Saturday, September 13, 2008

Losing It

It will come as no surprise to me when I wake up one morning to find our laptop computer, our Ford Expedition, and every piece of identification my family owns have been stolen in one fell swoop. It’s a loss just waiting to happen, and there is nothing I can do about it.

We live in a technological void. No high-speed cable. No DSL. No fiber optics (“coming soon,” they tell us). The lovely little store on the hill provides wireless access to guests who sit on their wide porch with an espresso or hot fresh apple cider, and Mr. Wright brings his laptop home from the office every night; in case the children need to do homework research online.

After several morning-hustle incidents that resulted in Mr. Wright getting to work without his computer, the designated home for the machine is now in the back of the Expedition. So what if our tax and business records are on the hard drive? Some things are more important than security – like getting to work with necessary equipment.

My family is genetically programmed to lose keys. The house-locking ritual is easy enough, but requires a stringent amount of breaking and entering to unlock, because we don’t often know where the key is. We had a locking mailbox, until Mr. Wright had to bust the lock off to retrieve three weeks of mail after the key was lost. The key to the Expedition, too, serves as the source of much grief. Many frantic searches for said key have been conducted while calling Snugglebug’s therapy center to tell them she would be missing group therapy, because I lost my keys. Again.

Now, we keep the key to the Expedition in the cup holder. In the Expedition. That worked until Pepper got something out of the car, then locked it. “What were you thinking?” I shrieked. “You locked the car?” Poor Pepper. She just wanted to make sure a minimum level of security was in place. I apologized for yelling at her, while I called Curlytop’s physical therapist to report we would be missing her appointment. Again.

The Ford dealership made me a key that will open the door, but not start the car. The “spare” key is now duct taped in an inconspicuous place outside the vehicle. Should any diligent thief choose to locate the spare key, he should have no problem driving away with the ignition key found in the cup holder.

Our family loves British Columbia. The first time we planned a “run for the border,” I crashed through the house, looking for birth certificates, and came up with maybe three for our family of nine. “No problem,” I reasoned. “I’ll go to the Department of Health and order new ones!” We got over the border with no problem. By the time we planned our next trip, I’d lost four birth certificates. Once again, I ordered new ones, and declared they would never again leave the glove box.

My older kids sometimes worry – as I toss the car key into the cup holder and step over the laptop to unbuckle the babies – that someone will steal our car and, by extension, our identities. Scrutinizing the floor littered with soccer shin guards, wrestling shoes, volleyball pads, football cleats, two Tickle-Me Elmos, my bag of materials for the journalism class I teach and two sippy cups, I realize our identities really are in this car.

I assure them, “No one would take our car, darlings – they’d have to clean it.”


  1. lol... is that a genetic thing? losing things? i think i must have it, too...

  2. But did you get the car back? Retrieve the data from the laptop safely?? I hope so! We want a happy ending!!!


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