Lost and Found

Ever lost anything that made you ill to think about it?  Something special, dear to your heart, you knew couldn’t be replaced?  It’s an awful feeling. I’m very organized, but can be absent-minded, especially when I’ve got a laundry list of deadlines, dates, and chores on my never-ending to-do list. Recently, I misplaced something that got me thinking just how quickly time passes when you’re a mama.

I’m not materialistic.  Sentimental, yes.  There’s just those “special” items that’d break my heart to lose, that have a special meaning to me, like my wedding ring, of course. Or my Farmgirl necklaces, the one with my sisterhood number, and the one I was given by MaryJane. My grandmother’s little glass fairy lamp, or the red glass cake plate my mom surprised me with after I admired it in a Houston store years ago. I’d be sick if they broke, and am extra careful when using them.

With my daughter, I’m very sentimental.  Since she was a wee tike, she’d surprise me. She’d pick flowers from the yard, dandelions or other weedy blooms, leaving them by the kitchen sink or my ironing board where I was sure to find them. Or little love notes and drawings. She still does that sometimes.

In third grade, her school had a fundraiser.  The kids drew pictures, and were sent home with a catalog of items the images could be transposed on, from t-shirts to trivets.  Audrey decided she wanted something I’d use frequently, that would make me think of her, and knew a tote bag would be useful.  Audrey adores butterflies, and everyone thinks of her whenever they see one. She can identify all species of butterflies, and whether one is male or female. So, she drew a big, tiger swallowtail to be placed on a black bag. She still needed money to purchase it, so she sneaked the form home, filled it out, got money from her dad, and sneaked the order back to school.  When the bag arrived, she hid it until Mother’s Day, wrapping it up “little kid style”, with lots of tape and torn wrapping paper, presenting it to me with breakfast in bed.  I was so surprised, and amazed at the efforts of my sweet little eight-year-old.

I love my bag, using it often for knitting projects, and when running errands.  When not in use, it hangs in a closet by the door.  Recently, it was not on its hook.  I’d used it to bring knitting books to my class, so I assumed it was upstairs in my sewing room, where I discovered the books, but not the bag.  I  recalled last using it a few weeks before at the post office.  After searching the car, my closets, and every nook I could I think of, my heart sank at the thought that I’d lost my special bag.  We looked everywhere, including the post office lost-and-found.

I lost another sentimental item once before. Thanksgiving, 1996, my mother-in-law, Ulla, and I had gone shopping in a local gift shop with all sorts of one-of-a-kind items.  I was struck by a Christopher Radko snowflake-shaped brooch.  I didn’t buy it, but kept thinking how pretty it’d be during the holidays.  The next morning, Ulla suggested we go back and buy it.  When we got there, someone else had purchased it, and there were no others like it.

A few weeks later, Christmas came. In my stocking, was a little red box…containing the brooch!  My sweet husband had somehow beaten me to that store!

Later, when my daughter was a toddler, we were at Walmart, and she was riding in the cart, getting restless.  I thought I felt something fall, but glancing down, didn’t see anything.  In a hurry to get home, I didn’t realize it was my brooch that fell until that evening!  I called the store, and even went back to check under the shelves where it fell.  I was heartsick.  It wasn’t that valuable, just costume jewelry, but the sentiment behind it great.

The following year, I had my daughter try on her winter coat to see if it still fit.  Something tumbled to the floor….my snowflake brooch!  It had fallen off only to land in my toddler’s coat pocket!

Remembering that, I was hopeful my tote bag would turn up.  Venting  on the Farmgirl Forum, I lamented my lost tote.  No one thought I was silly, and offered hope it would turn up.  Sure enough, it did.  In my sewing room, while looking for a pattern in the armoire, I found it, folded under a stack of knitting and sewing books.  In the dark cabinet, I didn’t see it when I had first looked.

My daughter’s still surprising me with drawings and gifts, although they are more “sophisticated” now that she’s getting older.  When I see my bag, I remember her as a small tot, offering up wilting dandelions, looking at me with big eyes filled with wonder.  We have a few more years left before she’s out of the nest, but this mama bird’s had to open my wings and start teaching my fledgling how to fly.  If you’ve got little ones at home, cherish those stick figure drawings and wear those macaroni necklaces with pride. Our little birds grow up fast.

