My book club met this week, and when I got home after the meeting, I realized my cell phone was missing. I always keep it in a side pocket of my purse, so I figured it probably fell out in the car. But I searched the entire car, and didn’t find it anywhere. I then dialed the number from our house phone, even though I had turned the sound off on my cell phone so it wouldn’t ring during the meeting. After that, I searched the house, in case I had absent-mindedly set the phone down somewhere else after I turned off the ringer, instead of putting it back in my purse.

When it still didn’t turn up, I called the two ladies who had carpooled with me to the meeting, hoping the phone fell out of the car as one of them was getting in or out. No luck. Next, I called the woman who hosted the meeting. She was gracious enough to check everywhere I had been, including her front porch and driveway.

By now, I was starting to get nervous, thinking of the cost and inconvenience of replacing my phone, and being without one till then. I was going through a lot of other feelings, too, like relief that I hadn’t just bought one of those new thousand-dollar phones they’ve been advertising – not that I ever planned to. And guilt, over again being so caught up over a minor problem like this while hurricanes, floods, fires, and earthquakes were still destroying other people’s homes and lives.

Since I hadn’t been anywhere except book club and back, I ended up emailing everyone in the group, in the hopes that one of them had a phone similar to mine and had inadvertently picked it up, thinking it was theirs. No one had, but one woman reminded me that I could probably track its location through the phone’s GPS. I did, and discovered the phone was in our neighborhood. I turned on the feature that rings for five minutes even if the phone’s sound is turned off, and went back out into the garage. This time, I heard the phone ring from somewhere in the car. My husband and I searched the entire car again, and he finally found the phone caught up in the seat adjustment mechanism under the front seat. As near as I can tell, then, it did fall out of my purse, and a bump in the road or a quick stop must have bounced it up into the seat adjustment equipment and trapped it there.

So – crisis averted. And I’m left with several lessons from the experience.  One is to start keeping my cell phone inside my purse, instead of in an outside pocket. Another is that I should probably try weaning myself as much as possible from electronics – like my cell phone – that I’ve become way too dependent on. Another is to be grateful for friends who offer helpful advice and are willing to go outside in 90-degree weather to search their driveways for something someone else may have lost.

And, most important of all, to continue praying for and offering whatever help I can to those who have real problems in our world today.

September 22, 2017
©Betty Liedtke, 2017

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