The great mop caper

“Somebody stole my mop!”

“Somebody stole your mop?”

Lois Olmstead


Have you ever noticed how we repeat something said to us that seems incredulous? My mom and I were visiting with our friend, Helen Cassidy. “Your mop?” my mom had to repeat it also.

“Yes, my mop,” Helen said. “After I finish mopping my kitchen floor I always hang it over that cinder-block half-wall on my back patio to dry. I went out the next day to get it. It was gone. I looked everywhere, downstairs, everywhere. It is gone.”

“Who would steal a mop? You think someone stole it?”

“Yes, someone took it. So I had to go to the hardware store and buy a new one.” She laughed. “Now I hope they don’t bring my old one back. This new one is a much better mop.” We laughed with her. I said I think I can write about that.

My vacuum cleaner has been sitting in my living room for three days. Nobody has stolen it. And I have a stack of flower pots by the garage to put away. Nobody has stolen them.

People like us who live in the country have to haul our own garbage to the county green boxes.  Nobody hauled my garbage away either. And there is a pile of branches from the last windstorm. Nobody stole them. And how about the stack of fence boards that washed down from the corrals when we had that flood? Nobody stole them.

They stole Helen’s old mop? If they are going to go that far, how about somebody checking my closet? There is stuff to steal in there. Crying out loud, some of that stuff dates back to the ’70s. I am still trying to get down to that size again. It could qualify for old. Nobody stole it.

If the mop was that valuable, what is wrong with our stereo system? He-Who-Takes-Long-Steps and I were overjoyed when we could afford the whole thing. It had to be a Kenwood and it had to have all the pieces and parts so we could play records and tapes and listen to the radio, AM or FM, all of that with big speakers to boot. I have had it advertised for months. It is old. It probably came from the ’70s along with those clothes. I thought it was worth something. No one is buying it or stealing it. Guess they are all out looking for mops.

Who knew a mop was that valuable? I will bet some of you ‘young’uns” do not even have one. Or maybe you have the faster-swifter version. Those cost more than a mop and we haven’t heard of anyone stealing them. Or maybe you mop your floors with a rag, still saving up to get a mop.

Let this be a warning to you. It could be sweeping the country next. I can see the headlines, “Mop Heists in Montana.” Maybe we should call the sheriff. This Mop-Caper could be gang related. I told my friend Shary about this. “Can you picture someone riding off with someone’s old mop?”

She said, “Maybe they needed one for Halloween, that will be here soon.” That could be. If you want to get rid of something, just wait for the right holiday and “hang it out to dry.”

Now that Helen has her new mop and likes it so well, maybe they actually did her a favor. I knew God would help me get a spiritual lesson out of this. Philippians 3:13 in my Bible says, “I focus on this one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (New Living Translation)

Hallelujah! Helen, grab your new mop. I’ll get mine. Let’s dance and sing together, “This World is Not My Home, I Am Just Passing Through!”


EDITOR’S NOTE: Lois Olmstead is an inspirational speaker who has spoken at more than 1,700 events in the U.S. and Canada. She has also published six books and writes a weekly column. She lives in the Shields Valley. Email her at or visit