This time of year, it's not unusual for us to be thinking of places far from home.
Visions of the North Pole occupy the minds of small children who dream of meeting Santa on his own turf. Candy cane streetlights and gingerbread doorways. Rooms overflowing with colorful papers and ribbons and bows (yes, Mom, I know, Santa does not wrap presents). Entire teams of elves whipping up hot chocolate and snickerdoodle cookies.
Grown ups have their own fantasy locales. Tropical beaches where the sun is warm and the drinks are cold. Where the only things on the to do list involve taking naps and reading for pleasure. Elves of a different sort bring food not cooked by you on dishes that don't have to be washed by you.
But I don't want to go to either place. No, I'm more interested in finding the magical, mysterical (yes, I just made up that word) land of Idunno. For it is there, in the land of Idunno, that -- apparently -- all the forgotten and lost items find a home.
I ordered Charlie a school basketball sweatshirt. I think it was gray. I'm not sure, because it was delivered to school, given to Charlie and never seen again. When I asked him where his new basketball sweatshirt was, he said "Idunno." Did he bring it home from school? He's not exactly certain. He checked the lost and found (after I asked him to, of course. Does any kid ever go to the lost and found on his own?). No luck. So where could it be?
I loaned Annie my new, not-yet-2-weeks-old winter coat to wear to a retreat at church. She came home coatless, but certain of where it was. We went back to look. No coat. We checked another coat rack and the lost and found. No luck. Well, Annie, where could it have gone?
Robbie is not immune to the allure of the Land of Idunno either. Apparently his tennis shoes up and walked there with his Nintendo DS. Charlie's lunchbox decided to tag along, too. As did Annie's blue and white scarf. And probably a whole host of other things I haven't even realized are missing yet.
And if I ever find this elusive destination of Idunno, I hope I find my sanity waiting there for me as well.