When a stranger returns your purse



This morning I drove north to a coffee shop in Houghton–5th and Elm (may it forever be immortalized in song and dance, as you will soon discover why) and ordered a coffee and cranberry biscotti.

Then set my big clunky red purse, covered with tiny mirrors, a gift from an Indian physical therapist earlier this year (see this story if you’ve forgotten) on the floor.  An inner voice warned me, “Now don’t you DARE forget that purse!”

I then unpacked Ms. Ellie, the laptop computer from the backpack, retrieved the mouse and waited for the Internet signal before typing a lengthy almost 900 word blog (which you may or may not eventually read) while delightedly sipping coffee and inadvertently tossing biscotti crumbs to and fro.

I even forgot who I was for maybe a half hour.  That’s how engrossed and delighted I was in the writing.

Spiderweb of life

Spiderweb of life

In the midst of this la-de-da Saturday blogging ecstasy another table opened up.  A table which offered a plug to revive Ms. Ellie, the laptop computer, in case she decided to die.  She’s been ill in fits and spurts, thanks for all your condolences in advance.

Today her Shockwave player crashed.  So she tells me.  I am refusing to think that it’s anything serious, but you never know.

Anywho, I moved everything from one table to the next, plugged in the gasping computer, and proceeded to disappear into the World of Writing for another half hour.

Until.  A nice young man traipsed forward from the front of the coffee shop, bless his immortal soul, carrying MY PURSE.

“Is this yours?” he inquired.

“YES!” I croaked, immediately remembering who I was.

“A customer found this and brought it up to the counter,” the immortalized young man said. “I looked inside at ID, but someone thought it might belong to you.”

“YES!” I exclaimed, “Thank you SO much!”

“Did you come in and then leave?” he asked.

“No,” I sighed.  “I moved tables and forgot to move the purse.”

“Ahhh,” he nodded, and I nodded, and counted my dollar bills and checked to see if the credit cards all remained and, yes, there ARE kind people on the planet, thank all the kind-hearted souls who return purses and Do Not Steal.

Not my coffee cup.  But close enough for you to imagine...

Not my coffee cup. But close enough for you to imagine…

This is the second kind incident of the week.  On Thursday I bought $2.40 worth of groceries and discovered I only had $1.80, shame on me.  Preparing to drag out the VISA and pay that tiny bill, a kind lady–bless her immortal soul–pulled out a $1.00 bill and gave it to me.

“Oh, thank you!” I gushed.  “I hope you’re given what you need at a time like this.”

She smiled.

“I have been,” she said, “many times.  That’s why I’m giving back.”

Thank you, Lady of the Infinite $1.00 bill and the Kind Customer who returned the Many-Mirrored Indian Purse.

I shall remember the favor.  I’ll pass it along–I promise.

Ahhh, Life at its Best...

Ahhh, Life at its Best…



About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in May 2013 and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to When a stranger returns your purse

  1. Hot diggity, dog diggity — now those are examples of human goodness at it’s finest. yes, Yes, YES!

  2. Susan D says:

    Wonderful good! Hey, you’ve already passed on so many favors that they’re coming back to you as “expected” … sweet, sweet blog.

  3. I love stories like this! I do believe people are really good at heart.

  4. Fountainpen says:


  5. We sometimes forget that there are more GOOD people out there, than bad. Thanks for the reminder. And I had to smile at the way you ‘forget yourself’ when you’re writing. I’m the same. It’s a little scary, but it’s also, well, kinda fun. 🙂

  6. Stacy says:

    I hope you’ll indulge me for a moment, Kathy. I know why you forgot to move your purse. You see, in the Crescent City or the City That Care Forgot or The Big Easy….whatever you call New Orleans….we have this belief, superstition, or whatever you want to call it….that one must NEVER put her purse on the floor. NEVER. For if you do so, your money will disappear, so we say. I have a post all written up about this to explain why….well, you’ll see. 🙂

  7. P.j. grath says:

    Good story, Kathy. Especially since it was the second kindly surprise in a week. I am sharing your good feeling, just reading of the experiences.

  8. sybil says:

    I love it when people behave as they should.

  9. Hey now. Those two incidents are just plum heartwarming. But for sure I would rather have gotten the purse back any day over the gift of $1 at the grocer. But there are kind people all around us. We just have to be lucky enough to encounter them at the right time and the place. Now go find someone in need. 🙂 I’m kidding here. I know without a shadow of a doubt that you are really a nice person. How do I know that? Well I can’t divulge all that I know. 🙂 Just kidding again! ( ?Lord have mercy,” says Kathy, the woman is cuckoo.)

