Finders not keepers

President* Trump,

Well, I gave watching the debate quite a decent go this evening and hung in longer on this one than the last one. I couldn’t tell how much the mic-muting was actually happening – maybe it was only when you each had your formal 2-minute responses – but however it worked, things seemed quite a lot more civilized. Mostly it was about reining you in and overall it was better. At least some better. Laura wasn’t watching all that much of the time, but she was listening and she asked several times if it was you interrupting Kristen Welker and every time I told her that it was indeed you. Shocker – huh? You can’t help yourself, can you?

I’m going to leave the debate alone for now and tell you about my odd day yesterday just because. It started out with finding a wad of cash, 5 singles and a ten, shortly after I started out on my walk early in the morning. There are a lot of people who sleep in Ravenna Park a south of us so I set out to put the money at one of the park entrances. Some people have put up tents on the median of Ravenna Boulevard but I figured it wasn’t a good idea to startle anyone by leaving money by their tent.

Finding that $15 in the street was definitely weird, but what was even weirder was that I hadn’t gone 10 steps from depositing that wad just inside the park when I found another $7 dollars in the street. It felt like the universe was testing me, or maybe laughing at me since I’d actually felt rather burdened by the first found money. Fortunately there’s another park entrance at the other end of block so I found another stick and tucked the smaller wad under it just inside the second entrance. The rest of the walk was uneventful and I was quite grateful.

Then about mid-morning we had a thunderstorm to beat all other thunderstorms to date. The lightning strike that felt like it hit our house (seriously, the sound was deafening and the whole house shook badly) actually hit one of the utility poles on the street behind our house and knocked out the power. It was so damn strong that the current traveled along the wire to the next pole and lit it up so that it glowed (the second pole has a major scorch at the top of it). We didn’t know it then, but our power would end up being out for nearly 9 hours. There were 32 different power outages around the city due to this darn storm. Rather too exciting.

When it seemed likely that the power wasn’t going to come back on in time for Laura to be able to teach her class via Zoom, she asked me to drive her to campus so she could use the wifi in her office and this is where the day got even some weirder. As we drove by the park where I deposited the two bits of money I told her my money-finding story and then she told me that she’d found some money (not the Tubman 20’s!) the day before. Turns out she found a $10 and two un-cashed checks, one for $800 and one for $900. What are the odds of all this money finding? On Monday she finds a slew of Tubman 20’s, then Tuesday she finds the $10 and the checks, and then Wednesday I find $22 in two separate wads. Totally odd and totally low probability.

The ending for the $10 and the checks is that Laura contacted one of the check writers who contacted the check recipient and he came today and got it all from her. I bet he was a much happier camper at that point!

And, for all my nicey-nice cash redistributing, it was only when we drove by the tents on the way to campus that it occurred to me to hope that the unsheltered people made it through the storm ok. 

May most of us be safe from lightning strikes.
May we all recognize we are works in progress.
May we be strong in the face of temptations of all sorts (yes, I’m talking to Rudy here too).
May we accept that we don’t need to keep everything we find.

Tracy Simpson

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