July 25, 2020

An Ironic and Not-So-Happy Anniversary (UPDATED!)

Yesterday was my parents' 49th wedding anniversary. It's not too common to come across couples who have been married so long!

To celebrate, they decided to take an overnight trip in the "thumb" of Michigan along the lakeshore so that they could ride their bikes (their favorite pastime). My parents love riding bikes, especially along the beach. This photo is from Thursday...

A few years ago, my siblings and I all chipped in money to get some comfortable bikes for them--my parents have always been thrifty, and they have a hard time justifying spending a lot of money on a luxury (rather than necessity) but we knew they would really enjoy nice bikes.

My dad has a chronic pain condition and when he has flare-ups, some movements are hard for him. There was a particular model of bike that he'd rented while on vacation and it was much easier for him to ride. That's when my sister had the idea to get my parents the bikes they'd really liked whiile on vacation and asked my brothers and I if we'd like to pitch in, too.

Since Jeanie lives in Illinois, and Brian was on a trip, and Nathan was working, they asked me to give my parents the card with the money for their bikes and to take a video so they could "be there" when I gave it to them.

I would like to share the video, but I can't get ahold of my mom to get her permission right now. It's one of those feel-good videos that really tugs at your heartstrings. They were so surprised and grateful. They were laughing because they were passing the card back and forth saying, "Here, you read it!" because they would each get choked up as they were reading.

This is a photo of my dad when he received his bike (notice that there isn't a standard bar you have to step over in order to get on the bike):

Now, I write about their bikes in past tense because someone stole their bikes while they were staying at the hotel on Thursday night. On a bike-riding adventure. For their 49th wedding anniversary.

I am SO furious. Not just about the fact that they don't have their bikes anymore, but that someone had no shame in cutting a bike lock and taking SOMEONE ELSE'S STUFF right off of their truck. (The bikes were locked to a trailer on the hitch of their truck at the hotel--which was the Holiday Inn in Port Huron, so if you happen to live nearby, maybe you can keep an eye out for the bikes to show up on a garage sale Facebook page or something.)

The person had cut the lock, left their own bike on the ground next to the truck, along with a water bottle, and taken my parents' bikes. Thankfully, they didn't damage the truck (which my dad had just gotten a few weeks ago) but the bolts to the bike trailer were missing (which became a problem... see below).

As you can imagine they were really disappointed not to have their bikes yesterday to continue their riding. And they had to spend the morning filing a police report.

Bikes are sold out pretty much everywhere right now because of the quarantine. Still, they decided to go to Walmart and see if they could find a couple of bikes to ride yesterday. Out of pure luck (kind of an ironic word in this case), they happened to get there just as a new shipment of bikes was arriving.

They bought a couple of cheap bikes to replace theirs so they could still ride on their anniversary. Because of the missing bolts to the trailer, my dad had to go to Lowe's in search of something temporary he could use to hold the bikes to the trailer. (The bolts needed for that particular trailer are specialized for that trailer, so you can't just buy them off the shelf.)

They were able to get the bikes on the trailer to go riding at their next destination, and my mom says that they enjoyed the day. But she also said how violating it feels to have someone take your things like that. I know that feeling well... several years ago, someone broke into our garage and stole a few things (including an ipod from my car). It wasn't about the actual stuff they took... it was the fact that they came into OUR garage, into OUR car, and rifled through OUR things, taking what they pleased. It's violating! I despise thieves.

I posted about this on Facebook yesterday, and some people suggested a GoFundMe for new bikes for my parents. While I would love to do that, my parents wouldn't feel comfortable accepting it. When I told my mom about it (I didn't want to do it without checking with her first) she said she was very touched but wouldn't feel right using other peoples' money and she wanted to tell everyone to go out and do something nice for someone.

My parents' homeowners insurance will cover the bikes, but they have a $500 deductible and it may raise the cost of their insurance by filing a claim. So my mom is debating whether they will file a claim or not.

They'd filed a police report, and the officer who went to the hotel was super nice and actually seemed to care about trying to get their bikes back. (It would be a miracle if they did.) There was no surveillance camera to get a photo of the thief.

I went on Facebook Marketplace to see if the bikes were listed for sale in that area (no luck). I'll keep checking.

So, anyway, my mom says that they really enjoyed their anniversary and didn't want to let the bikes ruin it. They were able to ride their own bikes all day on Thursday before they were stolen on Thursday night.

Maybe their 50th anniversary next year will be extra special! They certainly deserve it.

UPDATE 7/25:

The bikes have been found!! Thanks to the power of social media, one of my Facebook followers spotted a post by someone who had found my parents' bikes tossed behind a dumpster. I contacted him and my parents are going to pick them up tomorrow.

