Each year I spent four major holidays with friends in San Pedro, including July fourth, Thanksgiving Day, December twenty-fifth and January first.
I have another circle of friends with whom I spent other holidays throughout the year, including but not limited to Yule: the Winter Solstice
(the Reason for the Season).
Generally on the night of the Winter Solstice we'd exchange our gifts, stay up as late as possible to tend the Yule Fire on the annual longest night of the year.
At least one person remains awake to maintain the fire.
Usually we scheduled it for the nearest weekend, and celebrate the Solstice symbolically, so the annual gathering can sometimes shift to near the Solstice, and sometimes its host-house changes.
One year my friend Mary's daughter Crystal had it at her home.
This was also to be their last Yule at this Orange County home, as they were moving north.
In a few months everything would be packed up.
In the meantime, for this Yule stay-over, there was more than enough room for the group (I think around ten or more this particular year).
One tradition is to bring food, and while my culinary skills are a bit limited compared to my friends, one thing for which I am known are what I playfully call my
At home just before going there, I had prepared a goodly amount of pancake batter from my well honed recipe.
I brought with me a large, plastic container of batter, more than enough for ten people, even for seconds, and enough to bring home the remainder for me to make more for myself in the coming day or three.
I also brought along a pancake pan I had on which to cook them.
As we were only staying over the One Night, I made sure I left home wearing clean clothes, so not to worry about another set come the morning.
All I had with me were the white plastic shopping bags with the plastic container of batter and the pancake pan.
I arrived, came in with the single white plastic bag, and set them down.
The bag was never seen again.
I first noticed it missing when I went to get it to put the container into the refrigerator.
There was no sign of it.
We went over every square inch but it was not to be found.
Now this isn't as though someone mistakenly picked it up and discarded it.
It was the sort of bag on picking up, one would see the contents.
And it was heavy, what with the two-quarts of batter, and a pancake pan large enough for its handle to stick out.
The garbage bins had not been emptied, and not a trace of my stuff in any of them.
We joked that the house fairies must have absconded with it, and were enjoying it greatly.
While I'm glad to have been in service thereto, normally such Lost Items are returned.
We figured in a day or four the unrefrigerated batter would Most Certainly Reveal its location by its odour.
But it didn't.
When they moved, we jokingly reminded them to keep an eye out for it, but the white bag and its contents never re-appeared.