Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Being a kind neighbor is important to me. We all live together in society and we cannot always choose who lives next to us. When we lived in Seattle proper back in the 1980's, for a short time we had some difficult nutzoids living near us. They actually built a fence across our driveway/easement which was the only ingress or egress to our home from a public street. When they discovered I was a lawyer with an entire Seattle law firm behind me, they dismantled the fence but it was not pleasant. Since then we have been incredibly fortunate to live next door to nice, good, reasonable and honest people in both of our Mukilteo houses.

Yesterday, some dear men in my 'hood made my day. A group of about 5 older men walk early every morning up my street. Usually, I am playing around on the computer when I watch them walk by. Apolo, if not asleep, will bark at them out of the window. I have been warmly impressed with their comraderie for over three years and they always make me smile. Yesterday, I watched them walk by, turn around at the hill and walk by again which is their usual routine. But then, I noticed that they turned around and headed toward my house with a big soggy, dripping white thing being held by one of them.

My door bell rang. I was glad I had on sweats instead of a bath robe. Oh my gosh! They had found my purse that had been stolen right out of my car back in July. Evidently, whoever took it, grabbed the loose $20 bill and my wallet out of it. The next step they took was to lift the grate off of a storm drain a half of a block from my house and drop my purse down there. The thing is, Apolo and I walk over that storm drain every single day and never did I see my purse.

The walker guys did see my purse and managed to lift the grate and retrieve their find. My name and address were still visible in the check book. I was so shocked that I thanked them profusely and explained how it had been taken but I neglected to get the details of how they spotted it and how they lifted it out of the deep drain.

Mostly, I am grateful that Kaley's passport and my passport were still in there. I was seriously disturbed by the idea of somebody trying to use or sell them because American passports are considered premium in the rest of the world. They were left in the outside pocket from our trip to Europe. My check book was still there. I had to close that account and set up a new one which in turn caused our online banking to have to be redone. In addition, our automatic mortgage and car insurance withdrawals had to be canceled and re-established. The wallet with credit cards was gone but I have replaced all two of them plus my driver's license.

Replacing the passports required filling out four forms, new passport photos, a new driver's license and waiting in line at the dingy post office in Everett. And my Mom had to get a certified copy of my birth certificate in Montana before I could even apply for a new passport. Our new passports are stamped with big letters saying they are replacements for stolen ones. I certainly hope that doesn't slow us up at the border going into Canada.

I bought a new purse and wallet so I don't really need the soggy one or its contents anymore. Interestingly, the Hungarian gum seems completely undamaged---I wonder what is in that gum. I can't believe I chewed that stuff in Hungary. Kaley tried it and immediately spit it out. Ick--doesn't even dissolve in Mukilteo rain run off. Man, maybe the Mukilteo police could charge the perpetrators with throwing a hazardous substance into the storm drain. It says right on the grate, "Dump No Pollutants."

Oh well, no matter what, those guys who walk by my house every morning will make me smile even more.

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Storm drain in the gutter under the light post.

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Storm run off goes into Puget Sound--maybe my wallet is out there!

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What a mess.