Today we noticed that my daughter's bike was gone from our yard. This leaves me feeling blue and bummed and annoyed and a bit incredulous.
Let me paint the picture for you. We live at the end of a street that's at the end of another street. None of these areas are high-traffic areas. If you are driving down our street, you are either delivering mail or have a specific purpose for your visit. Strange cars in the area are noticed because they are out of the ordinary. The bike was about 9 years old--I think it was a no-name brand, 21 speed mountain bike that was originally about $100 at Fred Meyer. It wasn't nice, pretty, or even desirable. It had slightly rusty handlebars. I doubt it has resale value intact or in parts. It was transportation and a little independence for my oldest daughter. She could take herself to babysitting jobs in the area, to visit her friends, and so on. It had a locked Krypton bike lock held high on the frame with zip ties (we lost the keys for it about 6 years ago). It's been outside our house now for 5 years. Only recently had my daughter cleaned it up, lubricated the stiff parts, and started using it. Our yard is littered with kid stuff. The majority of our neighbors (and the entire neighborhood) is retirees.
Her helmet was with the bike. It's gone too. I'm just disgusted about it.
One of my neighbors has his girls visit on the weekends. They like to come over and play with my kids. My kids like them because there simply aren't any other kids in the neighborhood to play with. It helps that they are nice and polite and generally a lot of fun to hang out with. That's why we noticed it was gone--everyone came over to ride bikes and play together. One of the girls went up and down the street asking about the bike--no one had seen it. Not surprising, really. Most retired people don't need a girl's bike.
I'm just feeling mad! While it wasn't worth much, it is something that won't necessarily be easy to replace. I did just start another job (more on that later!) but since I haven't worked all summer, our budget is pretty tight right now (as is most of America). I hadn't planned on buying another bike. In fact, I was glad she had it because it cut down on my gas usage for her small trips around to friends, etc. She even rode to play practice a few times.
What a crappy thing to happen. Hopefully, we'll go out sometime this week and find it in the yard again. We heard rumors that some other children of divorce that sometimes spend time at their grandparents house (conveniently located next door to me) have been riding our kids' bikes when we are gone. Maybe they "borrowed" it and just haven't returned it yet. We'll see.
Still, it makes for a lousy end to our summer vacation.