Thursday, September 20, 2012

Can Life Get Any Better Than This?

Yesterday was my birthday.  My 62nd birthday.   This is good news/bad news.   Which do you want to hear first?  OK, first the bad news.  I'm getting old.  What's the good news?  It's better than the alternative.

Also in good news, I now qualify for social security!  Yippee!

I also have more good news here, but I need to set it up for you first.

My $400 Haro cruising bike was stolen last Thursday night. It was cabled and padlocked in the pavilion at the head of our dock.  Someone came with cable cutters and was off with the bike before security knew what hit them.  I called the police Friday morning when we realized that our friend Rod wasn't off with it and they came and took a report. The chances of getting it back were slim to none according to the officer.  Bicycles have been being filched in this marina for some time, and the past month was really bad.

PQ and I walked around the neighborhood looking for it.  We looked for it everywhere we drove.   No bike.  We looked in area flea markets with no luck.  I was really ticked off.  $400 isn't the end of the world here, although it is a nice chunk of change.  It's that I really liked that bike.  It was very comfortable.

We needed to go to Walmart yesterday so I could buy a new cell phone. Our old friend Rod went with us.   Rod and his wife Patti are here in their Mason 43 waiting out hurricane season.  Rod was as pissed off as I was because he rode it everywhere, not having a car.  We were driving down Altima Avenue.  Rod and I were bitching about thieves to each other when Pam hollered out from the back seat "STOP!!   THAT GUY IS RIDING YOUR BIKE! PULL OVER!"

So I hit the brakes and pulled into the first parking lot and Rod and I jumped out. I yelled "HEY YOU! STOP!" as he passed.  Surprisingly, he did, and turned around and came over to the truck.   I told him that he was riding on my stolen bicycle.  He claimed he had just bought the bike on Saturday. I asked if he would tell his story to the cops and he said yes, so we called the police and an officer came over and took his info.

While we were waiting for the officer to arrive, we chatted.  His name is Dennis and he's a nice guy. As it turns out, he's homeless and living in Salvation Army housing in downtown Brunswick.  A guy who regularly eats at the Salvation Army asked him if he wanted to buy the bike for $60.  Dennis didn't have $60.  But a few days later he did and bought my bike $41.

Now mobile, Dennis was riding out to a job interview as a painter with a construction company when we stopped him.  I was impressed with how honest and forthright Dennis seemed to be.  I told him to keep the bike for the day and to take it to his job interview and then deliver it to me at the marina later. The officer seemed surprised that I would let him keep it, as in "Are you serious?  You'll never see this guy or your bike again."

I've always believed that if you give a person the chance, he'll do the right thing.  Naive, I know. But it is how I live my life.  We drove off for Walmart and left Dennis and my bicycle behind.  I bought my new cell phone and we returned to Drift Away.  

Sure enough, Dennis showed up at 3 PM with the bike.  I shook his hand and thanked him.  I don't keep much cash around, but I gave him what I had, $80.  He then introduced me to his friend Jeremy.  Jeremy bought a bike from the same guy and wanted me to look at it to see if I recognized it as a stolen bike.  I did not, but I suggested that he ride it to the police station to let them look at it.

Dennis was also very excited.  He got the job!  It pays $13 an hour.  

Yes, yesterday was a great day.  Not because it was my birthday, but because it restored my faith in humanity.  Always give a person the chance to do the right thing.

But back to my birthday...   we didn't take the dogs to the beach because we were waiting for Dennis and my bike, so I decided to actually tackle a boat project.  Yeah, I know, boat projects have been few and far between.  But it's friggin' HOT HERE.

Ruby wouldn't get off the boat on her own because the docks at Brunswick Landing Marina are lower than other places and it was too far of a leap from the boat to the top step.  Pam and I had to lift her off.   And, quite honestly, Ruby weighs 80 pounds and lifting a fat wamba like that is not good for one's back.

So I made a platform for our steps out of 2 x 6s.  It worked.  Ruby will now hie herself off the boat without us lifting her.

For you more astute readers, yes.  Our bicycles are now on our dock, cabled and locked to Drift Away.  And yes, you are absolutely correct.  That is indeed a victory beer sitting on the top step.

So how can the day get any better than this?  Easy.  Pamela was once a baker.

Happy Birth-day to me!

And then she asked what I wanted for dinner.  This was my reply.

As my friend Bob said at dinner in the college cafeteria when I told him he should eat his vegetables... "Why?   My mom's not here!"

62 years old.  I got my bike back.  I got cake and ice cream on a paper plate for dinner.   I live on a boat with the love of my life and three dogs and a cat.  Can life get any better than this?  Nope.


  1. Great stuff. Happy Birthday Dave.

  2. Happy belated birthday Dave!
    A bike, a boat, cake, ice cream, 3dogs, a cat, and Pam.... soooooo jealous.

    Living vicariously thru your blog,

  3. Very glad to hear you got the bike back Dave. Welcome to the official Old Fartdom -- I beat you by 1/2 year!

    1. And you are the Bob I was talking about, back many years ago in Plattsburgh. LOL!

    2. Smilin for you both.
      Cheers! Any chance you'll make the Annapy show??

  4. Hey Joe! Not sure about Annapolis. We'd love to go. We have many friends there that we'd like to catch up with, but we have the dogs to deal with. Like most things we do, we won't know until the last minute.

  5. Congrats and glad to hear you got your bike back.

  6. Maybe Dennis can find my iPhone. :) Congrats to him on his new job. Congrats to you on your newest birthday. Congrats to Pam for snagging you. :)

  7. GREAT STORY! It is getting harder and harder to keep my faith in mankind. Dennis restores some of my is people like Dennis...trudging through like with what was given them...and still retaining his humanity that gives me hope. Horray for Dennis!

  8. Your story today made me smile and take stock of how fortunate we are. Happy Birthday (belated - we have been away from cell/wifi connections), and thanks for the "gift" with this heart-warming post.