When your cell phone is missing

Published 4:37 pm Tuesday, September 22, 2015

It finely happened to me. I spent this past weekend at Compass Lake. There was no one but me; no family, no friends, no dog. It was so quiet that I didn’t even realize my phone was missing until I came home Sunday morning to attend church.

It wasn’t in my truck, my clothes, or even my briefcase, which I had never even opened at the lake. Finally, I checked a great app called “Find my iPhone.” Just as I feared, the map clearly showed that the phone was still at the lake.

I went back down to the lake after church, not exactly a chore since it was a beautiful afternoon. Opening the door, I was surprised to discover the phone was not on the kitchen counter as I expected. That began a 36-hour time of searching and discovery.

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The discovery part was more about myself than my phone. I discovered I wasn’t really alone at the lake until my phone was missing. While I make fun of people texting on elevators or over lunch, I had to admit that I missed my phone; a lot.

It isn’t just my connection to everyone I know, it is also a business tool that provides me information on every restaurant we operate. It has more information about my contacts than the old telephone books used to contain. It has birthdays, anniversaries, and every other important date and reminder in my life.

I used my iPad and the land line to call my phone over and over. The map showed the phone was on our lot at the lake, but the location is “approximate.” The location indicator is accurate within 50 yards, which is a lot of space when trying to find something that small.

I backtracked everywhere I had been. I went through the boat, the house, the dock and the yard. I scoured the driveway in case I had absentmindedly put it on the hood of the truck while loading up to come back home.

To make matters worse, the location kept moving. Even though I knew the map wasn’t perfectly accurate, it still made matters worse when it moved from the boat house, to the drive way, to the house next door and finally to 50 years  yards out in the lake. At that point, I thought someone was having fun with me.

For five hours, I searched. My knees were sore from looking under furniture. No stone was left unturned. I took the cushions off furniture I knew I had not sat in. I ran my hand over every square inch of the cover on the bed, hunting for any hard object.

I went through the refrigerator, freezer, microwave and trash. I mentally made a grid of the driveway, from the fence to the highway, to make sure I didn’t miss any area.

Finally, totally disgusted and discouraged, I gave up and came back home. Mary Lou agreed to go back down with me the next day. I knew it would be found within minutes if she went, but I had no other choice.

Less than five minutes after we arrived, she told me to take the sheets off the bed. Even though I had run my hand over every square inch of the cover, there it was. I had somehow made the bed up with my phone near where my feet would have been. Don’t ask because I have no idea how it got there.

Two takeaways from the stressful ending to an otherwise perfect weekend. First, “Find my iPhone” told me the phone was there somewhere. Sometimes knowing the answer is right in front of you makes the question that much harder. Second, I am more connected to my phone than I would like to admit.

If I should take a solo trip to the lake again, I think I may leave my phone at home. Then again, who wants to leave their best friend?