Lost and Found

Ray Burkart

                                                  Lost & Found

                                         Written by Ray Burkart

Several days ago

    For some unremembered reason, I needed to use my cell phone to make a call. Most of the time, I keep it in my back right pocket. It was not there. Ok, I must have laid it down somewhere in the Villa. No panic! Sound familiar? You get the picture. First, you look in all the probable places – the arms of the lounge chair (they are black, just like the cell phone), the coffee table, computer desk, the bed – nope, none of those places. Now, the panic meter climbs up a notch.


Phase two of the hunt moves to pulling drawers (why would I look for a cell phone in a drawer? Because it’s happened before, that’s why!). Did it fall out of my pocket and bounce under something? Down on all fours and look under the bed, no luck there. Okay, now we pull the old trick – call the cell from the house phone and walk around the Villa, hoping to hear a ring. Nope, no ring. Maybe it fell out of my pocket in the car. The home portable phone works that far, so across the street I go. Nope, no cell phone ring there either.


The panic meter goes up another notch. About this time, I am hoping that someone has found the phone and will call. On the back of the phone, I pasted one of those non-profit address labels, you know, the ones you get and are supposed to feel guilty if you use them and not send in a few bucks – I have drawer full. On it, I added my phone number and a line that says reward, hoping it might provide an incentive for a return. Though, I have wondered if that might be a bad idea. If found by the wrong person, they now have my address. Someone careless enough to misplace their phone, might also be dumb enough to leave their door unlocked! Okay, it’s not in the villa or in the car.


Where else have I been today? Just so happens, I had attended an impromptu BYOB social on the patio of one of my nearby neighbors. Could it be there? Not likely, since we all just sat around the table in patio chairs. Surely, if someone saw it when they were cleaning up, they would have brought it to me. But, leaving no stone unturned at this panic level, I ventured back down there, taking my portable phone with me, hoping that the signal would reach that far. When I got to the patio, I did not see the phone, but dialed it anyway. Ring, Ring !! There it was on the very back edge of a folding wooden chair !!!  As the panic meter slowly began returning to zero, I said a silent thank you prayer. I have said the same prayer on several occasions, since this is not the first time, I have misplaced my phone. The next day, I went to Wal-Mart and bought a very nice cell phone carrying case that fits on my belt. Now, all I have to do is remember to always keep the phone in there when it is not on charge ! I am hopeful and optimistic ! A lesson learned.


A few days ago

     Several Plantation Village residents and I boarded busses for a day trip to attend a Van Gogh Immersible Experience in Raleigh. The exhibit was very interesting and worth the trip. After the exhibit, we had a nice lunch at a local restaurant. I knew when I got home, I planned a late dinner in our dining room. So, I ordered what was advertised as a Naked Hamburger with Cheddar sauce, no bun. It was really good, but a bit more that I needed. On the two-hour ride home, I tried to relax and maybe grab a wink or two. In a bouncy bus, that is a little hard to do.


When we arrived back at Plantation Village, I went straight to our dining room and joined up with one of my fellow residents  at a table for two on the far end of the dining room. While finishing my soup, I looked up and here comes Adrian, our bus driver, headed to our table. He said to me, “Mr. Burkart, are you trying to give away your hard-earned fortune” and handed me my wallet !! I was stunned, since I had no idea that I had lost my wallet !! Of course, I thanked him profusely, but was so addled, I did not even think to ask him how he knew where I would be.


In looking back, I surmised my wallet had probably wiggled out of my pocket when I was trying to find a comfortable dozing position on the bus. Another silent thank you prayer went up. The next day, I sent a thank you note to him and copied his boss. This is a great example of the character of the people we have as Associates here at Plantation Village. And, I now use the button or zipper on my wallet pocket. Another lesson learned.



     As I was finishing writing this, I happen to look down at my stocking feet. One sock was dark grey and the other was black! How many people might have seen that during the day, felt sorry for me and decided not to say anything? I guess that just confirms some grey matter between my ears is starting to sluff off and could be a contributor to the episodes written above. From many conversations with folks in our dining room, I gather I am not the only one experiencing this possibly age-related phenomena.