The mystery is solved. I lost a recipe card today and Laura and I searched high and low for it. Finally I went up to the computer and retrieved from a file the information that I had the foresight to type in. However I was saddened. The original recipe was handwritten on a card by a close friend. It is a sweet reminder every time I pull it out of that person and her specialness to me. Her penmanship is beautiful and the little added tips that she contributed to the recipe speak of her personality.
I have many similar recipe cards--some splattered from use, some on decorative cards, some written on scraps of paper. The most special ones are handwritten by the person who I got it from, and these I treasure above the newspaper clippings and magazine versions with full-color photos. Some are written by people no longer alive, and the cards are yellowing with each passing decade.
Sure, it is prudent to type them into a computer file. If the card did get lost, at least the culinary treasure is not. But the printed out version, though neat and legible, is utterly sanitary and sterile. It won't have any life to it until it gets smudged, aged and tattered.
There is a happy ending. I did find my original card. I must have left it on the counter when I pulled it out to complete my grocery shopping list. It got swept into the dishwasher and survived a full washing cycle, mostly due to the fact that I had tucked it into a clear plastic sleeve to help preserve it. Soaked clear through, it was miraculously still quite legible; the ink didn't run and the card didn't tear as I carefully pulled it out of its sleeve to dry it. I thought about all the fussing and fuming I did in the kitchen upon its disappearance. During all that emotional aggravation, it was within arms reach, but out of sight!
It was lost, cherished more dearly in its absence, and reverently pressed between towels when found.