  10. Sorry the question mark took on a life of its own.

  11. OM says:

    Lovely!!! Both the money-rescue and the intact-purse return have happened to me several times over the years, and I do pass each along when opportunity presents.
    So happy for you, and thanks for sharing!

  12. Karma says:

    What a sweet little slice of life. A story only you could have told. 🙂

  13. Karma is such a wonderful thing!

  14. Barb says:

    Reminded of goodness – always present but sometimes forgotten. I’m in Moab but have seen amazing sights in Zion, Bryce, and Capital Reef. I’ve not seen snow, which is amazing in itself. I hope you’re thawing there in the UP.

  15. penpusherpen says:

    a heart-lifting blog, Kathy, and as you say so well, such favours we need to pass on, … someone somewhere will require a helping hand, and all it takes is to be a kind soul, with a smile, and the deed/seed grows…. Have a good Sunday,…. xPenx

  16. Elisa says:

    I like it!! I like it!!

  17. Sara says:

    As Frank Burns would say, “It’s nice to be nice to the nice.” I’m glad you found some niceness in your day.

  18. Sheryl says:

    It’s so heartwarming to hear about this wonderful people. In spite of what we hear daily on the news, there are many really good people.

  19. Val says:

    Good to know there are people like that still in the world. 🙂 And those two came into your life just at the right time and moment. 🙂

  20. Colleen says:

    Good morning to you Kathy. This is a lovely start to a Sunday morning. I’ll do my best to carry it forward. Hope your Sunday feels like May and spring.

  21. Katie says:

    Restores your faith, doesn’t it?

  22. Lori D says:

    Thank you for sharing this, we need it in this world today when the media tells us not to trust anyone. I once lost a bracelet (my only good piece of jewelry besides my wedding ring), in a grocery store parking lot. Someone brought it up to customer service where I gratefully, and humbly picked it up declaring, “It’s a Christmas miracle!” Yes, it was at Christmas time. I silently blessed the stranger who turned it in.

    BTW, I loved your, “I croaked, immediately remembering who I was.” Heh. I’ve lost all sense of time and identity on my laptop in places like that too.

  23. Best of all, I love the woman’s response to you in line at the grocery store.

  24. dorannrule says:

    I love happy stories, especially when people are at their best. And paying kindness forward is a grand and wonderful thing. 🙂 I’m glad you remember who you are at times. I too get lost in the writing so I know just what you mean.

  25. Heather says:

    O the kindness of strangers can make one’s day! Stories like this always restore my faith in humanity. A simple kindness may be the best kindness 🙂

  26. I WIlkerson says:

    What a lovely week!

  27. lisaspiral says:

    You must be doing something right. I love these stories. I’m glad you got your purse back and prayers for the laptop.

  28. A million years ago, my toddler sat in her car seat playing with my purse. I swear I peripherally saw her toss something out the window, but I thought no, and drove on home. 5 minutes later I got a telephone call from a local woman stating that she had my wallet. Not true, I said! My wallet is in my purse. She started reading the information on my drivers license to me: height, weight, etc. I was shocked; I had just gotten paid and given petty cash for a business trip, and I was leaving the very next day! There was over $600.00 dollars in my wallet, and that was the last thing the woman told me on the phone! She was driving home, saw my wallet on the side of the road. She stopped and picked it up, then called me. I drove to her house and picked it up. Who does that? I will never forget her kindness.

  29. Kathy, that coffee cup photo almost looks like it has an extremely unsavory drain hole down which our faith in humanity may go. But your stories refill our cups of faith and hope! I once lost a purse at a disco one night (stolen, I’m sure) and miraculously the next morning I drove around looking for it and found it on the side of the road with nothing missing including a $50 gift certificate for a local department store! Always wondered if the thief had second thoughts or perhaps was too drunk and dropped the bag. Which if he/she did simply drop the bag, then still he/she pulled in some universal assistance so as not to add that one more transgression to his eternal record.

  30. Robin says:

    How wonderful. 🙂

  31. This blog post definitely renews my faith in mankind! lol While these are things I might do in a similar situation, there aren’t as many others who would. Glad you got your purse back and bless the person who offered the $1.00 to you. 🙂

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