Returning a wallet and a favor

I had a lousy night’s sleep which means one thing, right?  Go out for breakfast!  We went to The Harvest Room in Palos Heights where they have amazing sweet potato hash and really strong coffee.  Maybe I had some fresh hot pastries with my eggs.  Maybe.  On the way home, I had my husband swing me by Joann Fabrics.  This is my absolute favorite way to run an errand – curbside drop off.  Not because I am lazy, no siree, it’s for the time saving aspect.

I was shopping for knit interfacing as there are some T-shirt quilts in my future.  I found what I wanted and it was a 15 yard bolt, all wrapped up and pristine.  There was a line of maybe 57 people waiting to get fabric measured and cut.  (In reality like 9 but it makes a better story.) The interfacing was on sale and I had my VIP coupon card.  I decided to buy the whole bolt and skip the line.  (I never claimed to be a financial genius, just into saving time, remember?)  I paid my bill and went skipping towards the exit with time saved joy.pellon

That’s when I spotted a wallet.  On the ground with no one in sight.  I was so darn excited because I have been waiting for decades to repay the lost wallet favor that has been given to me so many times in my life.  Let me explain.

When I taught French at Rich East High School in Park Forest, Il my wallet was returned to me 3 different times.  Yes, three!  Once by a student in the cafeteria and twice by two different custodians who cleaned my room. Another time a third custodian was emptying my garbage and saw an unusual envelope and noticed that there was French club cash in it.  He called me at home to tell me. I was overwhelmed with gratitude each time people saved me from my own carelessness.

In addition, my wallet was returned to me twice out in public places, most recently at a restaurant where they called me over the loudspeakers.  I have been extremely lucky.  You might be thinking that one of the following is true.

  1. I am pretty careless with my wallet.
  2. I am surrounded by really nifty people.
  3. I have never actually lost my wallet.

Numbers 1 and 2 are true and sadly #3 is not.  I have had my wallet stolen right out of purse twice, little did they know they just had to hang around and I would eventually fling it their way. But losing a wallet, you forget.  Having one returned you do not forget.  You are filled with an amazing love for the human race and feel filled with hope. You want to pay it forward and finally I was able to.

Today in Joann Fabrics I was so grateful to be able to do for someone what had been done for me so many times.  I dropped off the wallet at the front desk and went back to the exit. That’s where I saw a frantic young man enter the store, his eyes darting everywhere.  “Are you looking for a wallet?” got a hopeful YES in reply.  I directed him to the front desk where I paused to watch him grab the wallet with a big smile on his face.  He raced to catch up with me and thank me.  I thanked HIM for allowing me to return a long over due favor.

Sigh of contentment.

Returning a wallet made me SEW happy.

Now if I can just return the favor of a man from Texas.  Years ago, he put in the coins for a luggage cart for me when I returned to O’Hare from out of the country French teacher convention with no American money.  I am still working on that one!

Want to see what else I am thinking about? Check out my Facebook page. Like the page and join the conversation! If you want to keep reading my blog, you can subscribe. To do so, type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. That’s all, you’re done. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

Is this my only post where I have an adventure in Joanne Fabrics?  No, oddly enough I had one last week.  Click here to read!

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    Kathy Mathews

    My passions are quilting and sewing. Add to that French, Spanish, books, swimming, travels, new restaurants, yoga and chocolate and you have me. All of these are best shared with family and friends. Except for chocolate, don't touch my chocolate. You can email me at

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