I'd wanted a bike for a while but since the budget didn't allow for much unnecessary spending, I decided that was okay. I would wait. It had been a long time since I had ridden a bike anyway, so it was no big deal. Maybe when we sold the house.
But, when we drove by the thrift store in Fergus one day and I spotted it, my heart jumped a little. I was taking my good ol' Poppa Bear to the denturist. There was no stopping on the way there because appointments are pressing and my 87 year old father, for some reason, always needed to be at least 15 minutes - if not half an hour - early.
"Look, Dad," I said pointing and invading his space in the car as we drove by the thrift store. A lady was outside putting sale merchandise in a basket. It looked like the store was opening for business.
Dad knew I was in the market for a bicycle. He had been keeping an eye on the classified ads for me.
"We should stop on the way back," he said.
"Okay. Sounds good." I was hoping that no one would buy the bike before we returned.
As luck would have it, because we were early for his appointment and the denturist had no bookings before Dad, he told us to come in right away and so the appointment proceeded with haste.
I was thinking about the bike. I had only seen it from afar but from my vantage point it had looked like a decent bike for a second hand one. As long as the price was okay, then I had pretty well decided to buy it.
I hurried Dad up with his last rinse. He knew what I was up to. We drove the block to the thrift store and I was happy to see that the bike was still leaning against the window. Dad said he would stay in the car so I got out and checked out the bike. I took it for a little spin in the parking lot. The tires were good; inflated and with good tread. I did notice a little tear in the seat. I rationalized that if the price was right then I could get a new one or at least cover the original with one of those fancy gel covers. I couldn't see a price. I popped into the store to ask the clerks. Neither of the two gals knew what it might be but they told me to bring it in to the store and they would call to the back and ask.
I waved to Dad to tell him I would only be a few more minutes and then I proceeded to take the bicycle into the store to learn the price. A man came up to me. Not a clerk. A customer - and a bit of a grubby one at that. He grabbed the bike. I grabbed it back but with a smile on my face.
"I actually am going to buy this bike," I said grinning at the man who still reached for the bicycle. I started to soften a little and thought perhaps I should let this man buy the bike. He looked like he
"You can buy it if you want," he said.
I wasn't sure what to do at that point. I was just about to tell him that it was okay and he could have it, then he spoke again.
"You can have it if you give me $500."
I suddenly got a sinking feeling. The ladies at the desk looked at each other. They didn't say much because it looked to me like they didn't want to get involved. Besides they looked like they were having too much fun watching me writhe.
The bicycle was not for sale. The gentleman in the store was a little horrified as he watched me bring his bicycle into the store. I felt like an idiot. I apologized profusely and backed out of the store still clutching the bike.
"So, do you want it?" The man grinned.
"I think I'll pass," I muttered, sheepishly handing over the handlebars. "Thank you. Have a nice day." I tossed in one more pathetic apology.
I left the store with my tail between my legs. Dad laughed all the way home.
Later that day I thought about how brilliant God is. How day after day, week after week He gives me fodder. I open my writer eyes and it never fails. There is always something to speak about, laugh about, have an opinion on. There are teachable moments; times to reflect, to praise, to glorify; to question.
I pulled out my giant green ledger. It's filled to the brim with ideas for stories and articles. I read through some of them - and chuckled. Ideas galore. There are not enough hours in a day for all the writing I would love to accomplish but what there is the freedom to do so. Not everyone might like what I write, but having the ability and the freedom to write what I want, to me, is a gift.
Whether I am writing about borderline bicycle
theft or exploding apple juice or library fiascos, I count it all joy. I thank God I live where I live and even though it seems I have an exorbitant amount of goofy things happen to me in any given week, I can also appreciate the freedom I have to write about it and about God and my Lord and to celebrate every opportunity to freely write from my heart.
Job 33:3 (My words come from an upright heart; my lips sincerely speak what I know.)