And I began finding things. I found the dog books I'd looked everywhere for and had accused my sister of still having.
I found the instructions to my bread machine, which includes the bread recipe I'd been looking everywhere for.
I found my senior memories book.
And this certificate I'd won in 5th grade for memorizing Bible verses in Sunday School.
I found the one pinewood derby car I'd managed to rescue before Cody tore them all up.
And I found this cute little critter, though I have no idea who he is, or where he came from.
And I found Treebeard.
Yes, I have a Treebeard. I also have a Luke Skywalker in Stormtrooper uniform, and a DeMarcus Ware. Because that's just who I am.
Oh, I found lots of things. I found Christmas cards I'd made my daddy when I was little, and pictures I'd drawn as a child. I even found a story I'd started to write in 5th grade which I entitled "Adventure At Shark Bay" in which my cousin Diane gets eaten by sharks. But still no rings. Undaunted, I pressed on.
I found these photos of old dogs, long since passed on to that great kennel in the sky. This one is Meika, an American Eskimo I got when I was 15.
And this one I've written about before. He was The. Best. Dog. Ever. This is him when he was just a puppy.
Kindly ignore the No Boys sticker on the photo. That was something my friend Dee started when we were in college. I don't remember the details, but it was something about --well, about having no boys in our lives. At the time, neither one of us figured we'd still be single some 25 years later. But that's a story for another time....
I even found other jewelry. This necklace the ex bought me.
And I found other rings. This was always one of my favorites, but it got on my nerves because the --for lack of the proper jewelry term-- the pretty part doesn't go all the way around the band. It has the tendency to turn around on my finger, so that the plain part is visible and the pretty part is next to my palm.
Heck, I even found the elusive gold band that started the whole thing.
But still no One Ring.
Finally, I was down to one box left. I know they say what you are looking for is always in the last place you look, but in this case, this really was the only box left. If the One Ring wasn't in there, I had no idea what had happened to it.
With naught else left to do, I delved into the depths of The Last Box, and there, amidst old teddy bears and Beanie Babies long forgotten, I found a little velvet pouch.
Inside, there it was, The One Ring.
It had not yet made its way back to Sauron. You can all sleep a little easier now.
The language is that of Mordor, which I will not utter here. In the Common Tongue it reads:
One ring to rule them all
One ring to find them
One ring to bring them all,
And in the darkness Bind them.
Gandalf the Gray