you didn't see them first time because you were too panicked to see.

  7. Oh, I'm glad you found what you were looking for! Nothing is worse than that sick feeling of something precious lost (other than a child!), and how opposite the relief and happiness is when it is found again!

  8. Phew .. close call .. you know sometimes things hide in plain sight which is why you dont see them.

  9. My Mother always told me to ask St. Anthony. I went to Catholic school too. Glad you found your beloved items. Enjoy your visit !

  10.'s so annoying to do things like that...but so glad you found them

  11. Oh I know that 'sick' feeling so well, when I've 'lost' something precious. I'm so glad you found your treasures. :)

  12. Saz, a friend taught me to say a mantra while searching like a senseless loon for something which has disappeared off the face of the earth... Dare I say, it happens to me often - Particularly at work, where every sheet of A4 paper is identical.

    I say, "There is nothing that is lost that cannot be found", over and over in my head, and it sort of stills the mind, and calms the temper and temperature, until the item floats to the surface, as they are wont to do...

    I am so pleased you have found your treasured documents... What treasures you have, indeed.

    I lost my original wedding ring the week my son was born... Taken off while bathing and placed on top of the loo cistern, it was never seen again... Losing such important things is deeply sad, and as we know - Love and the people concerned are way more important...

    I hope you have a peaceful weekend, and a wonderful week next - Bon voyage, ma chere Saz xxx

  13. I'm so glad you found your lost treasures. Moves are so stressful, it's hard to remember where one put anything!
    I treasure photos of my kids and certain family mementos. Those would be the things I'd go for in a fire -- if I could find them, and I had the presence of mind to do so, both of which are doubtful...

  14. MY GOODNESS SAZ! You had me holding my breath and my heart racing! All 3 of those were totally, totally priceless and absolutely unreplaceable!

    I am sooooo glad you found them. I would not have been able to sleep myself until you found them! :)

    Congradulations!...and thank you, now I can exhale!

  15. Don't you love it when the children start saving you by the coattails? Preparing us for old age, they are.

  16. Thank you for this. I felt your anguish and I'm so glad your story had a happy ending. I recently had a similar fright with my grandmother's antique coral necklace. I did find it, but it was hell for a short while.

  17. I'm so glad this had a happy ending! I am constantly putting items in some particular place "so I will remember where I put them," or "so they won't get mixed in with all the clutter." And then I can never find them. If I just threw them in a pile on the table or desk I'd find them in no time..

  18. Oh, how well I know that sickening feeling! I am at the moment missing one priceless photo of one of my boys. It has become the stuff of legends and they wanted to see it. Could I find it? Nope.

    I know darned well I haven't thrown it out, but I've turned the place upside down, rifled through ALL the family photos, and can't find it.

    I'm so glad you found your stuff. Those three documents in particular sound absolutely irreplaceable.


Thanks for stopping by!

Take the weight of your feet, draw up a chair and pour yourself a cuppa. Leave your troubles at the door and together we shall ride out the storms.
I will walk a while in your shoes...

Saz x