A Letter to Tiny Black Coin Purse With Flowers (Lost and lonely in the flooded streets of Key West, but not forgotten…)

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Dear my Tiny Black Coin Purse With Flowers,

I know you think I don’t love you. For one thing, I just started using you less than 2 weeks ago and I have had you for months. You have been patiently sitting in the bottom of my purse just waiting for me to need you. I dismissed you over and over again as I searched through my purse for my keys or gum or tweezers to get that rogue white hair growing in my eyebrows. You stared at me, but, somehow, you held it in.

I never heard you complain.

But now?

I never will.

I lost your little black zippered butt and I’m sick over it.

My hope is that you have subscribed to my blog somewhere along the way and are reading this at this very minute. You see, I can’t determine if I lost you or if you jumped out of my new purple shorts from Target as I ran across the flooded streets of Key West just a few days ago.

Before you go thinking that I didn’t care about you at all, know that as we got off the cruise ship and onto a tour trolley/train thing, I patted my shorts to make sure you were there. I remember feeling your little rectangular self and feeling relieved you hadn’t squirmed out. The tour guide made sure we knew that if anything fell out of the vehicle, SHE WAS NOT GOING BACK TO GET IT. She mentioned something about not wanting us flattened by cars. So, I knew that I had to have a tight grip on you. Besides that, it was our first outing together and I was happy to have you along. You were doing such a great job at holding on to my debit card, license and $3!

(Did you happen to see the wild roosters roaming the street? That’s some craziness right there, right, Tiny Black Coin Purse With Flowers? Wild roosters! On the street!)

You were with me as we toured the Key West Aquarium, which was the size of our backyard shed where we keep the lawn mower and some bird seed. Somehow they manage to fit in a few nurse sharks, a horsehoe crab, a very nasty sea cucumber and a tour guide that yells over her microphone to my face, “I’M SORRY, MISS! THIS IS A PRIVATE TOUR!” when I stare at her with a smile across my face as she talks about how sea cucumbers throw up their stomach as a part of their defense mechanism and then regrow it again.

(I wanted to put that horseshoe crab on her face, but, thanks to you, I refrained. You were always so wise, Tiny Black Coin Purse With Flowers.)

You were also with me as we toured the Shipwreck Museum and the little snack shack where I inhaled a key lime pie on a stick that was dipped in chocolate. Well, I think you were. I thought I paid for you, but my husband says that I just got all the food and drinks and walked off. The cashier had to yell for him because I was already down the road with my face covered in key lime pie.

I’m pretty sure you were with me, then.

After that? I can’t be sure. It began raining felines and canines. Within minutes, the streets were flooding and submarines were making their way to Ernest Hemingway’s house. Flooding, flooding, flooding. That place can’t take the rain well. At some point between me slamming ponchos over my head and my kids’ heads and then shoving my way onto the trolley en route back to the cruise ship, you fell out.

I don’t even know if you can swim.

At this very moment, you could be at the bottom of a gutter, under a house or in the purse of a someone passing themselves off as Kelley Nettles at the local Publix or wherever Floridians go for groceries. (Ain’t no Publix here in Texas. Publix. What kind of name is that?)

If you are down in a gutter and somehow accessing this blog post, well, you are even more awesome than I ever imagined. I am sorry that I worried about you in the first place. For all I know, you are deep sea diving with the next group of tourists with straw hats.

But, if you are alone, I’m sorry.

I will keep looking.

I will keep holding my breath as I open my mailbox in hopes that I see your black, flowery face in there. Surely there are nice people that live on Key West?

If you were running away and you don’t want to be found, that’s fine, too. You aren’t going to use my debit card, though. I canceled that sucker within minutes of realizing you were gone. Not going to pull one over on me, fancy pants.

Anyway, stay safe out there. Come home soon.

Your owner,
Kelley

P.S. Don’t think my kids forgot about you either. My 5-year-old repeatedly told me, “I’m sorry you lost your wawet” throughout the rest of the trip. He’d gaze out into the deep, deep ocean as we were cruising the Gulf again and would tell me, “I’m sorry, Mom. I don’t see your wawet out there.”

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