The Disappearing Piccolo

Piccolo from eBay_darren bayne

We won the eBay auction for a Gemeinhardt Model 4PMH Piccolo on Tuesday night.  My daughter Audrey was one step closer to holding it in her hands for the high school band marching season.

The piccolo should arrive Monday.  That fit our plans perfectly.  We would leave town on Thursday to see my parents (Audrey’s grandparents) and get back home on Sunday.  One day later Audrey would have her piccolo in plenty of time for band camp.

But I got an email on Saturday at 6:08pm saying the piccolo had been delivered by FedEx.  On the stoop of our house.  In plain view of anyone who walked or drove by.

Our $200 investment might as well be shouting, “Come steal me!”.

We moved to this house just before COVID struck.  So we’d introduced ourselves to neighbors but hadn’t exchanged phone numbers with any of them.

I remembered three names.  I searched for (aka stalked) the names on Facebook.  The photos matched the people we’d met.  I sent each of them a Facebook Message.

And waited.

No reply.

The piccolo spent the night alone at the front door of our Colonial home with not even an overhang to protect it from the elements.

No answers to my Facebook Messages on Sunday morning.  Audrey grew more and more nervous.

We hoped and prayed the piccolo would go unnoticed until we got home.

Then we began the four-hour drive.

The first bolt of lightning struck 37 minutes before we arrived at the house.  Then the rain came.  The kind of rain that slows interstate traffic down to 45 miles per hour.

It was a popup thunderstorm.  Maybe it wasn’t raining on Audrey’s piccolo.

We kept driving and the skies kept flooding.

We pull in front of the house.  No package.

We waited for ten minutes in the car until the rain stopped.  We unpack the car.  

Did a neighbor grab our package off the stoop for us?

Time for Audrey and me to start ringing doorbells.

No answer at the first one.

At the second house, Jonathan said they didn’t get it.  He hadn’t even noticed my Facebook Message.

No answer at the third house.

We try the neighbor across the street.  They have a Ring doorbell so maybe they could pull their footage to see who stole it.

Tina opens the door with a box in her hand.

“We grabbed this off your stoop before it started raining.  We thought you were out of town.”, she said.

I let out a $200 sigh.  I wanted to hug her, but the threat of COVID kept that from happening.

Tina handed the package to Audrey.  Audrey was beaming.  She looked angelic.

And the piccolo got its name:  “Angelica”.  But she’ll call her “Angie”.

This world still has caring people in it.  One of them lives across the street from us.