Know how I feel?  Are you sentimental over something your kiddos made you? Or do you have a story to tell of a lost or found item that you held dear?  Share with me in the comments below…

Until next time…Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  1. Diana Henretty says:

    Morning from the Ozarks,
    Loved your post, the beautiful butterfly picture brightens my day this morning.
    This morning I have John Denver songs going, have been for the past week or so, they bring back precious memories of raising our children in the mountains of Montana.
    I now journal for my children, years of precious memories in little books stacked away in my hutch’s bottom cupboard, where they will someday read
    all about our every day lives, all the dreams that have comes true in our lives, a few sorrows and tears, and prayers for their future.
    Sentiment is grand, it wakes us up to realize every day is sentimental and to becherished…….Hugs from the Ozarks…..Diana, Noel, Mo.

    Diana, your comment is so beautiful and moving.  Thank you. Hugs, Nicole

  2. Laurie Dimino says:

    I was so glad to see that you found the tote bag. Whew!
    I can totally relate as a mother of two, I have saved SO MANY things from my children in the Hope Chest that my grandma gave me, which sits at the end of my bed. Every once in a while my kids and I will open it up, which is like going back in time. It is so full now, it barely shuts, as they are almost 15 and 13 years old.
    I cherish looking back through the drawings, notes, cards and such that they have given and made over the years. There are sweet necklaces that say "Mom" which they bought at the school holiday fairs, their baby shoes, school yearbooks, all sorts of treasures.
    I too am a very sentimental person. There are little things that belonged to my grandparents that I was given which are simply irreplaceable.
    The memories that certain items bring us, are simply priceless.
    So glad your lost and found had a happy ending!
    Hugs to you my friend!

    Laurie, I love how you have so much put away in a hope chest. I have lots of things packed away for Audrey, and now I think I should start putting them in one place like a hope chest.  From my childhood, I have my first doll, my hand print in clay and yearbooks going back to kindergarten that my mom saved for me.  I also have my Brownie and Girl Scout uniforms.  When Audrey was a brownie, she wore on her uniform the Brownie pin that belonged to my mom, and then I wore it.  She will be going to the "Bridging Ceremony" soon for the next level in Girl Scouts.  We are going to pin that pin to her uniform.  Yes, I am extremely sentimental.  Glad to see I’m in such great company! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  3. MaryJane says:

    Our little birds DO grow up fast. I’d had a Christmas tree on my deck that we scrounged from the landfill AFTER the holidays for some magazine photos (we shoot holidays a year in advance). After we were done using our tree as a photo prop, I left it on my deck all winter. Unbelievably, it stayed green until about a month ago. I went out one day to move it and noticed a robin’s nest being built in it. So instead of moving the tree, I sat on my couch with tea and watched a robin’s home being built. Eventually, I took a photo of 3 blue eggs. I watched the mother come and go and brought my grandgirls up for regular inspections. One day they hatched and started to grow. Mother AND father brought worms. I watched them every day so I could take a final pic without them looking so frail and hairless and well, odd. On the day I thought I better get that photo taken, I brought my camera and tri-pod to the deck, loaded the battery but they were already gone!

    Hi MaryJane!  I love that you left the tree so the birds could go undisturbed!  We have a lilac bush right below the deck in front and last year had a nest of bluebirds, too. We got to witness the babies from eggs to flying birds.  We checked on them every morning and evening, and even mama bird got used to us.  When they flew out of the nest, we all joked about literally having "empty nest syndrome"!  Farmgirl hugs, Nicole

  4. Adrienne says:

    I was an every-other-weekend-and-every-other-holiday stepmom so I saw our daughter regularly but infrequently. After she turned 7, Mothers Day arrived and we picked her up on Saturday. She gave me a card and when I opened it, she had chosen a very pretty design and crossed out "Mother’s." She replaced it with "Friend’s" because she said, "I have a mommy but you’re my friend first, then a mommy. Is that all right?" I still have that card.

