Service of Luck IV: Watch Where You’re Going

January 30th, 2017

Categories: Gratitude, Luck

I’ve had a spate of good luck recently. Within a few weeks I found two MetroCards on the ground, each with money on them, one, $9+ and the other, all you could use and good for three more weeks. It was worth at least $115 if you take only two rides a day back and forth from work and to run errands on weekends. 

A few days later, walking by the 99 cent pizza shop on 43rd Street adjacent to St. Agnes Catholic Church, I saw $10 on the ground very near to a young man munching a slice. As I swept down to pick it up I noticed he hadn’t treated himself to a soda, plus it was a freezing day so I determined he wasn’t Mr. Moneybags as he’d be eating his lunch indoors. I asked him if the bill was his. He said “yes,” and it probably was.

A few weeks after that, walking home along Second Avenue, I found a wallet in the street with everything in it: Credit and insurance cards, cash, receipts. Fortunately, along with an appointment card for a Chicago dentist, there was a business card with a name that matched the plastic. I called, the woman was visiting her daughter in NYC and within a few minutes, she and her daughter were in the lobby of my apartment. She’d just arrived from Chicago and her wallet had fallen out of her tote bag as she exited from a cab. We hugged and her daughter said “See Mom? I told you not to worry. There are many nice people in New York.” The next day she sent the most glorious bouquet of flowers [photo below].

That wasn’t all. My husband couldn’t find a credit card and he refused to call the company. He said nobody had charged anything to it and wasn’t worried. I scoured our apartment and house, even checking inside the washer [he thought it was in the pocket of a shirt I’d washed and ironed]. We’ve had a few snowfalls upstate and a company that clears the snow disrupts the gravel in the driveway. I noticed something unexpected sticking out of a pile and there was his blue/gray Visa card. Whew!

Do you keep an eye on the ground where treasures might be found? Any luck lately?

Flowers for wallet

Tags: ,

14 Responses to “Service of Luck IV: Watch Where You’re Going”

  1. EAM Said:

    Wow, what a treat to get such a beautiful bouquet of flowers. You are a good egg Jeanne.

  2. Martha Takayama Said:

    I don’t think I have found any treasures recently. The days of a pay phone with overlooked change are long gone by. I keep an eye on the ground, conscious of balance. However, regrettably my major concerns are with objects that don’t seem to belong where they are or don’t seem to belong to anyone. The constant chant of “If you see something, say something” that we hear in the subways in particular makes me hope that I will not come across packages, handbags or backpacks in particular. The times have reshaped the idea of what might be lucky!

  3. Lucrezia Said:

    Sounds as if you’re on a roll. May life continue to be full of rabbit’s feet!

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Thanks–and some of the flowers continue to thrive. The florist was a great one!

  5. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I know what you mean about being wary…with the exception of the tote bag I saw by the bike stand near the UN and one of the Trump apt. buildings–that I wrote about recently and reported to the police–my findings have been benign.

    I am also on the lookout for large things standing where they should not be.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Now if I could only remember to buy a lotto ticket and when I do, if I could win even $5….though more would be nice!

  7. hb Said:

    Luck is a scary and, at least for me, totally unpredictable thing. Be grateful that you have it. You never know when it will go, or to which part of your life will it come back, if ever.

    I come from an inveterate family of gamblers. My grandfather, by his own admission, augmented his meagre salary as a civil servant with his winnings from playing cards. My uncle partnered him at 14 in bridge games played for money, and subsequently paid his way through Yale playing high stakes bridge. My father never seemed to lose at any game he played, and when he did, you would never know it.

    Unfortunately, he, too, introduced me to games of chance with family or friends at five or six. I’ve never gotten over them. Even though I usually lose, my competitive juices gurgle, and I can’t resist the temptation to compete. I bought my first lottery ticket at 13, and won the equivalent of $50. I never won more than three dollars at any one time since, but I’m still buying and the State of New York is becoming ever richer. Then, a year or two later, I was smuggled into a European casino and won nicely at roulette. Again, I was hooked. I’ve given back what I won many times over, except once. That time, I walked out 20 minutes after I arrived with more non-convertible currency
    than I needed to pay for my trip to Europe. But I’m still way behind.

    I guess the only time I ever won at bingo sums it up. I was the last man standing because I didn’t have a single winning number.

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Gambling by winning at cards takes brains and strategy and luck, I suppose, if you start with the right cards.

    I imagine if the roulette table is honest, this takes luck.

    I saw $20 disappear in seconds the last time I was at a gambling table. I can’t stomach that kind of loss so I walked away. I liked the old fashioned one arm bandits. Pulling a lever felt good. Computerized slot machines are no fun.

    I love receiving scratchoffs but don’t spend money for them. I’d enjoy winning the lottery. Meanwhile I can spend $1 and feel I’m in it.

  9. David Reich Said:

    Of course the guy with pizza said the $10 bill was his. You are too good sometimes.

  10. Jeanne Byington Said:


    If my hands are full when I buy stuff on my way home from work I stuff the change in my pocket and I don’t fish for my wallet as I should. So then if later I dig in my pocket for my gloves, I could very well let loose a bill [though I’m aware of the possibility and take care]. This might have happened to him.

    I admit I felt funny reaching down so near the man and not saying anything to him. It was exciting to see such a big bill on the street!

  11. David Reich Said:

    I understand looking down, though. My father, who grew up dirt poor during the depression, always seemed to find coins on the street. But true to his depression upbringing, he also would stick his hand in the coin-return slot of pay phones and he’d often come up with a handful of change. That was back when loose change could buy a meal.

    When Roz finds a coin on the street, she tosses over her shoulder for luck. I always say, how can that be luck when you just threw a quarter away?

  12. jmbyington Said:


    I wasn’t brought up in the depression but when we had pay phones I admit to fishing into telephones looking for change especially when I was a kid.

    I’ve heard of tossing spilled salt over a shoulder so you wouldn’t fight with anyone [I don’t know what the connection is] but not a quarter. However with the quarter, Roz is passing along the good luck to someone else–it’s a lovely gesture.

  13. Claire Said:

    I hope all those nice pluses are the lead in to one great big important one!!!

  14. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Imagine the party we’d have! WOOO HOOO! Not holding my breath though: When I remember to buy a lotto ticket the most I ever get–and it is rare–is $1!

Leave a Reply