Hoping I might have missed a photo of Mr. Chips, I go though the Lost Box of photos again, pulling apart any that stick together. I have an idea what era I might have a photograph from, so look for the house I was living in at the time.
I’m tired. It’s 2 am. There are so many photos. Hundreds and hundreds. This puzzles me, as they are mostly bad photographs. I start a stack of pictures to toss.
I root through another bad clump of blurry pics, and see a familiar streak of silver. I had an Airstream travel trailer. I don’t ever remember towing it. I parked it in a pretty spot that looked out over the land, built a little deck, and gardened around its perimeter. I used the trailer as a summer guest house.
I had Mr. Chips and the trailer at the same time.
Sigh. Such a bad picture. I scan it anyway. A memento of a lost era.
I open the file on my computer, and try to remember that time in my life. I’d done things like place rubber finger puppets on sticks so they’d poke up above the flowers like hovering birds: silly blue monster heads with wavy arms, shy green monsters peeking through their fingers. I wanted to have pretty and laughter all at once. Pink curlers grew in a cultivated row, tucked behind a fenced off cage of tomatoes. I was careful: all the flowers were edible and non-toxic.
I stare at the photo of nothing much, wishing it was so much more.
Strange. I don’t remember having a garden gnome with a peaked hat. Aren’t garden gnomes green with red hats? I look closer.