I’ll always dislike stink bugs, but I don’t always dislike squirrels. I just have an issue with them in the fall because they go from being cute critters to being dangerous rodents.
Their transformation is directly related to walnuts falling from the trees. The more walnuts that fall, the more dangerous the squirrels become.
They are like addicts going after the next fix, and they’ll risk almost anything to get it. Sometimes that means running almost directly under my German Shepherd’s nose while he’s on a leash. The squirrels are never at much risk of being hurt by my dog when he lunges, but I am. There have been a couple of times when I feared having my shoulder torn out of its socket.
But the squirrels’ courage around my dog is nothing compared to their courage on roads. When I’m behind the wheel of a car, I generally don’t notice the squirrels that stalk the roads just waiting for nuts to fall. But when I’m on my bicycle, I notice. And when a nut does fall, there isn’t just a mad dash to get it. There’s a competition.
The squirrels certainly don’t care if there is someone on a bike hurtling down a hill right at them. They run in front of the bicycle anyway.
Which is why I’m glad that I just had my bike serviced and the brakes work.
And I have proof that they work well. They work really, really well – even under dire circumstances.
And that always makes me smile.
Day 91: Bicycle Brakes
Day 90: Heroes Day 89: The Cricket in Times Square Day 88: The Grand Canyon Day 87: Unanswered Prayers Day 86: Apples Fresh from the Orchard Day 85: Being Human Day 84: Captain Underpants Day 83: The Diary of Anne Frank Day 82: In Cold Blood Day 81: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Day 80: The Outsiders Day 79: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Day 78: The First Amendment Day 77: People Who Touch Our Lives Day 76: The Rewards of Parenting Day 75: Improvements Day 74: Family Traditions Day 73: Learning From Our Mistakes Day 72: Live Music Day 71: Sleeping In Day 70: Grover Day 69: A Good Hair Day Day 68: A Sense of Community Day 67: Kindness Day 66: Living in a Place You Love Day 65: Gifts from the Heart Day 64: The Arrival of Fall Day 63: To Kill a Mockingbird Day 62: Green Lights Day 61: My Canine Friends Day 60: Differences Day 59: A New Box of Crayons Day 58: Bookworms Day 57: Being Oblivious Day 56: Three-day Weekends Day 55: A Cat Purring Day 54: Being a Unique Individual Day 53: Children’s Artwork Day 52: Lefties Day 51: The Neighborhood Deer Day 50: Campfires Day 49: Childhood Crushes Day 48: The Words “Miss You” Day 47: Birthday Stories Day 46: Nature’s Hold on Us Day 45: Play-Doh Day 44: First Day of School Pictures Day 43: Calvin and Hobbes Day 42: Appreciative Readers Day 41: Marilyn Monroe’s Best Quote Day 40: Being Silly Day 39: Being Happy Exactly Where You Are Day 38: Proud Grandparents Day 37: Chocolate Chip Cookies Day 36: Challenging Experiences that Make Great Stories Day 35: You Can’t Always Get What You Want Day 34: Accepting the Fog Day 33: I See the Moon Day 32: The Stonehenge Scene from This is Spinal Tap Day 31: Perspective Day 30: Unlikely Friendships Day 29: Good Samaritans Day 28: Am I a Man or Am I a Muppet? Day 27: Shadows Day 26: Bike Riding on Country Roads Day 25: When Harry Met Sally Day 24: Hibiscus Day 23: The Ice Cream Truck Day 22: The Wonderful World of Disney Day 21: Puppy love Day 20 Personal Theme Songs Day 19: Summer Clouds Day 18: Bartholomew Cubbin’s Victory Day 17: A Royal Birth Day 16: Creative Kids Day 15: The Scent of Honeysuckle Day 14: Clip of Kevin Kline Exploring His Masculinity Day 13: Random Text Messages from My Daughter Day 12: Round Bales of Hay Day 11: Water Fountains for Dogs Day 10: The Rainier Beer Motorcycle Commercial Day 9: Four-Leaf Clovers Day 8: Great Teachers We Still Remember Day 7: Finding the missing sock Day 6: Children’s books that teach life-long lessons Day 5: The Perfect Photo at the Perfect Moment Day 4: Jumping in Puddles Day 3: The Ride Downhill after the Struggle Uphill Day 2: Old Photographs Day 1: The Martians on Sesame Street
I was riding my bike yesterday morning when I saw a tall man ahead of me on the road holding something out in front of him. At first, I thought he was walking a dog, but I couldn’t see one. As I got closer, I became more and more puzzled.
Then I realized he was carrying a broom. He was walking along a country road carrying a broom.
Just as I reached him, he stopped and began sweeping the road.
He motioned for me to be careful as I rode through broken glass, and I turned around to thank him.
He yelled something back that seemed to be an explanation of what had happened and a comment that it happens a lot, but I couldn’t really understand him.
But I was smiling at his efforts to make the world a safer place for everyone else.
People who do that always make me smile.
Day 29: Good Samaritans
For years, I didn’t jump off the high dive even though I knew how to swim. I didn’t skip school for fear of being caught. And always managed to avoid the roller coaster that went upside down.
But when I rode my bike, I was fearless. I could ride without my hands on the handlebars and believe I was the most courageous girl in the world. And when I rode down a steep hill with no brakes, I felt like nothing would ever stop me again.
I am a little more cautious these days, but I still love riding my bike down steep hills. But my joy doesn’t come from my ability to let go and be a little reckless. It comes from the fact that every steep hill I go down is one that I just struggled going up.
As in life, the tough times help us appreciate the easier ones, and realizing that always makes me smile.
Day 3: The Ride Downhill after the Struggle Uphill
Day 2: Old Photographs
Day 1: The Martians on Sesame Street
For a few weeks during summer months when my children and I don’t have to be ready at 7:00 AM, I can pedal into the dawn on country roads.
Sometimes, the fog still clings to the fields, and I can almost see the ghosts of Civil War soldiers who once walked the land.
Usually, the deer and rabbits momentarily stop nibbling the leaves and grass to watch me pedal by.
And, during those early morning hours, the songs of the birds can be enjoyed without the roar of traffic and other human noises to dull them.
The sunrise tells me that the beauty of nature is evidence that humankind will never master the paintbrush like God can.
The sunrise whispers the importance of taking time to enjoy the moment instead of constantly anticipating the moments that are yet to come.
The sunrise reminds me that it is simply a reflection of life – constantly changing with time and the vantage point from which we observe it.
The sunrise says that it will never fail me. Even if I can’t see it through the clouds of a dark, gray day, it is still there holding the same promise that it does on a bright, sunny day.
And the sunrise shouts that it will always be a wonderful gift to be treasured.
School may be out for the summer, but the wise sunrise is ensuring the lessons haven’t stopped.