A few weeks ago – just before leaving for family vacation actually – I lost my wallet. IDs, cash, credit cards, Rx cards, Smartrip card, everything. Earlier that day I’d driven the kids to Target to get diapers. After paying to leave Target’s parking garage I placed my wallet in my lap as I drove home. This has become something of a bad habit of mine lately, but it comes so natural that I just keep doing it. The kids cried and screamed the whole ride home. I circled the block, found a spot, parked, then rushed them into the house for a long over-due lunch.
Because I hurried out of the car, my wallet fell from my lap to the ground without my noticing it. It didn’t take me long to realize what happened, but it seems someone else found it before I could get back outside.
I used my passport to get around during our two weeks of vacation. I was very happy to have that as a backup.
Weeks passed, I’d replaced most of the important items that I’d previously lost, and then much to my surprise, I received a small manila envelope in the mail the other day that contained my wallet and all its contents – cash and everything – courtesy of some anonymous good samaritan.
To whoever you are that found my wallet and took the time out of your day to send it back to me, a million thanks and many positive vibes your way. May the next thing you find be evidence that your good karma has taken root and found its way back to you.
Oddly enough, this isn’t the first time this has happened to me. About ten years ago I lost my wallet under completely different circumstances. The first time didn’t involve screaming children or mundane tasks. The first time was much more fun, and I was a slightly less sympathetic character.
The gist of it was that my friend was on break from his first tour in Iraq – an exercise that must feel utterly surreal, nothing like the summer breaks I enjoyed during college that consisted of more of the same from the recently concluded semester, minus the studying. We were all at the beach for the weekend, and my friends and I were determined to show him a good time.
Our mission was successful. It was an epic night, but without getting into too many incriminating details- yada, yada, yada, I woke up the next morning on the bottom bunk in a bedroom that wasn’t immediately familiar. As I rolled out from under the sheets I realized I was wearing nothing but sand. Lots and lots of sand. It took a minute, but soon I remembered how the night ended with a group of us being asked to leave the beach for being too loud. At 2:30 in the morning.
I borrowed some clothes and went back to the beach to ask the on-duty lifeguard if he’d noticed a pair of jeans laying about when he’d arrived, but to no avail. They were gone. So was my wallet. I figured they were picked up by the beach cleaning trucks that run at dawn and were long on their way to the landfill by now.
Weeks later I received my first little manila envelope in the mail. In it was my wallet and all its contents, save for “enough money to buy postage” – so said the short note inside. My wallet was sandy, the leather salted, and the metal bits rusted. This good samaritan mentioned in the note that he/she found it all the way down at the inlet – over sixty streets south of where we were gallivanting the night before. High tide took it out, low tide and humanity brought it back in.
My father likes to say of my rather silly luck that I could fall into a pile of pooh and come out smelling like roses. Maybe he has a point. For example:
The pooh: Months ago we headed out to Camp Davis for a quiet weekend only to learn that some not-so-good samaritan had recently driven his truck into the side of our house.
The roses: We decided we’d take this opportunity (and insurance money) to revamp the hundred year old farmhouse, super-charging our ever on-going renovations and breathing new life into what will probably always be a bit of a needy project.
Because we’re sourcing discount materials (often buying “used” goods from places like Community Forklift and Habitat for Humanity ReStore) and because we’re doing a lot of the inside renovations ourselves, we’ve been able to spread the insurance money around to cover a lot of ground in this place.
This past week our contractors broke ground on the foundation for a new addition we’re building. We’re changing the layout and the footprint of the old house, improving the design to reflect our main hobbies when we’re there: namely cooking, eating and drinking. The “bump out” as we’re calling it, roughly doubles the size of our new kitchen space.
I’ve been documenting a lot of our great thrift finds on my instagram and twitter feeds if you’re interested in that sort of thing – like these envy-inducing bi-fold doors or this church pew end that will cap our built-in dinner table bench. I promise, promise, promise to be better about keeping the blog updated as the renovations continue.
So every once in a while you might lose your wallet or find out a car ran into your house, but it might not be the worst thing in the world – assuming you have some really dumb luck and good homeowners insurance. It might take some time, but eventually you could find these things again. And I am really looking forward to finding Camp Davis again.by