Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lost and Found

(Thanks for your comments regarding the rugs and pricing for my weaving and spinning. It is helpful, and useful to know that the $100 minimum I set for myself for the rugs is reasonable. I have been granted a lucky extension on getting those slides to the local craft council, so I'm still working on that project...)

Now, on to the main event. I hear that most Manitobans spend their "May Long" weekend (also known as the Victoria Day weekend) opening their cottages or doing a lot of gardening. We here have neither cottage nor is our yard in any way ready for a lot of gardening. Weeding, mowing, yes, ---gardening, not so much yet. So, I spent the time on other pursuits.

First, I'm in the midst of getting ready to potentially teach a writing course for graduate students at one of the universities in town. In thinking about it, I sought out my copy of "Strunk and White" or The Elements of Style.

I couldn't find it. This copy is dear to me not only because I've read it over and over, but also it was my mother's copy. My mom wrote in books as a college student (something I've never been able to bring myself to do) and it's nice to see her scrawl on the pages of the text. Plus, my mom went to Cornell University shortly after E.B. White, a famous Cornell graduate, published his first revised version. (and I went to Cornell many years afterwards.) It's one of the few books where I'm attached to "this copy" as compared to any other copy of the text.

I cannot find it anywhere in my house.

I get a bit obsessive about things I appear to have lost. When I realized I couldn't find it, I worked hard to think of when I last had it. In Kentucky, while proofing one of my books, I consulted Strunk and White. I sat at the dining room table. That's the last remembered sighting, and that had to have been at least almost a year ago, and maybe longer.

I hate losing things, but this class is supposed to start June 7, so first things first. I needed another copy. I then went to 4 bookstores (2 new, 2 used) to find one. That would be 4 book stores since Wednesday evening. I ended up with a copy of Stylized: A Slightly Obsessive History of Strunk & White's The Elements of Style at book store #1, and although it is a great book, it didn't calm my obsession.

Yesterday I finally bought a copy of Edition #4, and I'm waiting for my well-loved old copy to turn up, as these things always do after one has gone on a wild chase like this. At least, I hope it turns up...

We've also now got a lovely young friend of ours, a student, visiting for the summer and staying with us. She will work in the Professor's lab. In reshuffling the furniture for her visit, I discovered we needed a little gooseneck bedside lamp. Finding an appropriately inexpensive and functional lamp? The Professor and I went to a total of 5 stores. FIVE! (we have no idea where to go for these things in Canada. We're learning. Slowly.)

However, the crown jewel of the Lost and Found stories was from yesterday afternoon. We went downtown to do a little book shopping, a trip to Artsjunktion where we scored some great 100% wool rug yarn for free...all good things. Except for one thing. We went to eat dim sum for lunch and when we got out of the restaurant, we had a little problem.

My car was gone. Not there. Not on the street where we'd left it less than an hour before.

My shock was, well, enormous. Thank goodness it was daylight and I had two other intelligent people with me. The three of us put our heads together, managed to call the parking authority people, and discovered that we'd misread the parking signs. The car had been ticketed and less than an hour, on a holiday weekend. Oh, and by the way, the woman on the phone explained, if you walk in this direction (in a relatively industrial and unsavory area of town) you'll head to the towing lot...

I've been having some asthma difficulties-everything is blossoming here -and maybe it was the lack of oxygen or whatever, but I was surprised and shocked to just short of tears. I had a distinct lack of breath. (Allergies and stress will cause an asthma attack.) Luckily the impound lot wasn't far away. We got there. Something like $120 later, we had the car back so we could drive home.

Lucky the yarn was free, don't you think?

Today we're hoping things go more smoothly! We're going off to the country to a farm to visit some sheep and lambs. I am hoping to keep my car close by at all times. :)

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Blogger Jody said...

When you want to find 'stuff' in can't go wrong at Crappy Tire (aka Canadian tire store)

May 24, 2010 at 7:52 AM  
Blogger Deborah Robson said...

Things we desperately need hide until they know we've given up looking for them. Once a substitute has been found, they quit playing the game and appear again.

We had that car problem, too, once, in Seattle. GONE, vanished, etc. There *was* permitted parking, and we parked in a marked spot on a street that at the time was filled with other parked cars, but the parking period ended at a particular time in the day, not at all well marked. The tow lot was quite a distance away. We had to find out where it was, take a couple of buses, and then walk about a mile--my sister, me, and my mother (in her 80s). Then pay cash to get it back. Ouch. Empathy.

Definitely memorable.

May 24, 2010 at 11:39 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Deb R.,your lost car story is worse than mine! I will email you with more empathy. :)

Jody, Canadian Tire was next on my would have been store #6. The professor tried Superstore has everything else! After the first couple of attempts on my own, I worked my way across any likely place in the shopping center. Zeller's, Home Outfitters, and Homesense all had lamps--they just seemed way too ornate/expensive/whatever for what we needed! Maybe next time, I'll start at Canadian Tire...

May 24, 2010 at 1:44 PM  
Blogger AdrieneJ said...

Wow, you really did have a "lost and found" weekend! I'm glad your car wasn't stolen - although it isn't so great to get a ticket. It would be nice if they said, "We understand it was a mistake. Next time, be more careful." Alas, that never happens that way!

May 25, 2010 at 4:42 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

I'm glad you got your car back, at least! But ouch.

May 27, 2010 at 1:37 PM  

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