Saturday, March 31, 2012

Lost and Found


I was a public school student in the village of Burford. Walking home one afternoon, I noticed a $5.00 bill on the sidewalk in front of the Printing Place. 
As a good Christian child, I spoke with the shop owner who knew me as a local farm kid. “I've had several customers here this afternoon with their newespaper advertisements...who'd all claim the money was theirs,” he told me.
Do you know the saying, 'Finders, Keepers'?” he asked.
 I was thrilled to have FIVE DOLLARS!


Early in our marriage, with both of us working, my Saturdays were busy with household chores, shopping, preparation for dinner guests on Sunday and developing “lesson plans”for the following teacher week.

Following breakfast one Saturday, I drove to the Grocery Store; from my list I purchased three bags of food items and placed them on the back seat in the car. Hurriedly, I then stopped at a wonderful Bake Shop in a small plaza near home. Knowing I'd only be a couple minutes, I dashed into the bakery to buy one of 
their delicious, decadent chocolate cakes for a guest's birthday! After parking 
at our apartment building, I opened the rear side door to retrieve my groceries ... ALL WERE GONE!
(In haste, I had gone to the Bake Shop, neglecting to lock the car doors!)
In terms of money today, the grocery value would be about $100.

A Deal Gone Sour

When you are a Sales whatever business...not all your contacts are productive. You win some...You lose some! It's tough to lose...
when every $100 or $1000 and more, is important and necessary for your survival. The most exciting Real Estate property I had “For Sale” was an island 
in the St. Lawrence River in American waters, yet touching on Canada.
On it was a castle built around 1900, but now needing great repair. Several enquiries and viewings failed to develop success. Considered an “Open Listing” entitled any realtor selling the property would receive the substantial commission...the incentive was most inviting! For two years, I marketed it...on my estate catalogues...personal contacts with movie actors, company presidents, noted musicians, etc. Originally listed at 8 Million Dollars, the owners in Florida, adjusted the price to $4,000,000. Co-operating with an American Broker in Alexander Bay, NY we finally had an accepted and signed offer in May, with a closing date within six weeks. This from a Medical surgeon in Florida who had viewed the exclusive property on my website.
WONDERFUL!...but not for long...
his deposit cheque did not arrive! The Buyer was a Fraud!!!

The castle, eventually sold to a conglomerate company (three partners).
You may find it interesting to view “Singer Castle” on the Internet...a very 
unique property.  Sight seeing cruise boats travelling through The Thousand Islands occasionally stop here with visitors to view the 8-acre property originally known as “Dark Island” due to its dense trees and rock.

A New Owner

At a craft show at Appleby Mall I purchased a beautifully sculpted necklace and ear rings. Fashioned from metal, they depicted textured autumn leaves...
hanging from a gold neck wire were five individual leaves the colour of our
rosy red maples in fall. The drop ear rings had a single leaf of same colour hanging from a gold-plated spiral. Very spectacular was the set! Wearing these one day while shopping at Mapleview Mall, it wasn't until I reached home that
I realized my necklace was gone. How? It had a large wire loop that fitted into a circular ring. Perhaps it caught on some clothing I was considering to buy at the Mall. Telephoning the two shops, the personnel checked the fitting rooms, the front counter...but Nothing! Why should I be surprised? 

The ear rings I still cherish and wear... with the recurring memory of the fine necklace I lost. The belongs to someone else!

Snow Job”

In Real Estate, I worked most Sundays with Open Houses. For a few years I sold prestige homes for Kimoak Developments. He custom built one as a “Show Home”. Then with enquiries, and as an architect, he custom designed and built for clients. He constructed this Model Home on a prestigious court with gently rolling land...a red brick Georgian-style residence...which was mine for three hours every Sunday afternoon...or shown by appointment.

It was a cold, frigid January day with 8 to 9 inches of snow on the ground. 
Three Open House signs were needed for directions to the site. Settling myself inside for “visitors”, sadly I noticed the wide hammered-gold wedding ring was missing from my left hand! WHERE? I wondered! I checked the car trunk...
I checked the front seats...I checked my colourful brochures of the home...
LOST! January, February then March when towards the end of the month, the snows began to melt. When I set the Open House signs in place, last Sunday
of the month, the sunny rays cast a sparkle on something on or in the top ground surface, adjacent to the sign. Would you Believe???
There was my ring...beautifully preserved!

Hidden from View

Bermuda is a beautiful island to visit. We enjoyed the pink-corally sand beaches, the inns, the restaurants and the mopeds for touring the island's touristy spots. When we left from the airport to return home, we purchased a stunning aquamarine birthstone ring. The stone was set high in a crown-like setting. Superb, it was! I wore it frequently.

At my Real Estate office late one evening, I was copying information for
clients. Back at my desk, realizing my ring was missing....I checked the copy
machine...the stand it rested on...the nearby desk...the floor to and from my 
desk to the copy area. No Find! I was disheartened! I left a note at the reception desk with the ring description. No News!

