Our weekly neighborhood trash pick-up is Mondays. Our wheelie bins are stored along the side of the house behind a gate (per HOA rules, heaven help us). I put a padlock on the gate last year after someone came into our yard and stole our recyclables. I wasn’t upset about the missing aluminum cans, I was worried about kid #3 who routinely plays in the backyard and could’ve had a confrontation with a can-snatching unsub.
The key for the padlock was kept hanging inside the garage, next to the side door. I had strung the key on a brightly-colored rubber band so it was easily visible. Yeah, that was a mistake. At some point last week, the rubber band must’ve broken and the small key fell because when I went to pull the trash cans to the curb, the key was gone. I spent at least 20 minutes searching for the key, I mean where could it go? No luck.
I checked online for tool rentals at Home Depot, but bolt cutters weren’t offered. I resigned myself to a trip to Lowe’s, spending at least $50 for a tool I’d use once and then store for years in the garage. As I unlocked the minivan, Mr. Neighbor Guy came out of his garage.
“Hi! Do you have bolt cutters by any chance? I outsmarted myself with the locked gate.”
“Yeah, somewhere,” he replied. “But we’re getting ready to go out. I’ll have to look when I get back.”
Then, “Hey, here they are!” Mr. Neighbor Guy happily held up a pair of super-huge bolt cutters, walked to my gate, reached over, and snipped the lock off.
And the universe reminded me that people will help when I ask. I don’t have to do it all myself. Thank you, Mr. Neighbor Guy. I really needed the reminder that people are kind and willing to help. And that there are some men in the world who have tools, know how to use them, and are willing to do so without fanfare, nagging, or heavy sighs.