I had the best of plans for an article today. I’ve been cleaning out my library so that it is actually usable rather than a catch-all for everything in the house that needs a permanent home. I ran across a folder with writings and drawings from when I was 10-13 years old. There was a report I did on John Smith, some drawings, and my first attempt at fiction. This attempt was what I had planned on posting.
It was an interesting little mystery story that was two pages front and back, neatly printed and graded by my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Moran. She also graded the John Smith project that was in the same folder. I got 100% on both. I thought it would be a fun way to look back and how I’ve grown in my writing over the years.
In my haste, I put the folder down on the ottoman in the living room, figuring I’d get to it in a day or so. I was planning on a Wednesday publishing for it. This morning, I went to the ottoman to grab the folder. It was gone. I figured it was no big deal. Maybe it was in the pile of information that I was putting together for my fire department book. It wasn’t there, either. One last place to look was on the printer table. Still nothing.
Suddenly the realization of what had happened melted down my spine. On Monday, I asked IdaLena to pick up the living room. It took her awhile, but she did it. Earlier that day, I had gone through the newspapers from the weekend, sorting out what I wanted to read and the coupons, while putting the rest in a pile to be recycled. What happened was IdaLena picked up some other newspapers and the folder and put them all in one pile. Not thinking, I saw the pile of newspapers, knowing that I had already sorted them, and threw the whole lot into the recycling bin, including both the folder and the papers that I still needed to read.
Tuesday was garbage day. And it was recycling day. Everything went away with the trucks mid-morning. Wednesday morning I realized that the folder was gone forever. I could have cried. I very nearly did. There was some very irreplaceable materials in that folder. Things that have been held onto for over thirty years. Honestly, I’ve been dejected about it all day.
When I got home from work, I had a rush of inspiration of where it could be. Maybe it slid under the couch. Or maybe under my chair. Even with the aid of a flashlight, the folder was nowhere to be found. Later, as I started writing this, another bolt of inspiration struck me. Maybe it was in my bedroom with some of the other writing stuff I had set aside. Still no luck. I have resigned myself to the fact, that in my rush, I threw it away.
IdaLena thought this morning that it was her fault. It was not. She did what I told her (finally), and I didn’t take the time to truly check what I was throwing away. I was on a mission to get stuff cleaned up. So, maybe the recycling facility machines will get a good chuckle out of that folder of writing. For now, I’m mad at myself. And I’m sad with the loss. It goes to show that being in a rush is never a good thing. I’m sure I’ll remember to double check the garbage and the recycling before it goes out.
Craig Bacon has been writing since he was in elementary school. He has kept a lot of it in boxes in the attic. Somehow, this folder was not in that box. It was fun to look through for an afternoon.