    Adrienne, how sweet!  What a little angel.  That card is a treasure. My daughter has step-grandparents and I tell her she is lucky…children can never have too much love! -Farmgirl hugs, Nicole

  5. Joan says:

    Oh Nicole, I know exactly how you feel – sentimental! I know they are just things but THINGS ARE LOVE too. Am so happy that you found your broach and THE BAG. Holding dear to the childhood of your daughter is just what a Mother does and the special gifts from family and friends. I once thought I had lost 2 thimbles – not that they were very expensive gold and silver BUT because they were my special Grandmother and Aunt’s. They used them almost every day of my remembering life, my Grandparents and Aunt raised me, to make many things for many family and friends but also used them as teaching me how to stitch and embroidery. My wonderful sister, we live together, didn’t make a big deal of it but LOOKED continuously without letting me know and yes SHE found them. They are now in a very special place where we can enjoy them daily. So as for me – SENTIMENTAL is just the way I am. Thanks for sharing.

    Joan, what a great story! Thank you for sharing it with me.  I am so glad your sister found your thimbles.  Farmgirl hugs, Nicole

  6. Merrilyn says:

    Hi Nicole, There is nothing like the panic of losing something that means so much to you and that cannot be replaced. The joy is in finding it with all the wonderful memories it brings. There is nothing more precious then our family and those momentos they present us with. There are things I would hate to lose that my children’s small hands fashioned for me, because we all know they don’t stay small long. I’m glad you were blessed with finding those things that meant so much to you.
    Farmgirl Hugs

    Thank you, Merrilyn!  When we watch our children grow, we understand our parents even more. I think it is really cute that I am over forty years old and despite the fact that the house has been remodeled and updated, my dad’s fridge at his farm still has a clip with two, yellowed drawings I made for him as a child.  Big hugs, Nicole

  7. Beverly Battaglia says:


    I keep every gift and card you and Audrey send to me. Our growing children are our greatest treasure, and looking at the things given to me by my loved ones brings back so many good memories. I left Texas and moved to Georgia, and the sentimental things help with loneliness. They remind me that I am loved. Glad you found the bag Audrey gave to you, and the brooch is beautiful. The red candle holder is something my mother gave to me from her heart and glad you enjoy it.

    Last year I threw away a box with other boxes in the closet and had forgotten I put pictures from the 1960’s in it to mail. It makes me feel ill every time I think about it.

    I love you,

    Hi Mom, I know the photos make me feel bad, too.  I’m sorry that happened.  I keep a note you wrote me in my wallet, along with a small note from Audrey, too.  Love you, Nicole

  8. Heidi says:

    My son made me a pin in preschool, I never wear it because I can’t stand the idea of losing it. Zoe gave me a little case Mothers Day when she was 4. It holds my rosary in my dresser.

    Hi Heidi, precious momentos for sure!  -Nicole

  9. Debbie says:

    Hi Nicole,
    I do know just how you feel… So far, I haven’t lost anything the kids have made for me… I have a drawer full of painted shells, macaroni necklaces, first tries and beaded bracelets and safety pin jewelery, and yarn necklaces and notes all made by our daughter. Our son isn’t one to be fiddling with those sorts of things but even at 17 I still get several hugs and I love you’s from him. One thing I have lost that still haunts me to this day is a birthstone ring one of my Aunts gave me when I turned 12. It was a beautiful square cut topaz stone in a pretty gold setting flanked by two small little rosettes. I took it off to do dishes one day when I was a teenager and it went missing… Never to be found…The ring was special not just because it was so pretty, but because my Aunt, her daughter, my mother and I all share the same birthday month and it was my turn to have the ring. It still bugs me to this day that it is gone. For years I would look for it in Antique stores thinking it might turn up. I’m so happy for you that your broach was just hiding out in your daughters winter coat! Great story!
    farmgirl sis

    Oh, Deb, I am so sorry you lost that ring!  I really know how you feel.  My parents gave me an aquamarine ring set in gold when I was a about the same age (12).  It was oval with a vintage setting. It was one of the last things they picked out together for me, as they divorced when I was thirteen. Later, my ring was stolen from my first apartment.  It still makes my stomach flip to think about it. 
    I love that your son is 17 and still gives you hugs and I love you’s, so special.  Big hugs to you, Nicole

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