I went to Minneapolis for Mother’s Day. Lee had been there since Wednesday, helping Sarah and Erik with the remodel of their master bed and bathroom. I was just going for the weekend, so on Friday, I had to go to the airport by myself. I had my suitcase and bag all packed and ready to go. I locked up the house, carried my suitcase downstairs, and put it next to the car. Then I went back upstairs, put the dog’s harnesses on and got them in the car.
I drove to Diane’s, dropped of the dogs, and then made my way to Boston Logan. I intended to park in Economy parking, but the lot was full, so I followed the signs to overflow parking, way off by the Airport Hilton. As I was parking the car, I suddenly had a sinking sensation. I had no memory of putting my suitcase in the car. Was it in the back seat? No, of course not, the dogs had been there. Was it in the trunk? No, the trunk was empty. I had forgotten it! It was sitting in the garage back home. There was no way I could go home and get it and still make my flight.
I called Lee as I was leaving the airport. “I can’t come. I forgot my suitcase.” He asked me if I was sure, and I said yes. He said oh that’s too bad. I hung up the phone and promptly got a call from my daughter.
“Just come, we’ll figure it out.”
“But Sarah, I don’t have any contacts except the ones I’m wearing. I don’t have my glasses! I don’t have any clothes!”
She said, don’t worry, we can go to Target, and you can borrow things of mine.
Well…okay, I said. I’m coming!
It was getting late so I didn’t try to go back to Economy Parking, but pulled into Central Parking instead. Yes I know its expensive, but it would be really stupid after all of this to miss my flight!
Central Parking was jammed packed and it took me awhile to find a place to park. I wrote down my level (4) and row (bb) and headed to terminal A. With TSA Pre it didn’t take me long to clear security and I was at my gate just as they started to board.
It was a great weekend. I went to Target that night and wandered through the store, grabbing must-haves like saline solution and a contact case, a toothbrush, floss, and a comb. I quickly selected a couple of t-shirt and maxi dresses, a pair of yoga pants, some underwear, socks, sandals and a sports bra. I grabbed a couple of t-shirts and something to sleep in, and I was set.
I was able to help some with the reno; I can paint (except for the edges) and I was a good errand-runner too! Sarah made a yummy brunch on Sunday morning, and we took her little dog Mika for a nice walk. I managed to get my daily contacts to last two full days, and I could see close-up in the morning if I held things right in front of my nose. I made the best of it, and figured, oh well! My suitcase was waiting for me at home, right?
Sunday night I flew back to Boston. It was rainy and cold, and it took me forever to find my car in Central Parking, even though theoretically I knew where it was. I think I came out a different exit in terminal A and that got me turned all around. They give you 30 minutes to leave the garage from the time you pay, and I think I cut it pretty close.
I drove down I-93 in the rain and fog, eager to get home and get my glasses out of my suitcase and throw the overused contacts in my eyes away. I turn into our driveway, get the mail out of the mailbox and look for the NYTs in the driveway. Its not there. Hmmm, that’s strange. Well sometimes they miss the delivery; I’ll have to call them in the morning.
I drive up to the garage. The NYTs in right outside the garage. Hmmmm, that’s strange too. Someone must have brought it there, because the delivery people NEVER do that. I open the garage. The suitcase isn’t there. Wait, where did I leave it? I thought I had left it right next to the car, but maybe not. Did I leave it in the basement, by the garage door? No. Upstairs? No. Somewhere odd in the house? No. Outside? NO! Did someone come up to the house, see it, and put it on the front porch or the back deck? No….. I go get a flashlight and walk down our long dark driveway in the rain, checking both sides. No suitcase.
I’m very disturbed. I have no idea where it could be. I’ve looked all over the house, in semi-logical and totally illogical places. My suitcase is gone.
Its 1:30 in the morning and I’m exhausted. I need to go to sleep and deal with this in the morning. I do what little unpacking I have, take out my contacts and dig out my old “emergency” glasses. They are really old, probably over 10 years. I can barely see out of them, but they do improve my distance vision.
Even though I’m very tired I toss and turn all night. I’m up early too. By now I’m in recovery mode. I send my neighbors a text, asking them if they’ve seen anything odd. I start making a list of the things I’ve lost and planning how and when to replace them. I call Lee and tell him and he clearly thinks I’m losing it. So do I, but I also think someone took it. There is simply no other explanation.
On Monday I get ready to do the most urgent replacements, things like ordering new glasses and buying a razor. Late in the morning I get a phone call. Its a 603 area code but an unknown number. I answer it, just hoping against hope….
“Hi, is this Lynn Nill?”
“I think I found your suitcase on Mary Anne Avenue”
At this point the poor man can’t get another word in edgewise as I am exclaiming and thanking and babbling to beat the band. He is coming down Shore Drive and I meet him in the driveway. Its my suitcase all right, torn and covered in mud. It looks like its been dragged and beaten up. I quickly open it. Nothing inside has been disturbed or damaged, but everything is soaking wet.
I thank him over and over again, drag my suitcase up to the house and start to unpack. I’ve got to wash everything, but except for the suitcase itself, everything else is okay. I do throw away my toothbrush and my comb, however. It just seemed creepy to keep them.
it took me awhile to calm down enough to speculate on what could have possibly happened. Did someone come up the driveway for some reason and steal it, and then think better of it and throw it to the side of the road where it was hit by someone and buried in the mud? Maybe. Did someone come up the driveway and somehow get it caught on their car and drag it over to Mary Anne Avenue before it finally fell off? Maybe. The guy that returned it was a salvage guy. Maybe HE came up the driveway, saw the suitcase, threw it in his truck, left it there until Monday and then thought better of it and called me? Who knows!
I’ll never know a) what I did with the suitcase and b) what happened to it after I left it wherever I left it. I wish that suitcase could talk! Then it could write this saga as a first person narrative. Oh well. I’m just so happy it was returned. You never know how dependent you are on your glasses and contacts until they are gone…