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...and they lived happily ever after. Smith & Lady: poets, artists, photographers & adventurers.
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2 rainbows & an angel of mercy

foto by smith
last 3 days we’ve seen 2 rainbows and an angel of mercy.
foto by smith

finally fixed the bicycles over the weekend. took both of us because i’m so mechanically inept i couldn’t get the new inner tube inflated. the french use a different air stem logic. requires multiple steps whereas american inflating is insert and blow. kathy figured it out after i cursed awhile.

today we biked two towns over. now i’ve two things in common with lance armstrong – i’ve recovered from cancer and i’ve biked in france. where’s my trophy? (kathy’s my trophy,. my prize, my reward – seems almost shameful to love your wife more than ever after 18 months together, most of it 24/7). 15 miles round trip – the 7.5 mile return trip was uphill and against a head wind so strong, i had to pedal to go down hill – didn’t need brakes cuz if you stopped pedaling, the wind stopped you.
foto by smith

as soon as we got there, i hit a pot hole and got a flat tire. had the repair kit with me. i am a mechanical moron, have the machine skills of an elderly catholic nun – none. i stood staring at the flat, talking to myself, thinking normal humans do this all the time – i am smart, college educated, so i too can do this. i meditated myself into a place where i would not get angry and curse up a useless storm. we took digital fotos of how the chain looked going in and out over and around the gears so we would know how to put it back on. i took the tire off, took the tube out. a tall older gentleman came by and told us we’d better go into the store behind us right away to buy a new tube because the store was closing in 10 minutes. told him i had a repair kit and could fix it. he insisted we needed a new tube. he took kathy in to buy one while i tried to repair it. it had blown at the base of the air stem and was unrepairable. had it not been for this sudden angel of mercy, i would have been futilely fricked fracked and fractured.

so many times in my past, angels have of mercy have appeared to help me. sometimes men, sometimes women, occasionally children – and once in croatia it was two dogs who stopped us from renting bicycles we didn’t need because our hosts had already found some for us. in krakow we were trying to check into the place we had rented for 6 weeks, but it was locked. no one answered any of the buzzers. couldn’t find a phone. suddenly a young blonde tri-lingual lady named diana came by, said “oh, are you trying to get in?.” whipped out her phone, made 3 calls, the door opened, she grabbed kathy’s back pack and carried it up 3 flights of stairs, had the cleaning lady loan us her key for a day, and then disappeared. she’d stopped by to tell her boss who lived in the building she wasn’t coming to work the next day. at least that was her excuse… i’m not sure she was really human.

i think these people and animals are angels. reality sees we’re trying to live life, and occasionally offers us a wee bit of help.

on the other foot – in hershey pennsylvania in 1968, i stopped on a hot day for a soda pop from an outdoor machine. as soon as the bottle popped into the slot, i looked up and saw this 7 year old boy on a bicycle staring longingly at my bottle. i said “here” and handed it to him. he thanked me and took off. went into my pockets for more change for another pop, and found i didn’t have enough. broke out laughing at the joke reality played on me. it was worth it though because when i was a kid, i’d wished someone would give me a free bottle of pop – no one ever did, so i gave one to another to pay off the child inside me.
foto by smith

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