I have a couple ideas for what to write about.

I have gathered photos to accompany these posts.

I have notes to remind me of what I want to say.

It’s all in my red notebook.

And I’ve misplaced my red notebook.

My daughter, Kate, gave the book to me a couple years ago, for Christmas. It’s a blank book, with lined pages in the eight and a half by eleven inch size. It has a red, corrugated vinyl cover that is easy to spot, and easy to keep clean. Red is my favorite color. It has a black elastic band attached, to hold it closed when not in use. That keeps the pages neat.

Very special.

I’d been thinking, around the time I received it, about how many magazines I kept around, simply because there was one recipe I wanted to try, one web-site to explore, one special bit of inspiration I wanted to remember or information I wanted to have at hand.


My habit became this: when sitting down to page through a magazine, I’d keep my red book and a nice pen beside me. When I came across a tidbit I wanted to remember, I’d jot it down in the book. In addition, I kept it close when surfing the internet, to take down inspirational sayings or snippets of information. Quotations from books, references, sequels or authors to remember were added to the pages. When putting in a DVD to watch a movie, I’d grab the book in case, in the previews, I saw another that I wanted to remember. When blog ideas came to me, I’d put them in the book, to refer to later.

Now, the book has gone missing.

It’s all I can think about.

I have searched the house and the car.

I have retraced my steps, in my mind, a hundred times.

I don’t know exactly how long it’s been gone.

I wake in the night with the puzzle still on my mind. “Oh!”, I’ll think to myself, “It must be in the old satchel that I took with me the last time I went to the mainland…” or “in the big bag that I switched off for the smaller purse last week…” or “under that box in the back seat of the car…”, and, sure that in the morning I will now be able to put my hands on it, I go peacefully back to sleep.

But, in the morning my nighttime ideas do not pan out. Then I think, “Okay, not the satchel, but what about the little overnight bag…” and one idea will lead to another search and another, until I once again feel like I’ve exhausted all possibilities.

But things do not just disappear.

It has to be here somewhere.

Sometimes I think I saw it recently, and I only need to remember where.

I can’t remember the last time I wrote in it, but I know it was not that long ago.

One week…maybe two I have been without it.

Every bit of information it holds has taken on added value simply from being inaccessible. I can’t fathom retrieving all of that absolutely vital knowledge. It is gone.

Until I find my red notebook.

Do things become more important, or just more appreciated, when they are gone?

17 responses »

  1. Your story sounds too much like me, however, I am always losing things and it “bugs” me until I finally toss in the towel and I finally give it up. For you the red book that is full of so much information is important. I would be really upset over that. I hope that it turns up in one of the most unlikely places that you could ever imagine. Did you look under every piece of furniture and everywhere outside? In the bookcase, in stacks of magazines? I really, really hope you find that book.

    • Under the furniture, several times through the bookshelves and magazine rack – that sounded logical to me, too – under all cushions, through all bags and boxes…I actually almost never looked at the book to retrieve information I’d written down. Rarely, anyway. But now that it’s gone, I feel desperate for each and every note and reference! When it turns up – and I’m certain that it will – I’ll be sure to write a follow-up! Thanks, Yvonne!

  2. Oh, Cindy — I hope the wonderful red book has turned up by now — I feel your loss! Things definitely seem to have more value when they’re gone, don’t they? (Or at least when you know they’re gone. Most of the stuff I have could disappear without my even noticing, and wouldn’t be missed a bit!)

    • That’s right! Which is exactly why I don’t know how long it’s been gone. Then I wanted to write a blog about an old friend, and she was on the list I’d made for my birthday of the 60 most influential women in my life, and the list is in the notebook…and I feel stopped in my tracks without it! Definitely more precious when lost! Thanks for reading, Kate!

  3. I have the same type of book! It isn’t red and it is smaller than the one you mentioned, but the function of it is just the same. I used to put all of those tidbits onto a notepad on my phone, but when the phone crashes I always lose that information. So I went with the old fashioned paper and pen method of writing lists and keeping notes.

    I hope you find your book soon, because you’ll be thinking of nothing else until you do. Or will you quickly go out and buy another to save your ideas in the meantime? Good luck!

    • Thank you, Sara, I definitely need luck on this one, because I’ve exhausted all logical possibilities. And you’re right, it has certainly been occupying my thoughts. I’m not quite ready yet to replace it…but will have to soon. You know, that’s when it’s going to turn back up, right?!

  4. I write things in a little journal too, so fully understand how bad you feel. You don’t think it got thrown out by mistake, I wonder? That’s something I’ve come close to doing on numerous occasions. I’ll say a prayer to St. Anthony for you.

    • At work last evening at the pub, customers were telling me prayers to Saint Anthony! One was, “Nothing in God’s world is ever truly lost.” Another involved spinning while reciting a little verse that started, “Tony, Tony….” I laughed at their familiarity with the saint, and with my predicament. I’m getting to the point where I may tackle the huge job of emptying my file drawers in order to pull them out, to make sure it didn’t fall behind them. If not there, I MUST have accidentally tossed it, because I can’t think of another possibility! Thanks for reading!

  5. This was a poignant story about losing something precious and irreplaceable. Nicely written, and I do hope you find your red notebook. It will turn up when you least expect it. Once I gave a story I’d written to a friend to read, telling her “it’s my only copy so don’t lose it.” I put it in a red folder for her, thinking red would be easy to keep track of. She lost it. I found the story at her house three years later when I grabbed an old Vogue magazine off her bookshelf. There was my story stuck between the pages. No folder. Your notebook will show up…in the meantime, get yourself another notebook and back to work jotting down stuff!

    • Oh, Shelley, that must have been so frustrating! At least I have no one to blame but myself. The older I get, the more time I spend looking for things, and it’s only out of thoughtlessness on my own part.. I’m trying to be more mindful…when the tape measure is not in use, it must be put in the drawer by the door…library books must be kept only in one basket, etc. I know that book can’t have just disappeared! Thank you for reading, and for your comment!

  6. I bet it will turn up when you’re least expecting it. I love the idea of your red notebook. Somebody recently suggested that I keep a commonplace book–a collection of passages that inspire me when I read, which sounds similar to what you do. I had never heard the term, but I’ve started one and am enjoying the process. Good luck!

    • Oh, I like that term, too! That’s a great name for it…a Commonplace Book. I’m sure it will turn up. I’m beginning to think it’s right under my nose and I’m just not seeing it! Thanks for reading, and for your comments!

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