A couple months later, the service technician for the copier, checked it, refilled with ink...ensuring it was in good working order. VOILA! There was my ring! How did it get into the machine? It was damaged around the top spiral that clawed the stone in place. The aquamarine was not marred in any way. A
jeweller was able to repair the setting and re-set the stone.

We did lose moped keys on the sandy beach...
but that's another story of intrigue.

The Locker

Pending a move to a newly built home in North Burlington, I purchased a bedroom suite, a set of “everyday dishes” and a couple table lamps. With no 
place to store these items for two months until my “move date”, I had them delivered to the Condominium site where I began my Real Estate Sales career. There were plenty of lockers available; then with a blanket to cover them, I locked the slatted door. I felt assured the articles would be safe. On the date
of moving, a van waited at the Condo entry. But ALAS! NOTHING was in the locker! The locked door had been slashed and removed!

Gas Cap

You may have read “My Incredible Journey” published previously on blog. In November 2001, I drove my son's Honda Odyssey van from California to Hamilton, Ontario. I had toured Zion National Park in Utah and en route to 
Bryce Canyon. Stopping at a gas station for a fill-up, I removed the loose gas
cap, laying it at the base of the always. After chatting with a young couple at another pump, I absentmindedly drove off. Within ten minutes, 
the horn of a vehicle behind me kept tooting...for no reason that I understood. Finally, they drove beside me, pointing to the rear of the van. Must something 
be wrong? I pulled onto the shoulder to stop.The driver held my gas cap in hand! Weren't they wonderful?

Treasure from Montreal

Joan has been a long-time friend. We met when our daughters were little in a town home complex. It was election time...I was canvassing 
for a would-be-councillor for city politics. Across the street was petite and vivacious Joan and Heather (who later became a riding friend with my
daughter at Bertin Stables in Oakville). At lunch one day, Joan told me of a ring her mother-in-law found...on the sidewalk in front of a small shop she was entering. The stone was large, amethyst-looking in its high gold setting. The woman, with ring in hand, contacted 2 or 3 nearby shops, but no one had received any enquiry. She gave the owners her name and telephone number, retaining the ring herself for identification. After a couple weeks, she ran an ad 
in a local Montreal newspaper...with no response. She gave the ring to Joan,
who indicated that the ring was “too big” for her small hands and happily gave it to me. A jeweller appraised it as an Alexandrite...a semi-precious stone. It is now my pleasure to Own and to Wear!

Here is information I gleaned about Alexandrite: This rare gem is named after 
the Russian tsar, Alexander II (1818 to 1881), the very first crystals being discovered in April 1884 in the emerald mines near the Tokavaja River in the Urals. Russian master jewellers loved this stone and produced some beautiful series of rings in platinum ensembles at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century. The most sensational feature about this stone is its surprising ability to change its colour. Green or bluish-green in daylight, the Alexandrite turns a soft shade of red, purplish-red or raspberry in incandescent light. My ring is more purple than red.
Alexandrite is a stone of good omen.
Alexandrite can assist one in centering the self, reinforcing self-esteem
and it increases one's ability to experience joy.

Alexandrite is very scarce, due to its chemical composition. 
 Deposits of this stone are found in
Brazil, Madagascar, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.


In recent years (and to this day), whenever I find a coin on the ground, on the sidewalk or street, I capture it lovingly and place in one of the “cup holders” 
in my car. I treasure them all...Canadian or American pennies,nickels, dimes...even a few quarters....and do not spend them!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The foregoing have all been tangible “lost and founds”. Life is not always that concrete! Philosophically, emotionally, physically...we experience setbacks and improvements; we experience failures and successes; we experience roadblocks with often no recourse.

Consider: The loss of friends through distance and the discovery of new friends.

                An unexpected health problem which occasionally cannot be 
                medicated, yet through rehabilitation, one's health may return.

                You've lost the Love of your Life...boyfriend/
                husband/wife...parent/child! Given “time to heal”...
                "Life" introduces a new partner!

Loss of faith in one's self, in business transactions, in courage, in community
and does one recover?

Listen to Advice! Search for Alternative Solutions! Develop Positive Thinking!

James Lee Burke
an author of mystery novels wrote,
I used to store all my rejection slips in a box,
because I told myself, that one day
I was going to autograph and auction them.
And then...I lost the box!

Pearl of Wisdom”
Life's Tough!
It's even tougher if you're stupid!
(John Wayne)

Merle Baird-Kerr . . . written September 5, 2011
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  1. Merle,
    This is a delightful gathering of little Pearls of your life to enjoy and compare to what we ourselves have been though. But my Best Lost and Found Story is when I had thought I had Lost you years ago and then low and behold I remembered a person who used to know you and she told me how to find you ! Lost and Found is a great game to play if you've "Found" what your looking for... and I have Found you as my Friend Once Again.

    Sherrie xo

    1. How does one respond to those emotional words?
      It is so rewarding for us both to be reconnected!
      You are truly a treasured soul-friend!