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howard lestrud, reflections
Always on the search for something
Howard Lestrud, Contributing Writer


Why do we always misplace or lose something? That’s a question we are oftentimes asking ourselves.

“I just saw it here a moment ago,” Howard says to Judy, and that can be turned around, Judy says to Howard: “I just saw it here a moment ago.”

It could be a pocket comb that ended up in a shoe to the TV remote being lost in a couch cushion.

We have lost credit cards and gift cards. That really sends us into a panic.

I once lost a Reporter’s Notebook while attending a Minnesota Chamber of Commerce function in the Twin Cities. I had notes necessary to write three feature length stories, one on Cheri Krejci to receive a special award from the Owatonna Exchange Club.

Luckily, I had put my name, address and phone number on the front. I called the host of the banquet and–whew!–the notebook was there. I had to travel an additional 138 miles to retrieve (not charged to the Times).

Now that I am using a walker for necessary transportation, I am constantly losing it throughout the house. “Where did I leave it now?”

Most people can relate to losing or misplacing their “reading glasses.” I have started to place pairs in the kitchen drawer, in my desk drawer, in the car door pocket, and on my bed stand.

“I can’t find my dark glasses,” I moan to Judy.

“Look on top of your head, silly,” Judy replies.

In most cases when we lose something, we finally find it. There are times, however, when the item is forever lost.

Our family was celebrating our granddaughter’s birthday at a fancy Italian restaurant. Of course, Howard had to bring his trusty camera along. It is an extra appendage, you know. We left the restaurant, went home, and retired for the evening. The next day, late in the afternoon, I was watching the Green Bay Packers in action during a playoff game.

All of a sudden, my memory bank kicked in. I went to a closet where I typically park my camera. It was not there. I looked in every corner of the house. No camera.

I called the restaurant and asked if someone had turned in a camera the night before. The manager said “no” and took us to the area where we were sitting. We combed that area. No camera.

I turned in a police report on the stolen camera. Still no camera. To this date, no camera.

I have another story that has a happier ending. Judy, her parents, and our two children went on a short vacation to the Black Hills of South Dakota. On our last night of camping, we stopped at the dog racing park in Rapid City.

After enjoying a fun-filled evening of racing, we retired in our tent. Early in the morning, we took off for home. It wasn’t until a few days after we returned home that we took count of our possessions and realized our unmarked binoculars were missing. We put in a call to the racetrack. No binoculars.

Several days later, my friend Bud, the local postmaster, called me and said I should come to the post office because he had something for me. Guess what? It was a pair of binoculars. The South Dakota postmaster remembered talking to my friend, and because they exchanged some small talk about post offices, he put two and two together.

We were on the hunt for a lost wedding book, hoping to find it before we celebrated our 25th anniversary. Looking under a stack of books, I found it in time to renew memories.

Son Troy got into the act of losing things, too. He couldn’t find his Kirby Puckett rookie card and became despondent. As we cleaned our house, readying for a move, I found it in a box in our crawl space. You owe me one, Troy.

My sister Janice, a Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church confirmand, lost a string of pearls on a necklace. After years of not finding the necklace, she turned the loss into her insurance. More years went by and finally the pearls re-appeared, one by one under the car seat.

My sister was pleased that she still owned the pearls and could keep the insurance money.

Good friends of ours, both Catholic, lose things, too. They would pray to Saint Anthony, asking his help to find a lost item.

Not being Catholic, I still employed Saint Anthony’s help. We have since turned Catholic (just kidding!).

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