Take off rings, apply hand lotion, put rings back on fingers.

It’s a routine Brookfield resident Brook Pechenko has done hundreds of times.

But on Jan. 6, the routine was interrupted.

Pechenko was sitting in her car with one of her three daughters at the Brewster train station waiting for a friend when a train arrived early. She got out of her car without thinking about the rings — her wedding band, engagement ring, and a third diamond band — she had placed on her lap minutes before.

It wasn’t until she walked into a Danbury restaurant to have dinner later that evening that she noticed her hand felt a little naked.

Panic sunk in. Luckily, fate was on her side.

One more look

An hour after Pechenko left the station, Skip Rooney — owner of Golf Art on Route 7 — parked in the same spot, waiting for his wife, as he does every Friday night.

He got out to greet her and noticed what looked like an old-fashioned soda pop cap.

When he picked it up, he realized it was a ring. Back in the car, he showed it to his wife.

“I was about to drive away,” Rooney recalled. “And I don’t know why, I just got out again.”  

On the second trip out of the car, he found Pechenko’s wedding band.

“This one looked like it was nicer than the other one,” he said.

Once in the car with the two rings, he decided he just had to look one more time.

“It was pitch black,” he said, “but then, like four or five feet away, I found the diamond ring.”

“It’s strange. I have no idea why I did it — it wasn’t a matter of, Gosh, maybe there is more,” he said.

“I’m the type of guy, if I see something like a penny, I’ll pick it up.”

Heartbroken

Pechenko left the restaurant with her friend and headed to the train station to search for her missing rings.

“We went back and it was dark and there was ton of salt all over the roads,” she said.

“We kind of canvassed the whole area and we couldn’t find anything.”

At home, she called the Brewster Village Police Department. She also filed a report with the state police.

She had lost all hope.

“I was totally heartbroken,” she said. “I wondered how anybody could see them or if they could’ve gotten stuck on the bottom of a tire.”

Connecting

The next day, hope returned.

Pechenko received a call from the police saying a man had found three rings at the train station and they gave her Rooney’s contact information.

Rooney didn’t want to turn the rings over to the police as they initially asked because of their value. He wanted to make sure they reached the right hands in person.

Pechenko and Rooney set up a time to meet at Golf Art on Ethan Allen Highway.

“She came with her daughter and her husband,” he said.

“It was special. I know if my wife lost all of her rings what it would mean.”

Pechenko was happy and relieved. Even though the rings were insured, she said, the emotional value they hold could never be replaced.

“Things like this happen, and if they go unnoticed, we forget how much kindness there is among humans,” she said.