Losing your mate
Have you ever lost some thing precious to you? Something that you held dear, and well, okay… you may have even loved a little. I’m not talking about a person, friend or family member but rather an item that you were particularly fond of.
I have recently lost the best glove that I have ever owned. I still have its mate and it stares at me accusingly from the drawer where it is now stowed, alone without a partner. Together they were just the perfect couple; warm, fuzzy and black and they fit my hand just like, well, like a glove. I could count on them to bring the blood flowing back into my poor frozen fingertips whenever my hands would turn from 98 degrees to 32 degrees in 60 seconds flat. They had a nice little feature that allowed me to flip the mitten-top up to reveal the cut out fingers underneath. I’d have complete use of my fingers whenever I needed to snap a picture or open a door or a beverage. It was the perfect set-up.
I’ve looked everywhere in vain. I’ve opened every drawer, turned coat pockets inside out, searched our backpacks and have peered into dark corners of the closet just hoping that it’d show up. I’ve lain awake at night trying to picture that little glove in my mind’s eye, hoping I could imagine just where it was. I can hear the sad, sad theme music from Titanic playing softly as I picture my glove floating around in a sea of pedestrians in the old district of St. Augustine and I quietly chant “My heart will go on” to myself.
I scanned through 1200 or so digital pictures that we have taken since our stay here in St. Augustine hoping to hone in on the exact time-frame that this unfortunate incident went down. I clicked through each picture and noted the places where I was last seen wearing my beloved gloves.
I stop clicking and stare into the picture of myself sitting on a rustic wooden bench nestled into a fairy tale like garden. I try to visualize my lost glove hidden there underneath my coat that lay on the bench beside me. We had stepped into this magical Arts and Glass craft boutique and found ourselves following the tinkling sounds of thousands of handmade wind chimes and blown-glass yard ornaments all displayed mystically within the sweet flower garden behind the store. Could I have dropped it there on the little cobblestone pathway underneath the garden gnome? Is it now nesting material for one of the dozens of squirrels that resides there in the tall oak trees? Naw. It’s too early in the day and I would have noticed it was missing as soon as we stepped back out on to windy St. George Street.
I look hopefully at a picture of us at Mi’ Casa Café as I travel back to that chilly evening where we sat outside on the patio enjoying the musical talents of Dewey Via and his band. There we were chatting happily with the other two couples that shared our table about all of the fun adventures and tours offered here in St. Augustine. I see my gloves though, right there on the bench beside me, waiting patiently to warm my hands on the long walk back to the parking area. It’s another dead-end.
Several more days flash by and I see us in shirt sleeves and no coats or hats in sight. A few pictures are snapped at the oldest standing structure in Flagler County of the 1887 hunting lodge built by Henry Cutting at the Princess Place Preserve. We lie on the ground and soak in the sun and listen to the Matanzas River in the distance before we hike to the Eagle nesting area and seek out signs of an eagle in the nest. My gloves were most likely safe and sound at home at this time.
Another cool day in downtown St. Augustine and I notice that I once again have my hat, coat and warm gloves with me. There we were at the historic White Lion Pub having a cold beverage before heading home. I had snapped a picture of Smokin’ Joe, the bluesy guitarist with a folk twist that had us at hello when he opened with John Denver and Harry Chapin. It just happened to be “Happy Hour” and the waitress mentioned that the chicken wings were really good and 1/2 off as well. Smokin’ Joe started playing “Rocky Mountain High” and that pretty much settled it. We ordered the wings and stayed a little longer and of course sang along.
In light of the seconds on drinks, because hey, it was happy hour; I think perhaps I may have left them in the restroom or they were dropped under the bar stool there in the St. Augustine pub.
No! Not possible because there’s another picture from three days later. That morning we had driven over to Amelia Island and while walking through the historic district of downtown Fernandina Beach stopped at The Crab Trap where the sign out front had touted, “$1.00 Margaritas all day long”. So of course we went in… did I mention the margaritas were only $1.00? The bartender was super friendly and we discussed photography with him and he showed us pictures of his pretty new baby girl. I definitely had my gloves when we left there. However, this was the last picture that we have of David with his sunglasses. They are now MIA too.
Then we headed over to the Espana restaurant because we were getting a little hungry and the tapas menu sounded amazing. We had arrived without reservations and the Maître D’ suggested that there were a few tables available out on the terrace. He quickly moved us outside to the “non-reserved” section of the restaurant. It kinda felt like we were being herded out because our jeans and hiking boots didn’t fit the dress code. Feeling a bit under dressed compared to the other patrons and worry wart that I am, I was afraid that this would hinder our dining experience. However, I was completely wrong. We found ourselves right smack-dab in the middle of a beautiful garden with the sweet sounds of a trickling water fountain. Our waiter, Omar, was so wonderful to pull over a tall gas heater and offer me a blanket. So funny that we totally preferred this to sitting inside where we would no doubt have been if we had made reservations.
The absolutely delicious tapas along with impeccable service made for a very memorable evening. It was a long walk back to the truck and the starry night was definitely chilly. I certainly had my gloves on then.
Pretty sure David’s sunglasses were sitting right there on the ground where he placed them while we ate. Fortunately for him, he wasn’t quite as attached to them as I to my glove and perhaps Omar needed another pair.
Two days of rain had us staying inside except for a trip to the grocery store and a few walks around the campground. Which means, no pictures!
The day dawned when I noticed the loss of my dearly departed friend. As we dressed for our visit to the Lightner Museum I searched in vain and finally settled on a pair of knit gloves, assuming that the other glove would soon turn up. Wow. This is the largest museum that I have ever been to with 4 floors chocked full of neat art, furniture and artifacts. We also strolled over to Flagler College and the Memorial Presbyterian Church, which are two nearby historical buildings that are totally worth seeing when you visit St. Augustine.
I’m afraid that I have to accept the fact that my favorite, perfect glove is gone. I really should move on without it and I can hear David singing, “Let it go.” “Let it go.” already! But, now that I have finished typing this, I just thought of one more place to look.