On the Hunt

July 2, 2021

Honestly. What is my problem?

I am neither hoarder nor pitcher, but dwell in the twilight zone between. This means that I save tons of random stuff BUT I take care to always throw away the important things. This becomes evident during my infrequent deep digs, on the trail of a special photo, school paper, CD, etc. that I just KNOW is here somewhere. When the Spirit moves me, I upend my life in search of The Missing Item. As the hours pass, the hunt takes on a frantic quality, the importance of the quest blown all out of proportion. It’s sort of like looking for a soccer participation trophy, circa 1995, with the same zeal as looking for the Holy Grail.

Often, one lost thing leads to the next, and the next. Case in point: a few weeks ago, Rose and I began working on updating my website. In addition to streamlining the descriptions of my essays, I decided to add to the “video” section. The first few additions were easy (film from my virtual Story Slam performance, my presentation in the This is My Brave production.) But then…

I became obsessed with locating the video of an interview I gave when my second book, Underway, came out in 2012. I KNOW I had it at one point, though in what form I haven’t a clear memory. The ensuing rabbit hole was littered with searches of YouTube, Vimeo, every single promising file on my computer. I even went back through every last email from 2012 that had an attachment which could possibly be the video. No luck.

From there, it was an easy leap to Rose and HER missing materials. Where, oh where, was the tape of her Berklee College of Music audition (2007)?? I cannot imagine losing track of my daughter singing “Your Daddy’s Son” so sweetly (and successfully-she was accepted). And yet I obviously did. When I came up empty there, my next search was for her solo show in Brooklyn in 2013. Shockingly, there wasn’t a trace of it on my laptop. Julie to the rescue, however; she sent me a few clips she’d filmed that night of her sister onstage, performing original electronic music. But…but…where was Rose’s senior recital? Heck, Steve and I had driven all the way to Boston for it and, as I recall, been super-impressed with her work. Not, apparently, impressed enough to save a single snippet.

So here I am, reflecting on MANY hours I’ll never get back, looking in vain for things that I really, really should have kept tabs on. I am surrounded by a multitude of saved test papers from 4th grade and preschool cut and pasted “artwork” instead.

Guess I’d better toss the junk in a box once again, and resign myself to the loss of my treasures.

But wait. Don’t I still have the VHS tape of Evan playing jazz piano in that high school concert? Surely I’d never throw THAT away!

Or…would I?


    I am an author (of four books, numerous plays, poetry and freelance articles,) a director (of Spiritual Formation at a Lutheran church,) and a producer (of five kids).

    I write about my hectic, funny, perfectly imperfect life.

    Please visit my website: or email me at



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