Friday, March 13, 2009

The case of the runaway wallet

It was day 11 of Jim and Laura's 19 day, cross-county, bike trip in Vietnam.
Jim sent a short email asking me to cancel our credit and debit cards. He had "lost" his wallet. That was the entire message so I didn't know if it had been lost or stolen. I did know there had to be more to the story.

In a longer email, a few days later, Jim said he didn't believe the wallet had been stolen. He remembered putting the wallet in his computer bag but it wasn't there. A check of the suitcases and support truck didn't produce it either.

When Laura dropped Jim off at home, he said he had found the wallet in the suitcase when they were packing to leave. He swears both he and Laura looked there numerous times.

Oh happy day. Jim did not have to replace his driver's license or health insurance cards and all the other things he crammed into that little black, tri-fold piece of leather.

The next morning, Jim couldn't find his wallet - again. He remembers getting it out to pay the toll at the Bay Bridge on the way home from the airport. Since he crashed his bike, broke his clavicle, and cracked some ribs, moving was uncomfortable and he didn't return the wallet to his pants pocket; instead, he set it down on the console of Laura's car.

Jim called Laura and sure enough, she found the wallet in her car. Laura said she would drop it in the mail after work.

The next morning, Laura calls and said she is so sorry - but she lost Jim's wallet - yet again. She put it in her pocket, then rode her scooter to work. Instead of dropping it in the mail, she apparently dropped it on the road. She back tracked but didn't find the elusive wallet.

There must be a reason that wallet wants to runaway.

Last night, we returned home to find a phone message from a women in Redding. She had found Jim's wallet near her house when out walking.

Now for the incredible part.....

She drove to our old house in Redding and tried to return it. Since we had moved, it took some sleuthing on the part of her family, but they found our phone number in Elk Grove. She wanted to return the wallet and even offered to DRIVE it three hours to return it to him!

Laura will pick up the wallet and attempt to mail it - again. We will keep our figures crossed that it arrives. Hey, third time is a charm. If /when it gets here, Jim is going to immediately remove the important papers and transfer them to the new wallet he bought in Vietnam - hopefully it has better Karma.

While this started as a description of losing a wallet, the obvious heroes are the family in Redding (I forgot to get their permission to mention their names).
That kind of behavior is one of the things we associate with the citizens of Redding. The community has such wonderful, caring, honest people.

Thank you so much to the 'M' family for playing detective in order to return a wallet to out-of-town strangers. I know their lives will be blessed for their efforts.


  1. Ahh, just a thought. How about Laura dropping the wallet off here and I'll bring it down with me. Might be quicker and safer than mailing it.

  2. hmm, are you sure you want to get mixed up with that thing?

  3. my goodness - I think you need to buy Jim one of those chains to attach his wallet too.