Puppy Piles and Bikes Built for Bus Drivers

This last week was a pretty busy one - the kind that makes you shake your head back and forth a little, like you've just been woken up with a splash of cold water.  Long work days at a new job can be stressful, but luckily I've got some pretty great friends and co-workers, along with a short list of happy surprises that have made this second week of June bearable, fabulous even.

The other day I went over to visit the owner of a local business who was just in a nasty car accident.  It was enough to get to see her in good health and cheery spirits, despite such a traumatic event, but I had never seen her home, and let me tell you - it was incredible.  Based on my life experiences so far, I have never expected that I would put the following words together: cabin -- taxidermy -- breathtaking.  However, I cannot express that despite being watched by what must have been two dozen sets of dead, beady eyes, there was something beautiful and awe-inspiring in the decor of this house.  Every piece of furniture seemed as if it had been chosen specifically for this or that spot in this particular room of this particular house.  It was really very wonderful.

I do suppose that picking out a sofa and "picking" out a large bobcat are not really the same kind of thing, but decor is decor, right?

And this wasn't even the surprise that I am referring to.

There.  were.  puppies.

Excuse me while I compose myself.

4-week old blue-tick hound puppies, to be precise - I was staring at a literal puppy pile. Yes, I got to hold one, and the his or her tiny brown and white body snuggled right into my chest into my heart.  Our little apartment is enough of a zoo right now with the cat climbing into the towel cubby above the toilet (unpleasant if you aren't expecting hot cat breath on the nape of your neck during your 3 am potty break) and the turtle climbing out from underneath garbage bags of unpacked clothing.  We don't need another animal.  We'd never find them in the mess.

So, I got to hold a puppy.  Pleasant surprise #1.

Pleasant surprise #2 is the following.  I met a charter bus driver yesterday named (I think) Mike.  Mike is probably in his mid-sixties and started driving charter buses in 2001.  He likes to go from Connecticut to Lake George, NY, or take groups into NYC, but he seemed pretty excited about coming this far north.  I gave him some recommendations for moose-touring (although I neglected to tell him that sneaking up on a moose in a charter bus might prove challenging at best and mind-numbingly boring at worst), and we talked for awhile about what he does for a living.  His son-in-law is the Ex-O for some nuclear submarine on the east coast, so I learned about the sub's double periscope, and how glad Mike is to have someone in the family with "his finger on the buttons".

Mike got especially excited when we started talking about his bike.  His ride is not a motorcycle, but is actually a Citizen Miami - a foldable bike.  He takes it with him when he's on charter tours, and while his customers are all buying I heart NY t-shirts and eating hot dogs, he can be off pedaling along the Hudson.  It's an especially great idea when you consider that Mike spends hours of his time in his bus, and could - as he told me - easily live there.  When I explained to him where to find a bathroom at a meeting place during his drive yesterday, he reminded me that he had his own restroom in the bus.  He also has his laptop, important personal accoutrements and ample food provisions.  This man has it all.

Anyhow, after he finished talking about his bike, he got to the good part:

"Do you want to ride it?"    

Does a bird fly?

And so the second surprise of my week was riding Mike's collapsable bicycle around the parking lot.  It was really very stable and had great tread for something that you could practically fit in a 757's overhead storage compartment.

Puppy piles and a bike ride.  These are my answers to a long week.  Now go out and find your own.

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