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LETTER: Dustpan mystery solved

The whereabouts of our red dustpans was a mystery after Friday’s storm. —
The whereabouts of our red dustpans was a mystery after Friday’s storm. — 123RF Stock Photo

I have no wish to minimize the challenges posed by our recent massive storm. Therefore, I wish to start by extending my deepest sympathy to all who have been hurt or harmed by this very inclement weather. I also wish to thank all those who are working hard to provide emergency services, all the managers who are working day and night to problem-solve, and the members of our military, who have come to help out.

I am sharing a foolish story in the hope of giving some of you a laugh. Those of us blessed with very active teenagers have had some tense moments trying to keep them in during prolonged periods of high winds and snow. The calmer weather and the needed driving restrictions posed a different challenge. It has proven challenging convincing my teenage son not to drive, while the city is working hard on the needed cleanup. I have explained that both driving and walking through narrow slippery tunnels of ice is dangerous. For an active teenager this seems to fall into a typical mom — in other words, excessively boring and cautious — view of life.

We are a family of proud NBCs (Newfoundlanders by Choice). Unfortunately, we are not gifted with the same level of domestic and practical skills as are many of our friends. We are a somewhat messy and untidy bunch. We muddle along and are greatly helped by our long-suffering housekeeper. This on the ball, multi-talented woman is from around the bay. As our part-time Guardian Angel could not come to rescue us for five days during the state of emergency, I decided it was time for me to spring into action and clean up. Tasks were progressing slowly and at a much below our goddess’s standards.

However, I was progressing until it came to sweeping the floor. I could find two sweeping brushes but no dustpans. I searched and searched and eventually in embarrassment, called our domestic goddess. She was adamant there were two dustpans at our home last Thursday, when she left before the storm. She suggested I look under various benches and check the garage. I dutifully got down on my hands and knees and looked under benches. I also searched our garage. Our dustpans are bright red. So, stunned as I can be, I could not understand how I could not find them.

We are a family of proud NBCs (Newfoundlanders by Choice). Unfortunately, we are not gifted with the same level of domestic and practical skills as are many of our friends.

Our goddess reminded me of our family cardinal rule: if something is missing, look in younger son’s bedroom. My younger son is like a magpie and various missing household items are regularly and unexpectedly found in his room. At this time, younger son was out on foot visiting friends. His room looked suspiciously clean. However, there was no sign of either bright red dustpan. Could older son have caught the cleaning bug? I headed to the basement.

Older son is a fan of brevity. The incredulous answer to my query if by chance he had our dustpans was a puzzled and succinct “nope.” At the suggestion of our goddess, I used cardboard to pick up the dirt and my “monkey brain” forgot the missing dustpan mystery.

Today our helper made it over between trips to the grocery store. She was convinced that I had not searched properly. We are notoriously bad at misplacing things. However, even she could not find the dustpans. This evening, younger son came to pick me up from work at the hospital. I finally remembered to ask him if he knew where the dustpans were.

“Sure,” he replied, “they are inside our igloo.”

Apparently, this is also where my missing shovel has disappeared to. By this time, it was far too dark to look for the igloo! However, bright red dustpans should be easily visible in snow. My guess is that the igloo has now been buried deeply in more snow. Likely we will be reunited with our dustpans in June.

Dr. Frances Scully
St. John’s

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