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Chocolate Chips, A Wallet and Serendipity.
I found a wallet while out on a walk a few months ago.
It was sitting right in the middle of the street and no one was around.
There was no driver’s license, just a California state senior ID for a 77-year-old woman, two disabled bus passes and a total of $13 cash. No credit cards. Nothing else.
I was going to deliver it to her until I saw that the address on the ID was in Los Angeles. I didn’t want to mail it to an old address where she might not receive it, so I took it home, did some searching online to no avail and then took it to the police station in hopes that they might be able to track her down and get it back to her.
Two days later I went for another walk with my partner on the same route.
Our intention was to walk straight through like we always do, but we were given some fruits and veggies and had to double back to drop them off at home before continuing on our way.
I waited outside and chatted with a neighbor while my partner took everything in. She was thanking me for some chocolate chips that I left for her the day before saying that she was just talking to her boyfriend about wanting to make chocolate chip cookies but didn’t have any chocolate chips when some literally showed up on her doorstep. She said, Isn’t it strange how sometimes you want or need something and it just shows up out of the blue? I laughed because I’ve had more than a few moments like that in my lifetime where the universe seemed to intervene to get me and my family what we needed.
My partner joined me again and we continued on our way.
We only got about halfway down the street before I started getting winded (I had been in a flare and the shortness of breath makes for very short walks when I’m flaring), so when we reached a small brick wall I sat down to rest.
While I was sitting, I saw an older woman walking down the street with a shopping cart. Not an unusual sight, there are a lot of people on our street without cars that bring their groceries home in shopping carts. But she caught my eye because she was walking really slowly and looking back and forth on the ground. It took a minute for my mind to connect the dots, but I realized that it might be the woman whose wallet I found.
My partner crossed the street ahead of me to get her attention and we talked back and forth for a good 10 minutes not really getting anywhere because she didn’t speak any English and we don’t speak very much Spanish. She finally said her name and I was so happy to hear that it was in fact her. We tried desperately to convey to her that we had found her wallet and that it was at the nearby police station, but despite Google translate we weren’t really getting anywhere.
I heard a noise across the street and saw a kid on a skateboard and asked on a whim if he happened to speak Spanish. Strangely enough, he did. He helped us relay to her that we had found her wallet and that it was at the police station about a mile away. She was overjoyed and spoke a million miles-a-minute, arms flailing in excitement and pointing everywhere as she seemingly explained to the kid how she lost it. She finally slowed down and thanked him and thanked us. And after expressing to him that she didn’t want to leave her cart behind because she had groceries and cans to recycle in it, he offered to walk with her to the police station. They both thanked us again and we thanked the kid and then we turned around to walk back home.
I was blown away by the whole exchange. What are the odds of us happening to be on the street at the exact same time as her? And that kid who spoke Spanish just happening to be riding down the street at the moment that we needed him?
Funnily enough, on an earlier walk during the week my partner told me that he was finally giving up on his lifelong dream of finding a roll of drug money on the side of the road. I laughed and told him he shouldn’t give it up just yet. Stranger things have happened.
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