A Yellowknife couple opened their mail on Monday to find a treasured moosehide wallet – thought lost on the Atlantic coast – had returned more than a year later.
The wallet’s wild ride across North America forms an epic solo journey from Newfoundland to the American Midwest before being found at a second-hand car dealership in Wisconsin and sent back to the NWT.
“We just couldn’t believe it,” Lidya Mcleod told Cabin Radio with laugh.
The tale began four years ago when Mcleod bought the wallet for her boyfriend, Darryl Peddle, from Yellowknife’s Aurora Emporium Art Gallery. A birthday gift, she had it personalized with an engraving that read: “Love Lydia 2016.”
Unfortunately, Peddle lost the wallet when he and Mcleod went to Newfoundland for his mother’s 75th birthday in November 2019.
“We never knew what happened to it, whether it was lost or if it was stolen,” Mcleod said. “All he could remember was going to Tim Hortons one night.”
In the following weeks, Peddle and Mcleod scrambled to cancel bank cards and get him a new driver’s licence. To fly back to Yellowknife, Peddle had to use a notarized copy of his birth certificate provided by his mother to identify himself at the airport.
More than a year later, Peddle received a UPS package on Monday morning and found the wallet with everything still inside.
“It’s been a year now, so we just kind-of forgot about it and moved on,” Mcleod said. “And now we got it, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God. Is that real?’ We didn’t know what to make of it.”
It transpires the wallet had been recovered by Lenz Truck Center – a second-hand auto dealership in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin – and shipped to the couple.
Lilly Seifert, a receptionist at Lenz Truck Center, told Cabin Radio a co-worker found the item in a vehicle while driving.
“He brought it up to me and asked if we shipped to Canada,” she said. “Because it was an engraved wallet, we thought it was a little more important. So we figured out how to ship it and it went out the next day.”
No one, including Mcleod and Peddle, knows how the wallet ended up in that vehicle in the first place.
Mcleod’s best guess is someone found the wallet and accidentally left it in a truck that was subsequently shipped to the United States.
Nonetheless, Seifert said, the Wisconsin company was “happy we could get it right back to them,” and even paying the $26 shipping fee.
Mcleod is thrilled.
“I went through a lot to get the engraving done on the wallet,” she said. “I got it back and it looked really good, and I was just excited about it.
“To lose it was just a bummer. This is a happy story.”