Tag Archives: backpack

moving on

Sepi and I went to Southern California not last week but the week before. I already posted about going to Norman’s Rare Guitars and I hope to do a whole post on her nephew Jon’s recovery from surgery.

But a thing happened on the way back. We stopped to get gas at one of those places along I-5. They’re not really truck stops. Maybe one gas station caters to trucks but there are three or four others. There were some fast food restaurants. We wanted to eat but not fast food. Our choices were Denny’s or Harris Ranch. We chose Denny’s because it was on our side of the freeway.

We parked carefully right in front of the front door. We chose seats so that we could easily see the car. After our food had come, we noticed that a family was out there milling around their car. At one point, the young boy – about 10 – went over to my car and looked right in the window. He was just a kid, but still . . .

I got up and went out there. This is what I saw:

My first thought was the Tele. I walked around to the other side and looked in. The Tele was still there. I thought everything was still there, but then I realized that my back pack had been in the back seat . . .

. . . and now it wasn’t.

It turned out that the other family had had their car broken into in the same way. The two kids were wailing over the loss of their iPad and Kindle. The Mom kept telling them, ‘It’s just stuff.’ I thought that was awesome.

My wallet was safe in my pocket but the backpack had some stuff in it: my iPad, my voice recorder, a headlamp, some memory sticks, my work IDs, my headache pills. Losing that stuff didn’t bother me that much. But the backpack was Zach’s and I had kept two of his special pens in it. Now they’re gone. That bothered me.

All the way home I stewed about it, but ultimately I realized that this is the universe telling me to move on. I filled out a police report. I talked to the insurance agent. There is a minuscule chance that I will get Zach’s backpack back. Minuscule here really means none. I’m moving on. It’s one more step.

PS. I looked up my earlier post about Zach’s backpack. It’s not bad. Check it out here.


I carry a backpack almost every day. I guess it’s like a woman’s purse. It’s got a lot of stuff in it that I might need: energy bars, ibuprofen, toothpicks, pens, Kleenexes, notepads . . . lots of odds and ends. Each day I add stuff to it that I might need that particular day: tools, lunch, a water bottle, whatever. The one I’ve been using I got at Big 5 about 5 years ago for $12.

Honest, $12 for a new backpack. It’s a little on the small side. That was a feature that I wanted. I had had the experience of having a larger backpack and putting so much stuff into it that I could hardly lift it. Many times during the previous 5 years I had to carry something outside of it or not take it at all.

That was all good, but it was wearing out. Meanwhile, one of the items I inherited from Zach was a nice North Face backpack. It’s really nice – better in almost every way. But I didn’t want to use it.

I had two of Zach’s jackets. I wore them a few times but eventually I gave them to Jeremy, who may or may not keep them. His computer I had for a while and gave to Jeremy. I still have his iPad but I don’t use it. Come to think of it I still have his phone. I still think I’ll get all of his texts off of it someday. I have one of his belts that I use now and then.

I have his dressers – which were mine originally. I’ll keep those. I’ll keep Hobbes. A few other small mementos. And I guess I’ll keep his backpack. I put it into service today. I dumped out everything from mine and put it into Zach’s. As I was apportioning my junk, I found one of Zach’s pens in the backpack. That’ll stay right there. Then later I found another one in a different pocket. That’ll stay there too. But I’ll use the backpack. It should be good for 10 or 15 years at least. My Z . . .