All of my photos fit into three big tubs when I packed up and moved out of my house last July. I stored the tubs in my 10’ X 10’ storage unit (where all of the possessions that I still own are stored) until I had the time to digitize all of them. I then plan to dispose of them all. Yes, you heard me. I must get rid of my photos (as I did most of my other possessions) because I plan to live in a very small place when I move to Oakland California in a year or so.
In December I picked up the tubs because I had planned to start digitizing the photos over winter break while at my sister’s house. It never happened. So the photo tubs are still in the back of my Forester—waiting for another chance to tackle such a huge task.
One day I took a sharp turn with my car and one tub fell off of another tub and the lid detached, strewing our family’s life memories all over the back of the car. They had previously been in neat rows and stacks and piles. I didn’t immediately clean up the mess because it was too cold outside. On Saturday, I bundled up and cleaned up the wreckage. I couldn’t remake the neat stacks, but I was able to close the lid on the tub.
That evening, Penny (name changed as usual), the friend with whom I’m staying, was making a curry for us to eat this week, and I went out to buy paneer at an Indian grocery store. When I pulled up right in front of the door at 8:30pm, no other car was in the parking lot. I bought a package of paneer and some garbanzo beans, spoke with the owner for a couple of minutes and walked out the door. And then the shock came. My car was not there! In its place was a big red truck.
My feet were planted on the parking lot blacktop as thoughts raced through my mind. All of my life’s pictures—gone. My file container with all of my important papers—gone. My tub of shoes—gone. A tub of jackets—gone. MY CAR!!—GONE!!
I stood there unable to move. How could this have happened?! I was just in the store for a few minutes. Maybe I forgot to lock the doors before I went into the store? I always lock my car when I get out! How could this have happened so quickly?
I tried to stay calm but my heart started racing. Having a car stolen makes life miserable. Having a car stolen with so many personal items in the car will make my life miserable for a long while. I kept pushing the the unlock button on the fob, hoping to hear a sound. I heard nothing. I felt crushed. The emotion of what the next few days were going to entail started to overwhelm me.
Then I pushed the lock button, just pushing buttons, not thinking it would do any good, but just mindlessly pushing things to hope for a miracle. And then the miracle happened! I heard a beep! I pushed the lock button and then the unlock button again and I heard the beep again. I followed the sound, walking around the building to another side. There was my car!! All by itself—in front of the OTHER door of the store.
Sigh. When I had paid for my items, I saw a door and went out the door. Who would have guessed that such a small store would have doors on two sides of the building?
Obviously not me.