I still cannot believe the power of social media. I am so grateful for everyone who shared the Facebook post and for the man who posted that he found them--and then for the people who connected the dots! (When I posted about the bikes, I told Jerry that it would be a true MIRACLE if they were found and my parents got them back. But I had to try!)


  1. Yay! i am so happy when you hear someone got back their stolen property. I hate thieves also. Happy anniversary to your parents.

  2. CRYING with joy and gratefulness that the bikes were found!!! What a miracle, indeed <3 So happy and so glad the power of your post, the internet, and your loyal followers/friends and the goodness of strangers won out over the thieves :) Happy Anniversary to them!

  3. That is so great that they found the bikes!!

  4. Wow, that's AMAZING that the bikes were found!!! A feel-good twist to a really upsetting story. The power of humanity!

  5. I'm so glad they found them! I felt so bad for your parents having a sour note for their special anniversary weekend.

  6. Oh goodness, that's wonderful the bikes were found!

  7. So happy!!! I read your posts but never comment so now I'm going to say YAY! Maybe the thief got scared and decided he could never sell them? Happy anniversary to your parents. They must be around my age- I would have celebrated my 50th wedding anniversary last year but my husband passed away in the 90s. I'm trying to lose weight but your program is too hard for me. I tried the IF but maybe I'll try it again- my problem was if I go too long without food, I get a headache. Are you just eating from 4 -8 daily? I'm great with the sleep- I love mornings so am up by 5 AM and almost always in bed by 8 PM. I read an hour or so get 8 hours of sleep daily.

  8. OMG! The footnote that they found the bikes makes me so happy!!! HURRAH for social media. And hurrah for you for having such strong emotion to put out the call to action. Your parents' anniversary will definitely be memorable.

  9. What a great ending. I loved the way your parents did not let the stolen bikes ruin their anniversary. It was a great ideal as well for a gift. I love a comfort bike and your right they are hard to find. We have alot of bike thefts in Massachusetts - we have to use the U lock since people cut right through the chains.
    You must have a great following to find the bike's. Nice that social media could be used in a positive fashion. I hope they get alot of miles out of their new bike's. It's a nice pandemic sport to stay in shape and give you a new way to see places. Good job.

  10. what an amazing story! so happy this had a happy ending with the bikes being found. your mom and dad sound like amazing people. Happy Anniversary to them!

  11. AnonymousJuly 26, 2020

    I actually said “WHAT” out loud as I read the update! So happy for your parents!!

  12. WOW! I always knew your blog was wonderful Katie, and now LOOK WHAT HAPPENED! So awesome! Hope the bikes aren't damaged in any way.

    My husband and I will celebrate our 50th anniversary Sept. 4, 2020. It is unusual to make it that long these days, so we are proud to have hit this milestone. Actually we are doubly proud, because I lost over 100 pounds almost 10 years ago so I would live to see this day, and my husband was diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer seven and a half years ago and was given four and a half years to live. We made it our goal when he was diagnosed to celebrate our 50th Anniversary, and it's looking pretty good right now. No big celebration is planned, due to Covid, but we are so happy and blessed to have made it! Now my goal is to celebrate Anniversary #51! Congrats to your beautiful parents, so happy they found their bikes, all thanks to their amazing daughter Katie!!!

  13. That is so amazing that your parents bikes were found!! :)

  14. So glad their bikes were found. As a triathlete who travels a lot with my bike, I ALWAYS take it in the hotel with me at night. It's a pain but it's necessary!!!

  15. Yay!! I'm so glad that the bikes were found. And congratulations to your parents on their anniversary!!

  16. That final paragraph with the bikes being found actually brought tears to my eyes. I am SO happy to hear that they were recovered. PTL!

  17. I'm late reading your blog. As someone who has been stolen from I was still thinking "what a jerk" and "I can't believe someone would ruin their anniversary trip", when I saw the update. What a great end to the story and good fortune of having readers in the area! I hope the bikes were in rideable condition, and that karma takes care of the thief.

  18. What a wonderful happy ending to a sad story!

  19. When I started reading this post I was thinking about your parents 49th anniversary. My parents turned 70 a few years ago and my sisters and I wanted to do something special, but my Mom said she would rather have that "special something" on their 50th anniversary. Unfortunately, my Mom passed away 3 months before their 49th anniversary, so we never did our "special something."

    And then the whole bike story, and I went through the emotions of being mad that their bikes were stolen, and then happy and amazed they were found. So many emotions when reading this post today. :-)


I used to publish ALL comments (even the mean ones) but I recently chose not to publish those. I always welcome constructive comments/criticism, but there is no need for unnecessary rudeness/hate. But please--I love reading what you have to say! (This comment form is super finicky, so I apologize if you're unable to comment)

Featured Posts

Blog Archive