Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bad Things That Have Happened to Me...and the Good That Came Out of It

My old bike, may she RIP

A few weeks before Christmas, I came home from running errands to discover that my bike had been stolen. The cable I used to lock up our bikes had been cut, and my bike was the one (out of five bikes and a trail-a-bike) that was gone.

Over the following days, I had a little pity part in my head about all the Bad Things That Have Happened to Me. But then, I told myself to cut it out, and I started to think about all the Good that has come out of all the Bad.

2002: I came home from work to find my apartment building surrounded by yellow caution tape. Red Cross workers informed me that the apartment above ours had caught fire, but thankfully, the firemen were able to put out the fire before it spread to any other apartments. Also thankfully, the firemen axed down our front door, piled most of our belongings in the livingroom, and covered them with a tarp before hosing down the building. The only thing we lost was our couch.

The Good That Came Out of It: Our apartment building was no longer habitable, but the owners of the building offered to let us move into another apartment complex of theirs. With bigger apartments! Two bedrooms! A washer and dryer! A dishwasher that didn't break our dishes! At a discounted rate!


2003: We forgot to lock our front door before heading to bed. In the middle of the night, I was jolted awake by the sound of the door opening. I said, "Michael!" The burglar heard me and dashed out the door, unfortunately making off with a book of CDs that I had borrowed from my missionary sister. She still hasn't forgiven me.

The Good That Came Out of It: To this day, I get jumpy when I hear noises in the night, but I never, ever, ever forget to lock my front door, night or day.


2007: Michael got into a very scary car accident. Thankfully he walked away uninjured, but our car wasn't so lucky. For some reason, we didn't have comprehensive coverage at the time, and we still owed money on our car loan.

The Good That Came Out of It: Our new car was a minivan. Which meant that we could fit three carseats in it. Which meant...Rylan!


2007: A gang of car thieves hit our neighborhood one night. They were targeting Hondas, and we were the proud new owners of a Honda Odyssey. They made off with our CD player, and strangely, our airbags. Apparently, there is a black market for airbags, especially airbags from Hondas.

The Good That Came Out of It: We upgraded to a nicer CD player with an mp3 adapter. One of the best purchases we have ever made.


2007: We discovered a slow leak from our dishwasher. Who knows how long it had been going on, but by the time we discovered it, the drywall behind the kitchen counters was damp and mildewed, and the whole kitchen had to be re-done. Six months after we finished the kitchen, Michael was transferred to Raleigh, the housing market crashed, the economy tanked, and Michael had to take a salary reduction (better than losing his job!).

The Good That Came Out of It: We get to live in Raleigh!!!! And re-doing that kitchen may be the only reason our house sold at all.


2012: My bike was stolen.

The Good That Came Out of It: A new bike was not part of our planned upcoming expenses, but I started thinking about "things I'll regret when I'm old and retired," and I decided that I would prefer to use some of our savings to buy a new bike now rather than wait and save and buy a new bike next year. Maybe that's a stupid financial move, but I think if I was so frugal that I missed a year of bike-riding while I'm young and healthy, I would regret it when I'm old and retired.

And I love my new bike.

new bike
Isn't she a beauty?


  1. Wow, that's a fair amount of property crime you've experienced. My very nice mountain bike was stolen when I lived in LA. I've never replaced it and barely biked every since. :( I think you are making the right choice. This is a lovely exercise - I wonder if I could handle it/ do it.

  2. Counting my blessings always helps me get over sad times. A great post! And as much as you bike, I absolutely think a new bike was a sound investment. Now...are there any bike chains incapable of being cut?


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