Finding That Which Was Lost

Do you have “safe places”?

I do.  Lots of them, it would appear.  So safe, in fact, that even I cannot discover them!  To be sure, the treasures I’ve stashed there for safekeeping will not be disturbed.  Especially by me.  Seeing as how I can’t find them!

I lost my “safe places” – so, now what?  The purge cometh – like last week’s basement clean-out and yard sale.  And, what do you suppose?  I found my lost safe places!!

So, my simple pleasure this week is finding that which was lost. 

This is my digital voice recorder. 

I bought it a few years ago when I was collecting first person accounts of local history for a project I was working on.  It fit neatly in my purse and I could easily playback and transcribe it when I got home.  I haven’t seen this in about five years!  Found now – and the bonus is that I still have the instructions on how to use it!  Very useful, instructions are – especially when there are any number of buttons to be pushed for myriad of functions.

Now, I just need to start interviewing people again.  Not really doing a project of that sort – soooo – I’ll stash it in a NEW “safe place”.  I’m sure I’ll be able to find it the next time . . . 

Uh huh.

But!  THIS is the really joyful find! 

For those of you who may not have seen this oldie but goodie before – this is a “cassette tape”.  Quite obsolete these days.  However – in 1975 it was the bees knees! 

I’ve been looking for this for over five years!  You see, I’ve been putting my old VHS tapes of family memorabilia on DVD, and scanning old family photos to create slide shows on DVD.  They’ve been Christmas gifts to the relatives each year, as I “publish” a new updated source of cherished family images.  But, this cassette tape had eluded me even though I had searched high and low each holiday season for the past three years – and then some – to find it. 

It was Christmas, 1975.  Santa Claus brought me – and my sister, Joanna – a tape recorder for being such good little girls.  We were thrilled!  On the cutting edge of technical do-dads we were, with a tape recorder – and blank tapes! 

Our first recording was this tape. 

How clever we thought we were, hiding the tape recorder in the center of the living room clicked into the “record” position, as all our relatives arrived for Christmas dinner.  We giggled every time we got someone talking answering silly questions, knowing that they did not know they were secretly being recorded.  What a good joke!

Fast forward (pun intended) 36 years, and you probably can guess why this tape is so special.  So many of the voices on the tape are silent now.  Grandma, grandpa . . . mom . . .

We recorded my dad playing his boogie woogie music on the piano.  There’s a recording of me playing a simple version of Moonlight Sonata.  And, being enthralled with Judy Garland in the day, that was the Christmas I had gotten – not only the just released coffee table biography of Judy – but a –

– wait for it . . . 8 TRACK TAPE!

. . . of Judy’s greatest hits.  I recorded the 8 track being played on our combination stereo turntable and 8 track tape player.  What a fan – with cutting edge sound technology circa 1975.

I can’t wait to play it again – and secure it on CD – with copies for all surviving family members who would love to hear our loved one’s voices again.  Remembering long ago holidays.  Simpler times.  Simple pleasures.

Sharing this Simple Pleasure with Dayle at A Collection of This and That.

About Miss Kathy

"I teach families how to restore their God-given authority as the primary educator in their child’s life through the experience of reading together as a family. Learn how to use literature to create teachable moments, build strong minds, and bind loving hearts."

Kathryn Ross, writer, speaker, and dramatist, ignites a love of literature and learning to equip young and old towards developing a Family Literacy Lifestyle—reading together, learning together, loving together. Her works challenge families to deepen their literacy skills and grow into the greater things God has purposed for them. She’s taught in Christian and homeschool circles, trained in the Principle Approach® through the Foundation for American Christian Education. Miss Kathy owns Pageant Wagon Publishing, producing homeschool enrichment materials, devotional works, study guides, and theatrical dramas for church, school, and community production. She podcasts at and blogs at


  1. Ah, so happy for you!
    Finding your recorder was great but finding the tape of your dad, is priceless!

  2. I too, am purging and finding old things….for me it’s been much from years past and seeing just how far I’ve come……loving what God is doing! Looking forward to more great finds and the renewal, cleaning out or purging brings…
    love you!

  3. Hello Kathy~ Oh, what a treasure you discovered! Love when that happens! It will certainly make a special and memorable gift for your immediate and extended family. I have also stashed something away only to forget where the spot was…and it usually dawns on me when I least expect it…like a lightbulb turning on. Eureka! Of course, that is where I put it! lol~

  4. Hi Kathryn,
    How wonderful finding your treasures. The time they have spent ‘safely’ put away will have made them more precious to you and your family.I can imagine how emotional you must be feeling revisiting these memories.
    God Bless
    Barb from Australia

  5. I love buried treasures! That was an added bonus to your great purging adventure.

    The best find of all is the cassette.

    We turned all of our family films into a video about a decade ago. Now, I am wondering how to turn the video into a DVD. And then, I thought about the potential life expectancy of a DVD. If it goes like the 8 track, cassette, and video, I will be discontent with that and turning it into something else within the decade. You just can’t keep up with technology, can you?

  6. Down memory lane. I also have some oldies that are priceless (to me). I understand totally.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  7. Fantastic, Kathy!

    What a wonderful find and it will make such a precious gift.


  8. Good morning, Kathryn..

    What a sweet and funny story. Who would have thought back then that your mischievous trick would have had such a poignant return…your loved ones voices caught in time.

    Sounds like you had fun finding “new” old things.

    Have a happy day,

  9. Your post brings back lots of memories for me. I got my first tape recorder around 1978. I taped a tribute to Elvis; and my three favorite singers of the time, Olivia Newton-John, Linda Ronstadt and Barbra Streisand. My family certainly got tired of hearing me sing along to the tape recorder all the time. That Christmas, I taped my Uncle Ed singing Christmas songs. It was the last Christmas before he went into the nursing home because of Huntington’s Disease. Many years later, I was able to give a copy of the tape to my cousin (his daughter) who was so pleased to have it. My first car had an 8-track player — Jim Croce was my fave.

    I have safe places too. So safe, I don’t even know what I put where. 🙂 Have a great day. Tammy

  10. Lost treasures … those are the best kind. I know that tape will warm your heart.

  11. How wonderful that you were able to find something you truly needed!


  12. Kathy,
    I am also always putting things in a very safe place and then losing them the next time I turn around to look for them. Thank goodness it happens to others too and I’m not just slowly losing my mind. At Christmas I put away some jewelry and found them by accident a few months later after much worry and stress. I am so glad you found the tapes of your loved ones to now share with your family.


  13. I remember that recorder! It should have the notes for the mystery melodrama on it we recorded at Starbucks.

  14. Such precious memories – and yes, I am old enough to recognize a cassette, and to remember 8-tracks! (And Atari Pong, by the way).

    It must be so wonderful to be able to be able to hear those dear voices again. How you must miss them…

    I love that you found the recorder, but couldn’t find the instructions! Oh, how I know what that feels like! You talked about having “safe places.” Goodness, glad to know that someone else “misplaces” a few things now and then. My top item to “lose” is my glasses. Followed by a close second, my keys.

    Come to think of it – where did I lay down those keys tonight?? Hmmm… 🙂

  15. I’m so glad you found the cassette tape. I’m sure that was a more joyful find then the voice recorder. I continually lose things and am always happy when I find them. There are still a few things on my missing list and I hope it doesn’t take me 5 years to find them. Your blog is a delightful place to be. Nice to see you using so many of my images. Love it. ~ Abby

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