The Story of nICE

Elizabeth Garden RosesToday has not been the day we planned.  At all. We got up early and prepared for a relaxing walk in Elizabeth Park. The weather was perfect, we felt great, and we were excited about our morning. And then we saw it….a little purple cell phone. It was sitting on some stone steps. Sherry picked it up and cursed her lack of forethought as she had not put in her contacts. She will often go walking with Brooke sans contacts and make Brooke do all the work of looking for cars and checking out the scary people (we do have to be able to pick them out  in a line-up just in case, you know).  But it was blind Sherry that spied (and subsequently picked up) the little purple cell phone. (Brooke claims she saw the phone first but was remiss to pick it up for fear of getting germs. Ha) After gazing, squinting, and cursing a bit Sherry handed the phone to Brooke for a closer examination.

Brooke confirmed it was an active phone and looked for an In Case of Emergency (ICE) person. By the way, if you don’t have an ICE person in your cell phone add one right now while you’re thinking about it. If you’re ever unconscious or killed and the emergency person picks up your phone, your ICE person will be the first person called. So make sure the person you entered really does like you. We think of everything when it comes to safety. One other safety tip, if a person approaches you with a gun and tells you to get in their car DON’T DO IT!!  Run away screaming! Bad guys are notoriously bad shots. And if the person shoots you, there will be people nearby who can get you to a hospital. If you get in the car – the person can shoot you anywhere and there may not be people to save you. (This is the sage advice Sherry would give Brooke and her sisters when they were, oh, 6 years old and Brooke is still traumatized to this day. BUT. She is alive , Sherry is quick to point out.)  This cell phone had no ICE person.

Brooke found a phone number labeled Dad and sent a text advising Dad that we had the cell phone. We figured that Dad would care about the lost cell phone if anyone did. After 2 trips around the rose garden, there was still no return text so we took the phone to the caretaker’s cottage to turn it in. The nice lady who received it was Karen the Executive Director for the Elizabeth Park Conservancy. She graciously received the phone and promised she would watch for Dad to send a return text. Then she slyly delivered a plug for volunteering at the park (which we believe is a noble thing to do if you live in the Hartford area) and sent us on our way. We meandered through the park and enjoyed the sights and smells of the abundant roses which are currently in bloom. Yes, that picture is one we took in the park this morning. And we began our trek back home. And Brooke mentioned with a half laugh that she didn’t have her phone and speculated whether she had lost it – but reassured Sherry it was probably at home. Deception!  Brooke’s phone was nowhere to be found.

We quickly made our way back to the Park, using Sherry’s phone to continuously dial Brooke’s phone along the way in hopes of hearing the lost lamb sounds of Brooke’s ringer (actually it’s Burning for You by Blue Oyster Cult but whatever). No such luck. We could not find that phone anywhere. Brooke was upset. Sherry was upset. Sherry was worrying about a thief running up charges on her phone account and musing over whether the phone could be tracked through its internal GPS system. She was cursing Karma for not taking better care of us. We had just turned a lost cell phone in.  Come on! Brooke was trying to figure out what she was going to do for a phone, whether a stranger was going to go digging through her emails, and how she was going to make it through the day without the comfort of endless texting and Scramble activities. Dejected, we returned home with a plan of action in hand. Brooke sent a text from Sherry’s phone begging the finder to please contact Sherry’s number and return the lost phone. Next, we planned to transfer Sherry’s phone to Brooke’s number since Brooke uses the Smartphone stuff and Sherry pretty much sticks to the Dumbphone stuff. We would transfer Sherry’s number back to her old phone, since she kinda likes it better than her new phone anyway. And we would shut down access to Brooke’s old phone.

But we had an appointment with a mechanic (and you never miss those or ones with your hairdresser or you’re just screwed) so we had to be quick. We effortlessly moved Sherry’s number back to her old phone  (which, of course, was not charged) but could not move Brooke’s number to Sherry’s phone on-line. Still not sure why that change was prohibited: but we were instructed to call the phone company to make this change. However, this was problematic as Sherry’s phone was now disabled due to the transfer and the new/old phone was not charged. Sherry was standing in the corner blindly trying to stab the power cord into the phone but, minus her contacts, only succeeded in failure.  We had to go. We were sweaty, ill dressed, and late for the mechanic appointment.

As we headed for the mechanic’s, the disabled Sherry phone received a text. From Emma; who now joined our small drama. Brooke (who could not call Emma on the same phone on which we had received said text – yes, she tried) asked Emma to contact the phone company to report the now-believed-to-be-stolen phone as stolen to freeze the number until we could get the number transferred. Unbeknownst to us, Emma also sent a text to any would-be thief imploring them to do the right thing. She offered a reward “if you decide not to be a cruel person” and generously provided Brooke’s email address for any reward seeking activity. We arrived at the mechanic’s harried, disheveled, and seeking an outlet. And then Sherry’s disabled phone rang. It was a nice lady who had found Brooke’s phone in the park, hauled it home, and then called us to let us know she had it. The phone was returned and the phone company spent 40 minutes trying to put all the right phones back with the right numbers. No reward was sought and the lady was deemed to be “not a cruel person” by all. We are very grateful to her, to karma for coming through for us, to the mechanic who restored our air conditioning like a pro, and to Emma for cleverly guilt tripping/bribing any potential thief while calling the phone company to suspend the service.

Whenever we get stressed we eat. And this time we didn’t! Okay, maybe it was because we were short on time but maybe…just maybe…we have a little progress here. We did not buy the candy offered at the mechanic’s shop. Even after everything was said and done, we did not come home and eat. We found a healthy alternative – we took an angry nap.  The purple cell phone is still at the park waiting for its owner.


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