My mistress of misplacement

Richard Carnes

My wife is exceptionally good at losing things.

No, no, no, don’t get me wrong. That’s not an insult, merely an observation.

If I am lucky, then you might remember a column from back in early March (almost three full months ago!) where I provided the fascinating details of my bride losing her bright pink, but metal, wallet during a blizzard below Chair 17 in the Back Bowls.

Four days later (after the weather finally cleared) we spent a morning with shovels and — thanks to my tenacious digging — the wallet was found by the tip of my blade and the sweat of my brow.

Unlike a Palin or a Bachmann, I don’t give up easy.

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Being the wonderful daughter that my wife is, a few weeks later she left me and the boy at home alone for almost two months to take care of her 84-year-old mom after back surgery.

Having the procedure here in Vail (there is quite literally no place better), it was suggested recovery take place at a lower altitude, and as luck would have it, mom-in-law just happens to have a condo on a Florida beach, so off they went.

Yes, my wife’s personal sacrifices are never-ending.

Anyway, her mom being the sweet person she is, had a custom ring crafted for my beloved as a gift for her eight weeks of 24/7 assistance.

Not that she needed to, of course, but simply because she is that kind of person, and she could.

Hence the ingredients for this column.

Almost 10 full days of blissful ring-wearing transpired before anything even thought of happening.

Sometimes, however, we can simply count the hours.

On Day 10, she was playing tennis down at the Homestead Court Club, and upon realizing she could not make it over the net with such a ring, made the proper choice of placing it in her little pink purse.

Don’t be silly, it’s not the same winter pink wallet. That would just be dumb. This is the summer one.

Well, believe it or not, late that afternoon we were pulling out of the driveway to attend eighth-grade continuation at Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy, and when she pulled out the pink wallet, the ring was nowhere to be found.

Mental mayhem ensued, along with a good ol’ stress-induced migraine and guilt feelings that would make O.J. Simpson cringe.

After waking at 3 a.m. in a panic, she once again searched the car, the tennis bag, her clothes and, of course, the little pink purse.


The next 12 hours were spent retracing each step, each stop between home and the Court Club, all to no avail.

Enter wonderful husband (that’s me, by the way).

After retracing her re-traces, I emptied the trash cans at the club, piece by yucky piece.


I scoured the tennis court itself (to the annoyance of those playing tennis), the carpet in the hallway, the parking lot, and walked home in the rain empty handed.

Reaching our driveway, I thought it was probably a silly waste of time, but decided to closely inspect the grass alongside the pavement where she opens up the back of her car to grab her tennis stuff on the extremely off chance that it somehow flew out of her tennis bag.


One final look (mind you, it was still raining) on the other side of the driveway, and lo and behold, a tiny glint of gold caught my eye underneath a wet twig.

There the damn thing was, all wet and shiny.

I didn’t tell her for a few hours, as I’m no dummy, and devised a plan to surprise her with it and have the entire episode work to my advantage (use your imagination).

So sure, while my wife might be relatively good at losing things, luckily she’s married to a man who is exceptionally good at finding things.

And humble to boot.

Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at

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