Flash: light missing in the orchard

P1070714by cheri

Venturing across a dark noisy creek and then up a steep hill into an olive orchard cloaked under the soft light  of a crescent moon takes a curious person.  Moi!

This orchard teems with (about to be eaten) mice, rats, vols, gophers and is presided over by the mystical faces of white ghostly barn owls that glide in flight like avian ghost ships.

To visit the owls, I needed a little flash light.

So, I grabbed a tiny one, about 2 inches long, and headed down into the leaf duff. I slipped just as I was about to leap across the creek and upon that moment of instability, decided I needed a brighter light.

I headed back to the house and into the pantry and selected a grey steel  flashlight, about 6 inches long.

Someone in the family room was eating his grilled vegetables and petrale sole after a very long day’s work.

“Why don’t you take the black flashlight, Cheri? The one that is  18 inches long.”

Because I don’t need that big of a flashlight…it’s heavy…and I have this Canon DSL camera around my neck. If I fall in the creek with all that gear, I could drown in 6 inches of water.

“No really. Let me get that big flashlight for you.”

No, I really don’t…..

“Where IS that flashlight? It’s always here, right where it is supposed to be! It’s important to put things back in the SAME place every time. (Cheri)

Oh boy.

I think I will go upstairs and get my red flashlight, the one that is 12 inches long and by my side of the bed.

But it was gone too (this is not good, I thought).

Two flashlights not in their regular places.   I tried to sneak out the door without being seen.

“When the Big One comes (the earthquake) we will need flashlights and believe me, it’s important to be able to find them.”

I’m going to the olive orchard with a glass of wine now and  the camera and the flashlight.

From the peaceful dark deck up in the orchard, ensconced in the yellow adirondack chair, I heard the sound of a John Deere Gator zipping up and down the driveway. Someone was looking for missing flashlights. Everywhere.

I didn’t want to come home. But.

The night cooled, the owls began their hunting, and the glass was empty.

When I came in like a little Daniel Boone of a person, someone told me that the long black flashlight had been in the pantry where it should have been all the time, but it had been misplaced on the floor behind the dog food.

When I came upstairs, there by my side of the bed was the red flashlight.

Where did you find it?

In my office.

Good, I said, settling into bed with the biography I am reading about Prince Charles, if the big one happens tonight, we will be prepared.

 

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About Cheri

Writer, artist, cable television host, grandmother to four!
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19 Responses to Flash: light missing in the orchard

  1. Flashlights are never where they are supposed to be when you need them. Our owl story recalls grandson Tyler walking home one evening minding his own business when he was hit hard in the back of his head by an owl. Must have been near a nesting site. It knocked his cap off and gave him quite a scare. We had an owl in the backyard a few years ago. He called out each evening about dusk. I guess he didn’t attract a mate or the food supply ran out.

    • Cheri says:

      That story is not funny but somehow struck me as comedic. Poor Tyler! So glad he was not permanently “damaged” after such a traumatic experience.

      Regarding flashlights: In our household, things are supposed to stay where they are put..Ha!!! Ha!!!! This was not true in the Block household…

  2. shoreacres says:

    A clever title, a beautiful photo, and peace at last at the homestead. There’s nothing like the search for a missing “whatever” to get the juices flowing. Of course, there’s a certain satisfaction in sitting back and listening to the search, too.

    • Cheri says:

      I’d like to “get the juices flowing” in many other ways other than stress out about where two missing flashlights are….but, I respect the differences between people. Our childhood experiences and our parents’ sensibilities contribute to these types of obsessions. As a teacher, the only thing “lost” that concerned me was homework. 🙂

  3. Richard says:

    The photograph is gripping. My eyes were continually drawn back to it as I read your hilarious sketch, so recognisable as typical of married life everywhere. A place for everything and everything in its place. But will Glenys do as I say? – No!

    An ageless and alluring drama unfolds, barely seen, but inevitable, as we seek comfort in the familiar and transient.

  4. Brig says:

    Beautiful photo, and the tale of the flashlights made me laugh. It was just the reverse in our house… I was the one that had a place for everything and everything in it’s place. It didn’t start out that way, but after one harrowing day trip with the Cowman, who said we don’t need a forest service map, or water, or a spare tire, or a jack, or much gas…

    • Cheri says:

      Thank you, Brig. Oh yes…I have been on a road trip just like the one you have described. When it comes to having a full tank of gas, I am a stickler and his honor cuts it close. I like most things to be in their places but having taught high school students for so long, my tolerance for misplacing/losing items is much higher than the man with whom I live…

  5. wkkortas says:

    This is a wry little piece, and who among us cannot identify with the inability to find a damn flashlight when you need one?

    • Cheri says:

      Thank you for noticing that it was “wry.” Yes. A ubiquitous experience, the inability to find a flashlight (or as Brig says below) a map or matches or a lighter or the dog’s leash or a Phillips head screwdriver…of course, in my husband’s world things have a place and should be there….I tend to blame my cleaning lady, who has been with me for 20 years, for items that have been misplaced. Ha!!

  6. Christopher says:

    “……..the biography I am reading about Prince Charles…….”

    Isn’t this too intellectual for a summer read?

    • Cheri says:

      Ha! Good one.
      The best summer reads thus far are Norwegian by Night and The Last Painting of Sara de Vos. Since I enjoyed Netflix’s The Crown last year, I thought I would read about Prince Charles. I find his life a difficult one.

  7. Cyberquill says:

    I’ve heard somewhere that a dog’s first year is counted as one full human year, which puts her at the age of 57.

  8. Chris says:

    I read this piece and thought about how “helpful” our partners can be. I seem to be incapable of going to a bridge class, taking a bike ride, or an evening stroll without gentle reminders about what I need to be happy, safe, and prepared. By the time I’m on my way I begin to wonder how I ever made it through the last seventy years. Oh well, I just say, “thanks,” and I’m finally on my way.

    • Cheri says:

      Oh boy. You picked up everything that was going on that “night.” We’ve only been neighbors for several years but you get the drift. I need to heed your advice and just say thank you. Many times, I push back and boom! More advice in a louder tone of voice.

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