I checked the junk drawer in the kitchen. I rummaged through the tool box in the car. I scoured the shelves in the shed. No luck in any of those places.
The thing is, I know for a fact that I own at least three sets of screwdrivers.
It is like that around here. Whenever I am looking for something, I can’t find it but when I am not looking for it, I find two, sometimes three of them.
We have too much stuff and the root cause of that is too much house.
At one time, not long ago, we had three houses.. We had our old house, the one we were trying to sell. We had the new house, the one where we lived and we had a condo in the city where I lived during the work week.
After I retired, we consolidated. We sold the condo then sold the old house and piled all that stuff into our new house. The piles remain. We have piles in the closets, piles in the basement, piles in the garage and piles in the shed. It makes it hard to find anything.
But disorganization doesn’t account for all that is happening around here. You see, not only are we missing things we know we have but we are finding things we know we do not have.
Not long ago, I found a rototiller in my shed that I know is not mine. For one thing, we don’t have a garden. For another, we never had one. Not only that but the shed was empty when we moved in – so it was not left to us by the previous owner.
I could only draw one conclusion. Not only was someone stealing things from our shed – but they were stashing things in there as well.
So I set up a critter-cam, a remote camera triggered by a motion detector, to monitor the comings and goings in my shed.
Within the week, the mystery was solved. The tape revealed a car pulling into our driveway when we were not at home. A man got out and opened his trunk. He removed an object and lugged it into the shed. He then lugged something else out of the shed, put it in his trunk and drove away.
I recognized the car and the man as well. So I called him up; my old buddy Stan.
“Are you breaking into my shed?” I asked
“Why do you ask?”
“So you admit it.”
“I never broke into your shed.”
“Then how did you get in? I lock the door.”
“I borrowed your spare garage door opener.”
(So that’s where it went.)
“What’s the problem,” he asked, “you have three of almost everything?”
“But I don’t have what I need when I need it because you keep taking it.”
“Hey, I return everything I borrow.”
“I returned your rototiller.”
“I don’t own a rototiller.”
“Then who does?” he asked, somewhat perplexed.
“I dunno, who else do you borrow from?”
“I’ll have to give that some thought.”
I was not happy with Stan and I told him so. But Stan is Stan. He will never change no matter how much he apologizes and promises to do better. We spoke about that until our words died away.
“By the way,” he said reviving the conversation, “you owe me fifty-five dollars.”
“What for?” I asked.
“I replaced your rototiller’s head gasket.”
“But I don’t own a rototiller.”
“You do now.”