Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My Dad's Wallet

Part I

Fall, 1994

For the first time in his life, my father lost his wallet. He was certain someone had stolen it. We tried the whole walk-thru-where-you-were-last trick, including calling the hotel where he had attended a luncheon function for his men's club, all to no avail. Dad was certain that "those so-and-so's" had stolen his wallet.

We looked in every spot we could imagine, and Dad stormed back and forth in the livingroom, swearing and yelling about the thieves.

Eventually he became resigned to the fact it was gone (THERE WAS MONEY IN IT!!!), and bought a new wallet, cancelled his credit cards, got a new driver's license, &etc. Eventually sanity returned and we all forgot about it.

Winter, Early 1995

I hadn't owned my house for very long, but my parents had retired, and turned into "Snowbirds" - dragging their 32 1/2 ft. travel trailer behind their Suburban all around Florida for 3 or 4 months out of the year during the winter.

At this time, I lived fairly close to the auld homestead, (still do, although they moved) and so I was appointed Keeper of the Keys and Mailer of the Mail. In other words, every day I'd stop at their house, go pick up the newspaper out of the yard, check to make sure everything was OK, bring in and sort the mail and once a week send them their (important) mail to "General Delivery" in the town they would be headed for, so they could pay their bills and stuff.

One morning during the early spring thaw (Usually happens during late January or early February), I went out to the house before work to take care of the newspaper and mail. Parked my car out back, went thru the house and out the front door to get the newspaper.

As I turned around, I kind of stopped for a moment and looked at the house - you know how sometimes you just look at the house? Something was off. On the lower roof (It was a bi-level), directly above the livingroom, was some small square object, like a little box or package. I ventured closer. It was brown and wet looking, about 4" square and an inch or so thick. My mind whirled... Could it be?

Yeah, I was already late for work, but you bet your bunions I went back to the garage and got a stepladder and a rake. I raked the package toward me and plucked it from the roof. I didn't have to open it. It was, in fact, the wallet. **

Of course I opened it - you nutz or something? There it was, his driver's license, voter registration, credit cards and all $7.23 - nothing stolen.

In all my life I never heard my Mom laugh to the point of being unable to speak until that day, 2 days later, when she called to check on things. I told her the story over the phone. About the time I got to the part about "you know how sometimes you just look at the house"? She was laughing so hard she could barely breathe. When I got finished, she managed to gasp out "Is there something you'd like to tell your Father?"

His quizzical tone when he took the phone told me Mom was still giggling. I told him the story too. He was not quite as amused. Ever since, if Dad says he has lost something - the first thing I say to him is "Have you checked on the roof?"

**Dad had been on the roof, cleaning leaves out of the gutters a few days before he noticed that his wallet was missing. We surmise that he had been up there and didn't notice that his wallet tried to make a break for it and jumped out of his pocket.

Part II

This last Sunday afternoon during our semi-regular phone call, Dad told me he had again lost his wallet. Naturally I asked him if he had checked on the roof and he gave me the long-distance verbal equivalent of a dirty look... Then he told me that he had found one of the credit cards a day after he had cancelled it. Figures, no?

Yesterday morning I got this e-mail from him:
"You really need to call more often. After you hung up, I found my wallet."

I love you, Daddy!!


Amanda said...

I remember that one. For years anytime anyone would loose something, but Grandpa in particular, it would be asked if it was on the roof. teehee!

BBC said...

I don't recall ever losing a wallet. But one day about a year ago I lost my checkbook when I removed my coat because it was such a nice day, it slipped out of the inside pocket.

I didn't realize it was missing until a lady called saying that one of her sons had spotted it. It's nice that there are some honest folks.

I once found a wallet when I was a teenager, but no ID in it so I kept the seven bucks in it.

I wonder why they kept getting the newspaper instead of putting it on hold. Maybe so you could read it?

Sewmouse said...

No, they kept getting the newspaper so that I'd have to bring it into the house, thereby putting tracks in the snow and making the house look occupied.

John Good said...

Great story, Sew! =)

The Future Was Yesterday said...

I can identify with the poor man. I'm forever losing my cell phone. I was stomping around in yet another of my tirades about why don't they make those damn things big enough to see them, when a helpful person appeared, holding landline telephone, and giggling her ass off.

"Why don't you call it?"

Sometimes, people that think all the time are really a pain in my ass.:)