Monday, August 4, 2008

Honesty is the best policy...

I took all three kids to Target (yes, I am crazy) this afternoon to go and look at three wheeled scooters for Ethan and buy a few odds and ends we were out of at home.  I didn't find a scooter for Ethan that we liked, since he really isn't in to SpiderMan and that was the only one the had.  I did find a cute big girl car seat for Kay that's pink and has a good safety rating on clearance for $35, so we did pick that up.  Anyway, as we were headed out of the Target back to the car, there was an empty space next to "Chin" (that's my car's name according to Javi, he names everything!!) with a wallet lying next to him.  

I picked up the wallet knowing it must have been the person that parked next to us.  I looked through the wallet to try to find a business card with the name that matched the driver's license with no luck.  What I did find was a ton of credit cards, $170 in Euros, and approx $300 in american dollars.  That is equivalent to close to $700 in american dollars all in cash!  I immediately thought of taking the wallet in to security at Target, but that would also mean that the lady would have to know she lost it at Target, which chances are she wouldn't, plus, no offense to those who work at Target, but on a Target wage, I'm sure they may be tempted to take a dip in to the wallet.  

I know the pain and frustration of loosing a wallet and having to cancel credit cards, wait in line at the DMV and be without identification for up to three months.  In California, we don't get our new driver's licenses on the spot.  They mail them to you and it takes forever!!  I have an iPhone with Maps and pseudo GPS built in, so I decided to just map out the address and go and drop off the wallet on the doorstep.

Thinking, well it's on a road I know, it shouldn't be too hard to find.  So, off the kids and I went to drop off the wallet.  We arrive at the destination, but I am having trouble locating the house or mailbox.  We drove up and down the street about three times.  I had missed the mailbox because it was missing a number in the address.  As it turns out, she lived back in "horseland" in Poway (actually, out where we have been looking in Poway, most of the properties are zoned for horses) at the top of the steepest driveway I have ever seen in my life!  I decided to take a stab at driving up because I really wanted to leave it on the doorstep for her to find, and not take a chance leaving it in the mailbox with that much cash in the wallet.  When I reached the top of the drive way, there was a security gate with no phone and no doorbell.  Since, I couldn't leave the wallet on the door, or turn around in the driveway, my only choice was to back down.  UGH!!  I have never been so scared in my life to have all three kids in the car and backing down the steepest driveway ever.  I thought, well if I can just make it to the neighbor's driveway, I will back in and turn around.  I made it to the neighbor's but I couldn't get in the driveway on the first try with my big SUV.  I had to pull forward, which I knew probably meant spinning out the tires.  Yep, spun out two times, and decided it would just be safer to back down since the second spin out, I nearly rolled in to the brick wall adjacent to the driveway.

No such luck being able to return the wallet, so I decided to leave a note explaining everything with my contact info in the mailbox and went home.  Still not being satisfied with that, I decided to look her up in Zabasearch, to see if there was a phone number listed.  Luckily, there was, so I proceeded to call her.  I did manage to reach her, apparently, she was home when I came by, but with no doorbell, I couldn't ring her at the gate.  We arranged for her to come over to pick up the wallet.  She, up until that point had no idea that the wallet was missing.

She arrived about 30 minutes later to pick it up with a Thank You note and a bottle of my favorite champagne Wilson Creek Almond Flavored Champagne.  As it turned out, we had brought up the fact that I had also lost a wallet with my St. Jude card inside with a great deal of money in it and it was returned to me in tact.  She proceeded to tell me a story about how she had lost her husband last year, but before he passed, about six years ago, he had put up a St. Jude statue in the yard with a natural rock altar.  They had lost that same home in the Cedar Fire in 2003 where everything had burned down to the foundation and all that was left of their home was the St. Jude with very minimal damage to him.  They rebuilt and still have the statue in their yard.  It gave me chills when she told me this!!

We spoke for a while, and she hugged me and thanked me once again before leaving.  I opened the card and inside was a $20 that simply said Thank you for your honesty and God Bless.  I thought that was so sweet.  It really wasn't necessary for her to reward me, but it was nice just the same.

I decided to write her a Thank You and mail it to her, since I had her address.  Since I couldn't find a phone number in her wallet,  I gave her my own St. Jude card out of my wallet with a label that I made under the prayer that read:

Should this wallet be lost, please return to "Mrs. X" Phone "X" God Bless You

Guess I did my good deed for the day :) I'm just glad I could help out.  I was also able to teach my kids the importance of honesty and met a very sweet lady in the process.

Ok, we are off to have dinner off her gift of gratitude :)


~Mama Skates~ said...

wow, good for you! not only for returning the wallet, but for going to such great lengths to do it! u got major good deed points for that one!!! ;0)

oh, and jaden names everything too! i swear, he & javi r sooo much alike! my minivan's name is "rocket" - think that's any clue into the way jaden thinks i drive? ~lol~

baby trevor's mommy said... YES you are loopy! I can't hardly make it out the door with my kiddos! I'm SO dreading J not being available as much.

And what a great story!

Bristel names every doggie. Rex. lol