Earthen Treasure

Today we found something that has been missing for 17 years.

We moved into our current house in 2003 with three young children and the mass of accouterments that accompany three small humans. We unpacked over the following weeks and months and settled in to our new home. It was during the first holiday there that we realized we didn’t have our fancy dishes – our Royal Doulton “Lisa” place settings that were given to us by friends and family as wedding gifts ten years prior.

We searched everywhere for them over the course of many years.

In the attic?

Nope.

Garage?

Nope.

Closets?

Nope.

Cantina?

Nope.

Nope.

Nope.

What had happened to the dishes? We were dumbfounded. Having rented a truck and moved everything ourselves, we couldn’t have lost them in transit. And our former landlords had been good friends of ours; surely, they would have told us if we had left a box behind.

We searched all of the places in our home numerous times over the years and eventually gave up – swallowing the loss of a gift of significant value in dollars and even larger value in sentiment. Some years later, I spied a set of china slightly reminiscent of ours in a thrift shop, and bought the whole collection for pennies. It would have to do.

Today my husband decided to tackle the cantina.

The cantina is the enclosed 100-square-foot concrete space under our front porch that is accessed by an elfin wooden door in the basement wall – a cold cellar of sorts. We keep canned and bottled non-perishables down there along with cooking gadgets that we can’t fit in our kitchen. Our burgeoning surplus of sundries for the coming weeks had overflowed into a subterranean, conglomerate mess. The weekend project was to organize it and clean it up.

“Close your eyes,” he said.

“Are they closed?”

“Yes.”

He placed something gently on the dining room table next to where I was entrenched in schoolwork.

“Okay, open.”

“Ohhhh,” I gasped.

There was a china teacup. A wedding gift from 27 years ago, in front of me on my table.

“You found them!!! Where were they?” I asked, elated.

“In the cantina- in a box.”

“Wha-a-a-t? Seriously?”

“Yup.”

“What box? There was no box! How could we have missed it all these years? We looked everywhere, multiple times. I don’t remember a box in the cantina at all…”

“They were there, in a box.”

So there they were, and here it is – a little Lisa teacup, hidden for 17 years and discovered for some reason, today.

How strange to look for something for so very long only to find it right where you were looking – right where you couldn’t see it.

I still don’t know where that box was all the other times we looked for it, and I don’t know why he found it today.

I wonder what makes it the right time to find something you’ve lost?

I don’t know – but something does.

When it’s time to find it – it might be there, right under your toes.

15 thoughts on “Earthen Treasure

  1. Finding something that is lost is the best feeling! I could feel your excitement as I read the piece. I’m happy for you.

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    1. Thank you! I am still marveling over the whole thing and wonder how I missed them all these years, and I’m good a finding things. The whole thing seems a little surreal, actually!

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  2. And to think that you found it at a time when you can sit back and relax at the table, enjoying the meal even more because of the lovely china it is served on. Had you found this box even one month ago you probably would have just set it aside for a less busy time. Timing is everything! Oh, and I love that you have an “elfen” door! Great description.

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  3. I am thrilled for the two of you that your treasure has been found. And I see more symbolism here, Deb. What wonderful things in us and in our lives will present themselves now that our circumstances have changed our daily patterns? I love your posts.

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