Lost and then found always makes a good story.

We hear of a class ring washed up on a beach and the owner traced down--no explanation of how it got there. Siblings separated as infants somehow make a connection in later life, maybe having lived near each other all those years.

A family pet, dog or cat, appears states away from home. Detective work by a sympathetic animal lover, using clues from its collar, leads to a joyful return. An important document, not seen for generations, drops from a wall crevice when an old building is dismantled.

Finding something treasured that has been lost is far more exciting than getting something new. The Good Book has a lot to say about that.

For example, the shepherd that left his ninety-nine other sheep to look for one that was lost, and the woman who turned the house upside down to find one silver coin although she still had nine. Rejoicing resulted.

When I was born, a niece of my grandmother sent a white gold baby ring to my parents. She and her husband owned a jewelry store in Virginia, and was in a better position to share jewelry as a congratulatory gift than most folks who gave more practical bootees and bibs.

As I grew old enough to understand, my mother told me the story, and I always treasured the ring most highly. When my fingers grew too large for it to fit, I put it on a ribbon and wore it as a pendant. Eventually the solder seam came apart, but I viewed that as a blessing, as the ring could then spread enough for me to wear it on my pinkie finger.

My mother cautioned me about wearing the ring at play because of the risk of losing it. But you can guess how that went. I lost the ring.

Tears, guilt and the lesson of "I told you so" stayed around for a long time. The pain eased a bit but I did not forget.

Years later, my grandfather was walking on the rocky path that led down to the shop, near the house where we had lived. He was leisurely poking at the pebbles with the tip of his cane and just happened to see a shiny speck that got his attention. There my ring was! He was pleased to show it to me, but not half as pleased as I was to have it back in my possession. It now resides in the bank lockbox and I have that additional story to tell.

We can lose important things that are not tangible--a talent we stopped practicing, an interest or hobby we failed to feed, a friendship neglected. Connecting anew, we realize what joy we have been missing.

I've lost things by getting them mixed up in my memory. I re-read an old recipe recently and discovered that I have been leaving out a significant step for years. I'm forever repeating a favorite short quote from a noted philosopher. When it appeared in print in front of me not long ago, I saw that I had key words wrong.

What might you have lost, and found?