Friday, October 16, 2015

Missing Wallet and church on Harkers Island

We woke up early—too early—so that we could drive to Harkers Island to attend church there. There's a ward that meets in Morehead City, which is just across the Bogue Sound from Atlantic Beach City (where we were staying), but we were planning on taking the ferry from Harkers Island to Cape Lookout after church and thought it would be easier if we went to church on Harkers Island itself.

The morning was a bit of a frenzied rush but we managed to make it mostly out the door on time.

We'd loaded all the children into the van and I had gone back into our room to finish packing the diaper bag. I grabbed my cellphone and went to put it into my purse but I couldn't find my purse anywhere—and I looked everywhere.

I checked the diaper bag, the suitcase, the table. I checked the beds and even folded up the hide-a-bed couch the girls slept on. I went through the laundry bag. Andrew was looking places, too. He checked the van, all the drawers in the hotel, the bassinet. My purse was no where, which meant that my wallet was no where, too.

We'd had such a busy day on Saturday; my wallet could have fallen out of the diaper bag at any point. Andrew had been carrying it and didn't remember it falling out. I couldn't remember ever digging around in there and taking it out.

And the weirdest part was that I had my phone.

"I shouldn't have my phone if I don't have my purse!" I said. "My phone was in my purse all day yesterday!"

It was perplexing and frustrated and we were now ten minutes behind schedule so we decided to just suck it up and go to church. But my wallet! Of all the things to lose, that's the worst!

As we drove I started listing all the things we'd have to replace: my license, our insurance cards, credit cards, temple recommend, museum passes... Such a (costly) headache!

Although I'd prayed (and prayed and prayed) and kept getting the feeling that everything was going to work out, I nervously counted down time until I could call the places we'd visited the day before. Surely it would work out by someone turning in my wallet...right?

"Look kids—the draw bridge is up. That's why we're stopped. Isn't that cool? There's a boat passing through..." I'd say while I was thinking, "8:47. Thirteen more minutes."

"Look kids—that sign says 'Hancock,' isn't that cool?" I'd say while I was thinking, "8:53. Seven more minutes."

At 9:00 I whipped out my phone and called the aquarium. No luck—only a pair of sunglasses had been turned in the day before. I called the fort—no answer. I called the hotel—nothing had been turned in there either.

It was so deflating. Everything was supposed to work out!

We arrived to the church building ten minutes late, of course, since we'd left our hotel ten minutes late. Luckily for us, there was a double baby blessing that morning so we arrived before the sacrament hymn. Still, there's nothing quite like walking into a tiny, tight-knit congregation with your loud and obnoxious party of six...ten minutes late.

One of the babies being blessed, though, was named Levi Hancock. Seriously.

And the ward mission leader...was an Elder Hancock. Seriously.

Sacrament meeting went well. I'd totally neglected to pack anything for the kids, but a sweet lady in front of us ("I'm Jo-Jo! Well, Jody. But you can call me Jo-Jo!") took pity and passed back some papers and crayons and stories for the kids.

After sacrament meeting, everyone wanted to meet us, of course. The first woman to introduce herself to Andrew (while I was talking with Jo-Jo!) was Sister...Hancock. Seriously.

"You need to go do your magic Alberta thing and see if you're related," Andrew whispered to me.

So I did.

She wasn't sure how she was related to any Hancocks, really. Her husband had passed away and she wasn't very familiar with his line. But she called over another woman who was also a Hancock. "She'll know for sure!"

I figured we could just start with the Doctrine and Covenants connection, so I asked if she knew whether she was related to the Hancocks mentioned in the D&C. Because if she was...then we were related, too. But she's not. They're not related to any Hancocks of note that they know of. And I don't know my genealogy well enough by heart beyond the mid 1800s to throw out any other names.

They even had their blood tested and it seems they're mostly Icelandic? So...huh.

But that road sign we saw for Hancock Landing—that's their property.

Turns out Harkers Island is fairly teeming with Mormons and Hancocks.* Who knew?! Not me.

It was quite the surprise to this little Mormon Hancock gal!

After church (and before heading to the ferry) I made Andrew check our bank account to see if our credit card had been used for any nefarious purposes. It hadn't.

"Well, that's good news, I guess," I said. "That means it probably wasn't stolen, right? Because if it was stolen they'd try to use the credit card right away so we wouldn't have time to cancel it, right? So...I just lost it really good. Probably it's at the fort because they won't answer their phone!"

My stomach was still queasy thinking about my lost purse, but I did my best to relax and have an enjoyable time with our family. And despite all odds I think I managed to do it (which is rather impressive considering how uptight I get about lost library books (because a lost wallet is much, much worse)).

On our way home at the end of the day I tried calling the fort one last time. There was still no answer so we decided to stop by so that I could check the lost and found myself. So we did. And it wasn't there.

I was so frustrated. I was sure that's where it would be!

"I'm just going to check one last spot," I told Andrew, who was circling the parking lot in the van (Zoë was screaming her head off). I ran up to the cormorant observation deck to see if my wallet had fallen out during The Great Bird Poop Incident. It was totally possible. And it had been yucky and raining so maybe no one had been out there to find it. But it wasn't there either.

"This is the worst!" I lamented on the drive back to the hotel.

I sullenly unloaded the kids from the car while Andrew ran some stuff into the hotel.

He met me at the door, dangling my purse.

"Where was it?" I cried.

It was sitting on the middle of my freshly made bed!

Our best guess is that it fell off the bed the day before while the girls and I were playing UNO and then got kicked into the corner and we just didn't see it in our frantic early-morning search. So that prompting I got that I thought said, "It's all going to work out, just relax..." was completely right. I just didn't hear the last part: "'s on your freshly made bed."

It reminded me of the time my mom lost the head to her favourite paper doll and was so upset about it. She'd been searching and praying and had the thought come into her mind, "Look in your mouth..."

And she thought, "Look in my mouth?!"

But she opened her mouth anyway, and, yup. There was the head of her beloved (and forever decapitated) paper doll, plastered to the roof of her mouth.

(My mother was a notorious chewer/sucker of things—sweater collars, her daddy's hands, and apparently paper dolls—for years.)

* On my to-read list for later:
Side note: I'm freaking out here! Andrew's totally been stalking their family (he was googling the author of that book, Joel Hancock, and it turned up a hit for his son (also Joel Hancock). Turns out, he is friends with my brother on Facebook!? And Steve Snell. 

So I'm thinking...this has got to be a mission connection...which isn't totally mind-blowing also kind of is.

I didn't meet Joel, but his mom was the "other Hancock" I spoke with to find out if we were related.