4th of July Gratitude

Earlier this week I buckled on a fanny pack so my phone would be safe during my bike ride. I set out and enjoyed cruising on a remote country road with rolling hills. I continued onto Highway O and headed north so I could view the scenic Baraboo bluffs. Pedaling along, I enjoyed the smell of clover fields and the calls of the red-winged blackbirds.

As I zipped down a steep hill, I reveled in the exhilarating feeling of the wind rushing against my face. It’s moments like this that I count my blessings and feel lucky to be alive.

After a short water break, I decided to complete the loop and return home. My phone would be ringing shortly to remind me of a commitment.

My phone. I patted the fanny pack. Empty. I’d never taken my phone out of my shallow shorts pocket and put it in the fanny pack. And my pocket was empty. There was a chance I’d left the phone at home, but anxious, I decided to backtrack. If it had fallen out, it would be right in the path of a car.

I never spotted it, and I didn’t find it at home, either. I used the landline to call it. Hoping to hear it ringing from inside a pocket or a corner of a room, I held my breath. Nothing.

I walked downstairs and tried again. No ringing here, either.

The third time I stuck my head in the car hoping I’d hear it. Instead, a voice answered. “Hello?”

I jumped.

“Uh, hello,” I stammered. “I was bike riding, and I think I dropped my phone.”

“Yes, I have it. I was walking my dogs, and I just spotted it on the side of the road.”

Hoorah! The woman told me where she was and I got in the car.

What were the chances? I asked myself on the drive over. I hadn’t seen another person walking all during my hour-long bike ride.

“Your timing was perfect,” the woman said. “I’d just picked it up and it rang. It’s funny, it was so hot outside I hadn’t intended to walk this far, but at the last minute, I decided to go a little farther.”

What were the chances?

On my return drive, I recalled other times people had returned things such as my daughter’s wallet. Once I’d had a chance to return a wallet after a woman had left it in a cart at Wal-Mart. What percentage of Americans would? I’m guessing quite a few.

Appreciation is running high for me this 4th of July week. Despite our country’s many troubling events, I’m thankful that I was born in America and can hop on a bike and ride past scenic, peaceful countryside.

This holiday I’ll be filled with gratitude as I head out to watch the fireworks, my phone safely zipped in my pocket.

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