A New Life! Retirement at its Best. 5

Lost and Found 

We lose things around the house. It’s obvious of course, that things got put in a different place than we had them at home. First the ladies who helped us unpack put things away, and later we ourselves forgot where we put things. Anyway, most of the time, almost everything shows up again.

Some things did not get here at all, but we discovered that too late to alert the moving company. Ski poles, a tackle box with tools and a broom never showed up. And today we wondered about a medium size coffee table we had. Where did that go? Did we donate it to someone before we left? If not, we hope it found a good home somewhere in South Carolina, at the final stop of the moving truck. It’s ok, because we would not have had a place for it in our new abode anyway.

Daisy, one of the ladies at our breakfast table, lost a pair of prescription glasses three weeks ago. A real problem for her, because she does not see well, even with them. She looked everywhere, asked the housekeeper to look for her in the house, and we helped her look in the coat closet and the library. She ended up getting two sets of new prescription glasses from her ophthalmologist, but that was an expensive loss.

Last week, Daisy lost her walker. She had two walkers actually, so she could walk from her cottage to the Club for meals and physical therapy, and she could keep one at the Club. It was nowhere to be found for days; not in the coat closet, not in the office, the library, the dining room or the café. After a week she happily told us that she saw it (with the new glasses) being loaded onto a truck ready to leave with donated items for Goodwill. The driver reluctantly gave it back to her. But her name was on it, so he had to.

Laurie, a very nice lady we have not had dinner with yet, lost her wedding ring. Now that’s disastrous. Two days later, a note was put on the bulletin board across from the library that the ring had been found.

One Sunday we had brunch with David and Gloria, a wonderful couple that has been here longer than we have. When we got up, David did not find his walker. We all helped him look. “What does it look like?”
“Red and black, with large wheels. And it has my name on it.”
Gloria and I looked around the perimeters of the dining room; Mike looked outside the dining room against the wall. Then David showed up with someone else’s walker he had found (her name was on it), who was no longer in the dining room. We all assumed that she had taken David’s walker by accident, but we could easily find her apartment, so that we could switch the walkers later. Thus was decided, and David and Gloria went on their way to their fourth floor apartment. Back at the table to pick up my sunglasses, I saw a red and black walker with large wheels against the wall behind the chair David had sat on during brunch: it said DAVID on the front bar. None of us had seen it but it was there all along!

Something worse happened to Richard. One morning when he got up he could not find his teeth. He and his wife looked everywhere, in the bed, under the bed, in the bathroom and in the rest of their apartment, but the teeth were lost. Poor Richard had to have a whole new set made the next week. A good thing was that they were not his front teeth, so he could tell us about his misfortune with a smile. He even considered not to have them replaced at all, but his wife objected to that.

Worse even, Paul appeared at our table for dinner one night with one of his front teeth missing. He said it had happened before, that he had to let the spot  heal for three months and then he would get a new one implanted. A month went by, then he lost a second front tooth. Now that spot has to heal for three months, and the dentist told him he would rather wait and do them both at the same time. So Paul is starting his wait all over. But hey, you get used to everything in life if there is noting you can do about it anyway.

In the hallway is a coat closet. Coming from the cottages, we use it every day to store our hats and sunglasses. The coat closet is a small, walk-in closet. A large carton box full of lost and found clothes, a hat and a cap plus a smaller box with other items and a huge vase with imitation flowers virtually fill all the shelves, and nobody ever seemed to claim what they had lost. It  is more like a junky storage closet, and looking ahead to the winter months, more people would be using it, I thought.

So today, with the approval from management, I cleaned out the closet. I lined three of the four shelves with our leftover shelf liner, an air freshener was brought in at my request and housekeeping vacuumed the floor. Then I cataloged each item I found in the two boxes, typed up two lists, ranging from clothing to sun glasses to jewelry and a watch, and asked the office to print the lists and distribute them among the residents. They get ten days to claim their property and the rest will be donated to Goodwill. Oh, a friend offered to launder all the clothing that gets donated, so that is great for the people who get it and who may not have a washing machine.

I get to feel at home already. I belong!

It’s a Wonderful Life!

Until next time,


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