Low Vision: Tracing the Misplaced! 


“Oh come on, where did  I put that bag of  mint chocolate chips? I just had them,” I was making a new kind of fudge and suddenly, my key ingredient went missing.

“Hang on,” I said to the friend I was talking with on the cell phone.” I opened the cupboards and looked on the shelves for the mints. “Not here.”

“I hate that. And those sound like designer mints, too,”  my friend said. “That happens to me all the time and I’m not–“

“I know,” I said with a wry smile. “You’re not even vision-impaired.”

“Yeah! Exactly!” She tried to be helpful. “Did you check the counter? The fridge? The freezer? What about the sink? Or under the sink.” We both laughed. “Sometimes I don’t even pay attention to where I put things,” she added.

I peered into the sink and even looked in the cupboard below it. Nope. “Hey, I really have to go and find them. I’ll let you know if I do.” I meant to say, ‘when’ but sometimes I never find what I was looking for, like my $50 Christmas bonus. I hoped it wasn’t one of those times.

I checked the clock. It was nearly eight o’clock at night and I hadn’t even begun. I sure hoped I found those annoying mints. For sure, they weren’t going to up and waltz back into my vision by themselves.

Okay, I take that back.

Maybe they wouldn’t actually waltz but they might sneak their way into my vision, rather, my  ‘headlights’ as I fondly call my eyes. Time to turn on the high beams!

1. Scanning is looking purposefully.  That is, I search an area from high to low and right to left. Whatever I’m missing may be in that general direction only obscured by my blind spots. However, once in awhile I can catch a glimpse of an object through one of my  irregularly-shaped islands of vision. I might appear stealthy like I’m James Bond as I walk but this is one of my more successful methods of retracing the missing misplaced object.

It didn’t work that day.

So then I sat down and implemented another strategy.

2. Taking a short break. If I rested my eyes, maybe when I opened them, I would clearly see the object in view. Or I would remember where I put them.

Five minutes later, I stood up. It wasn’t coming to me.

Time for my third trick.

3. Seeing with my hands. I washed and dried my hands then started systematically feeling the counter  as well as inside the cupboards, fridge and freezer with my fingertips. That day I did feel something–freezer burn!

On to method #4, if it even applied.

4. Centering my mind on the most logical place. If only I had ONE place I put them. My sister was always telling me to put things in the same place each time. They had been in the freezer. Until I took them out and plunked them who-knows-where!

I sat back down at the breakfast bar. What next?  I could hear my mother’s voice in my head. Retrace your steps. What did you do? Start all over again in your mind.

Okay, Mom, following your strategy.

5. Going-through-the-motions-again. To start with, I took the chocolate chips out of the freezer. I put them….where did I put them? Well, I washed my hands and melted lsoing my mind.)the … did I melt the butter yet? Oh good grief, I didn’t even start to cook it. I started looking for the chips! Then my cell rang and…I need to price the jewelry and I haven’t even cut the peanut butter fudge. Wait a minute. I’m way off track here.

System overload.

I bowed my head and prayed. God, please show me exactly where those mint chocolate chips are. I don’t care if I trip over them. Just don’t let me miss them. 

I lifted my head, and swiftly looked around, as if expecting them to show up right then and there. “And it was a miracle…!” I wish.

Ha! I don’t think that’s how God works. He doesn’t perform like a magician.

A short nap was in order.

 After throwing myself on the bed, I burrowed under the covers and curled up on my side. I did fall asleep for a few minutes…and when I woke up and was stretching, my foot touched up against something.

What is that, anyway? I really just wanted to go back to sleep. I kept pushing my foot against it. Finally, I threw off the covers, turned on the light and bent over to see what my foot kept hitting.

You got it!  It was the bag of mint chocolate chips 2/3 of the way down on the outside of my comforter. Ah!

I laughed. God, you sure have a sense of humor! How did they get in the bedroom here?  What could I have been doing?

I now have a new order in my plan for retracing misplaced items.

First, pray. Then look in the most unexpected place.

I might just become more successful.

Having a plan for finding misplaced items is a necessity for those of us who have low vision, and these tried and true methods may work as well for those who don’t suffer low vision.

What is your plan when you lose or misplace an item?

You have just read “Tracing the Misplaced,” in the Low Vision series by Amy L. Bovaird. © Copyright February 8, 2015.  If you liked this post, Like, Share and please take a moment to comment on it.

Low Vision Tracing the Misplaced!
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10 thoughts on “Low Vision Tracing the Misplaced!

  • February 9, 2015 at 3:30 am

    I am ALWAYS misplacing things. I go to do one thing, see something else that needs done, stop what I’m in the middle of to start that, get interrupted, forget both things I was doing, and remember hours later that I had the _______ earlier and now have to have it. Where did I leave it?

    Absolutely never anywhere that would make sense!

  • February 9, 2015 at 11:01 am

    thanks for sharing the tips. if i forget sometimes to find something, i just stop panicking & searching at that moment , relax myself and then try to eliminate all options.

  • February 9, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    WOW this is me every single day! I misplace everything and my vision is horrible! My hubby and daughter know that when I say…”where is my……” everyone gets up and is on the hunt.

  • February 9, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    Hi Amar,
    Eliminating all options is good.And stopping panicking is good, too. LOL!

  • February 9, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Ha ha Liese!
    You’ve got them well-trained! That plan works!

  • February 14, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    Amy, this was such a delightful read (love the diagram at the beginning, I think it accurately reflects the process).

    I’ve found that a good deal of pouting, crying and even a temper tantrum or two helps, lol. Adding getting older to the low vision equation just compounds the issue to the point of…gee, I can’t recall.

  • February 14, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    Ha ha! You are so right, Steph!
    That component of aging really gets in the way and you really wonder what’s going on! And I forgot about the screaming and pouting. I do that, too! It might not help me find what I’m looking for but it certainly helps me release the stress I’m feeling.
    Thank you so much taking time to read this!

  • February 17, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    Hi Amy,

    When I drop something on the floor, I use a method I call a “cane sweep.” I grab my cane, then get on my hands and knees. I place the cane flat on the floor, then slowly move it around until it hits the object. It doesn’t work for everything, though, especially if the lost object is flat.


  • February 18, 2015 at 12:51 am

    Hi Matt,
    I like that idea and will have to try it!

  • February 18, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    That’s pretty much how it is for me, too!
    Now I don’t feel so bad! Thanks for commenting!

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