When I got the call last year he just said in his abrupt way "Bird is dead". That's what he called her.They had been married over forty years and now he was alone in the big beautiful house. I went to help in any way I could.

I called in a grief counselor and hired him a maid, a nurse and a housekeeper and got him signed up with Meals on Wheels. Things seemed to be going well and altho he said he did not want "those yapping women" around, I assured him he needed them. His health is fragile and truth is , he needed help around the place.

"Would you check the pantry and throw away anything old or out of date while you are here?"

Sure grandpa, will do. I was assigning the new cleaning lady to finish the work in the pantry that I did not feel up to doing, and she was coming in the morning.

Later that night in the pantry as I was throwing cans of ancient beans in the trash I noticed a battered old ice chest on the pantry floor. Thinking there would be some rotting sandwich fossils collecting mold, I flipped one side of the double door open. It was full of something. Packages wrapped in tin foil. The one on the top had creases from being opened many times and I was dreading to see what it was. Before opening the tin foil, the package started to register in my brain as something familiar,the size and shape and weight.

The package was about five inches thick and the shape of a dollar bill. Turns out it was not dollar bills but a stack of Hundreds! When I realized that the whole ice chest was probably more of the same, I explored no further. Wrapped up the Hundreds and threw them back in the ice chest and slammed the lid.

Next morning over coffee I pleaded with Grandfather to take that ice chest to the bank. He has always been known to keep large amounts of cash around the house. A favorite hiding place had always been the freezer.He always kept ten thousand dollars in new hundred dollar bills in some frozen food container and another few thousand in his desk.  The ice chest was worrisome. What would the cleaning lady do with an old ice chest and if she opened it...well. I had done background checks on the women I hired to work in the house, but that house could have had almost as much cash as the small local bank!

Grandfather is in his mid eighties. He has lived a certain way most of his life. It is not my place to tell him what to do, but I sure did try and convince him that it was not a good idea to keep a ice chest full of money laying around the house.

I did not know if he would take my advice. I stayed a couple of weeks and went to visit someone in another state. The day after I left the housekeeper called my cellie and in a sobbing voice told me she and the others had been fired.Meals on Wheels included.He just told them to get out and never come back.Not a big surprise, he and Bird had lived like hermits. I was the only person to have been inside the house since they had it built years ago.

Two weeks ago I went back to stay with him a while. He told me proudly that he had taken my advice and that most of his money was in the bank. "You should have seen the look on their faces when I took those grocery bags full of hundreds down to the bank, and I had to hang around there a while so they could count it. It was $450,000, I thought I had more". Grandfather has an aversion to any paper money that is NOT a one hundred dollar bill, and won't have a five or a ten in the house....

WHEW. What a relief. Patting myself on the back for my efforts, I asked him if there was anything he needed me to do for him while I was around.

"Clean out that damn vegetable drawer!".

I just cleaned around the money and left the carrots.



PeaceOnEarth PeaceOnEarth
46-50, F
7 Responses Mar 6, 2009

hello trailguide!

Wow. never know what a man in his 80's will do!

Love this story...What a fun memory!!


heh, me too mzdivine!

Wow what a story...Glad he finally put it in a bank!