Here's a little holiday miracle story to start off the month of December. Now, where to begin?
Nearly twenty years ago I married Mr. O-P. This meant a convergence for the two of us and my boys from my house in one part of town, his house in another part of town, to one house in yet a third part of town. Combining two houses into one was chaos. Despite my best efforts, it was easy to lose control of the location of every packed item. In my former house I had a guest room with a Sherlock Holmes theme. It was a fun room where I could display my collectibles and each year decorate a Sherlock Holmes Christmas tree. One of my most prized possessions was a Sherlock Holmes chess set.
The chess set, amidst all of the chaos, got lost in the move. The chess board did make it, though was severely damaged and had to be discarded, but the pieces did not. I personally unpacked all of my boxes and was bereft when my set was gone. I got over it. I mean stuff is just stuff, right? But I did miss it.
Fast forward to three days ago where we now live in a new house and where, once again, I am plagued with a lot of boxes -- most of which belong to Mr. O-P, but I digress. Every week I look at the giant stack in the
belly of the beast unfinished area of the basement, select one to unpack, and try to find a place
for its contents.
I look for manageable sized boxes to tackle. Most of those that remain are filled with thirty years of academic material from the mister's career as a literature professor (that I am not supposed to touch...shhh!).
In the giant stack of boxes one in particular caught my eye. I worked it loose, Jenga-style, because it was small and appeared manageable. Once loose, it wasn't heavy so I knew it couldn't be books, journals, or periodicals. The label on the side simply read “Side Wall Office.” Naturally I figured this was academic material, but took a peek inside to be sure. Much to my complete amazement it was my Sherlock Holmes chess pieces, wrapped in newspaper dated July 22, 1995. It had been moved from my former house and, apparently, lined up along a side wall in Mr. O-P's office over the garage at the house we shared, in front of which had been placed a series of bookcases. This was Christmas for me; I need nothing more. I thought these had been lost forever. Seeing them again was like visiting an old friend.
Upon further excavation I spotted a box that was labeled “Chess Pieces.” It was a large and heavy box, so I figured that it was (as had been so many) mislabeled, so I opened it. Inside, wrapped in newspaper from 1985 (that is not a typo) were marble chess pieces and chess boards, one of which matched my set perfectly. These, it turned out, had been purchased by Mr. O-P during a trip to Mexico, brought home, and never looked at again.
Little discoveries like this make me smile. I don't need big thrills in my life any more, the small ones will do. The combined set is now on display in the great room. Am I pleased? Elementary, my dear reader. Elementary.
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*Addendum: After twenty years, rather haphazardly stored and then happily rediscovered, two days after its recovery one of the cleaning ladies broke the head off of Doctor Watson. C'est le vie!