Can you Spare a Shovel or Two

Another biting-cold morning arrived, and of course I had to be out in it, all the earlier due to an appointment I had prior to the hour of eight. It sounds like we’re going to have a another break from it this weekend, so enjoy it all you can. With only four more days to go before we’re once again out of this much-hated month of January, that’s all we can do is to continue grinning and bearing until we’re on the downward slide of it all when mid-February arrives.

With having to meet a gal to pick up a radon detector at a home I sold, I headed out early enough to get there without rushing, and since I normally head southward down Commercial Alley whenever wanting to get on the east side of town, I happened to notice something black in the middle of the alley, so I slowed down to get a better look. It had the appearance of being a wallet, so I stopped, got out and went around my vehicle and picked it up. Well, it was a man’s wallet, and appeared to still contain critical information, so I set it on my seat for future investigation.

When I got to the house, the woman hadn’t arrived, so I remained in my vehicle and got a better look at that billfold. There were a few dollar bills, an out of State driver’s license, and courtesy cards from various businesses, but no real contact information found until I happened to notice something folded up in the bill section, so I pulled it out and unfolded it. Ah, my first real lead appeared before my eyes because it was an un-cashed payroll check from an area business which I made a mental note to call as soon as I got back to office.

The business of that radon machine took longer because the woman not only had to pick it up, but also had to deliver it to another location across town, so she followed me there, just so I could get the home unlocked for her to place it in the basement. While there, I noticed the lock on the front door was sticking to the point where I could barely get the key to unlock the door. As she was getting that machine placed, I went back to my car and grabbed my spray can of WD40 and gave that lockset a couple of good squirts. After getting it well lubricated, the lock was working properly again. It was just one more reminder of how these cold temperatures can affect the working parts of things exposed to our bitter cold.

After arriving back at office, I grabbed my phone book to look up the number of the business that issued the payroll check I found in that billfold. It must’ve been the receptionist that answered, and after identifying myself, I asked if the man whose name was on that check still worked there. She said he did, so I proceeded to tell her I found his wallet in a Downtown alley this morning, and to have him give me a call on my cell phone because I knew I was going to be in and out this morning. She agreed to give him the number, so that was the end of that.

Well, the receptionist didn’t take down my cellphone number, but instead gave him my office number off their caller-ID because after returning from another appointment, I found he’d already called several times with a message, so I called him back. He mentioned he’d not be available to pick it up until he returned from an out of town job which would be around six. We finally came to the agreement where he’d call as soon as his girlfriend got off work at three, and then I walk over and hand deliver it to her at their apartment, which is what I did.

After handing her his wallet, I smiled and said, “Make sure you tell your boyfriend how serendipitous it was for him that I found it, because there are a great many dumpster-divers walking up and down that alley.” She nodded while saying, “I already told him how lucky he was.”, and thanked me again. With all this identity theft going on, I’m sure he would’ve been fit to be tied if someone from the dark side started using his information in a bad way. Yes, he was lucky I found it when I did. Let’s hope he awakens tomorrow morning with the mindset of paying it forward by doing something kind for another.

Most of the remainder of my day was spent running more errands, making journal entries, and returning emails, text messages and phone calls, along with meeting up with the young man I showed that apartment to yesterday for review and signatures of the lease he agreed to sign. I’m almost certain he’ll be a good tenant who’ll take care of the unit and pay his rent on time. I have one more meeting with him on Tuesday to collect the remaining rent owed, have another walk-thru of the unit, and then give him the keys to his new digs.

Without going into much if any detail, I thought the top of my head was going to blow off when seeing what a so-called “friend” did to me behind my back late last year. When knowing how much I’ve freely and willingly done for that person over the years, it was my last and greatest confirmation of that person’s selfish greed, and to think being at a point in one’s stay on this earth, it’s still remains alive well within. On the positive note of it all, I won’t have that person either calling or darkening my office door again and asking for just one more favor. One would think someone being well into their eighties would be worrying more about the hereafter, rather than continually working at getting something for nothing. Believe me, that person’s got more than enough to have a great and wonderful life, even if the hand of death shouldn’t arrive for another 20 years.

I snapped the above photo down the street from my office this afternoon. We may think we’ve seen everything, but this was a first for me. Do you think the guy in the car was on the phone asking, “Hey uh, can you spare a shovel or two?” What a sight.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Anyone who doesn’t believe in miracles is not a realist.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

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