My dad had an assortment of reading glasses. He was virtually blind in one eye and had worn contact lenses from the time they became available. He stashed glasses at convenient locations for times when his corneas needed a rest. I used to think it odd. Now I do the same thing. This comes in handy for those times when My Steven places printed material in front of me. I know there are some glasses somewhere nearby. He finds this especially funny because, not too long ago, I would point to distant objects, only to recall that he couldn’t see them and point out that he couldn’t see them but I could.

Steve once hung his eyeglasses in a tree during an brush removal workout. Steve cut the tree down. Some years later, the glasses were found with tiny chew marks all around the rims. I love to bring this story up. In fact, Steve’s probably thrilled that I’m doing it now in a media publication. But I can safely share the tale now that I think I’ve got it beat.

If you wear corrective lenses, you’ll understand the slight panic I feel when I can’t find my glasses. I do have a pair of contacts fossilizing in a drawer, but oil paint fumes, straw dust and sheer laziness keep them there for archaeologists to find one day. Glasses can take a direct hit from a startled rooster with loose-bowels too—nothing that a little soap and water can’t reduce to a memory and a good story to chuckle over one day.

Sunday was warm, not like January 6 in Northwest Ohio ought to be. It was so warm that I rolled up my sleeves and cleaned out the hen house. It was so warm that my glasses kept fogging above my face mask. I balanced them “securely” on a support beam and went about removing the awful to replace with clean straw. The chickens and turkeys happily kicked and pecked at the fresh golden stems. I reached for my glasses to get a clear look at simple joy. There were no glasses—no glasses on the floor, none in a nest box, no glasses outside the door, none on the path. There may be glasses in the compost pile. I’m not going to find out. I’m wearing an old pair, layering on another pair for fine print.