Finding the unexpected

20 March 2015 09:00

At the time of this posting there will be a partial solar eclipse visible in Europe, at least in theory. As of right now, there is simply too much mist to see anything, so I won’t bother going outside to watch unless things change dramatically. Seeing as I also missed the Transit of Venus in 2012 for pretty much the same reason, this is a bit of a bummer, but that’s what you get for being born in the Netherlands and not moving to a place that has less rain/clouds/mist.

Anyway, since I’m well aware that you shouldn’t look at a solar eclipse without specialized gear, I bought myself a pair of eclipse glasses in 2012 for the Transit of Venus. Seeing as they haven’t been used yet (outside of that one time I tested them without there being an actual eclipse), I figured this would be an excellent opportunity.

Two problems:

  • I have no idea where I put them after I used them last
  • We moved to a different town since I put them away

In other words. I had absolutely no idea where the glasses might be, and I spent an hour searching for them. I asked my girlfriend if she knew where they might be hidden, and while she did suggest half a dozen places where they might be (that I never would have figured out by myself), I didn’t find them.

I still have no idea where they are. But that’s not the most important thing about this whole situation. While I was searching I ran into a number of things I didn’t expect to find:

  • An expired passport (with holes drilled into it to mark it as invalid), which had a customs stamp from Canada
  • Invoices and warranty cards for every piece of hardware I own
  • My high school yearbook (which isn’t as big a deal over here as it is in certain teen movies)

Shortly after I found my yearbook, I found what I can best describe as the jackpot. Not my eclipse glasses, but something way more valuable: memories.

  • Congratulatory cards from when I got my Master’s Degree
  • Old Valentine’s Day cards
  • Vacation photos from when I was seventeen and went on my first vacation without my parents
  • Pictures of me and my girlfriend from when we were eighteen

Sometimes you don’t find what you’re looking for. Sometimes you find something much, much better.