I suffer from chronic depression. Along with the grief from Donís passing January 21, 2017, I am on an emotional roller coaster. The one thing that seems to give me some relief from the emotional exhaustion is bicycle riding. I know you have all ridden a lot more this year but for me to have 100 miles under my built is extremely wonderful for me! On the days I ride, I do feel better.

On many of my rides I go through a gorgeous preserve. Friday, on my way to the preserve I decided I wanted my biking jacket. I was only at the end of the street so I went back and got it and rode on. Unfortunately, halfway through my ride in the preserve, I realized I wasnít wearing my helmet. So I turned around. On my way home riding in the preserve I took a wrong turn and wound up on Duluth Street.

While I was riding along on Duluth Street an elderly gentleman rode his bike out of his driveway and I nearly crashed into him. I had to stop and so did he. We visited a few minutes. I noticed had a small red tool box attached to the back of his bike. I asked him if he was ďtool-man.Ē He said ďkind ofĒ and he could do small repair jobs. He was riding over to his neighbors to help him fix something. I told my spouse died in January and I had so many tools I didnít know what to with. I wanted to sell them but didnít know how much any of them were worth. He said he was interested. We exchanged names and addresses. He told me his name but I soon forgot it. I also asked him if liked to bicycle with someone who didnít go really fast. He said would love to!

Well, I decided to go on a bike ride around Medicine Lake. When I got home, he was just leaving my house. He said he was hoping to catch me.

I thought he was pretty harmless because of the way I met him. Plus I figured he had to be at least 80 years old. (I'm 65) I took a chance and let him in the house. He looked at lot of the tools and told me that I was asking far too little for them.

Then we got talk about biking. He said it would be fun to riding with me and we should do it

I didnít know where the shed key was so I couldnít show him the bike rack I am trying to sell. He came back over Saturday, looked at the tools again, and. Iíd found the key so he helped me bring the rack into the garage. The rack wasn't what he was looking for. But he said he really would like to go biking. We love nearly all the same trails. It is nice because we both we can ride them!

He came in and visited. I asked him what his last name was again. He told me. We went on to have a great conversation. He seems like such a caring individual. He said he know how to fix the lock on my front door and would do it for me. He also is going to show me some other stuff that I should really know how to do.

On Sunday I rode my bicycle to my sisterís house and told her about it. I was so excited, I would have someone to ride with and to help me with Donís tools! She looked me so strangely and asked if I had the name right. I said yes. she showed me this:

https://apps.cla.umn.edu/directory/profiles/jparadis

She knew who he was and met him. And to think I almost crashed into him. And to think we might go bike riding together. And to think I will just have a friend. He is married but he is not a homebody like his wife. He knows I didnít have a clue to who he was. When He came in my house I told him please donít steal stuff from me. I have enough problems as it is. He just seemed so trustworthy. I imagine he was laughing under his breath.

I am not going to tell him that I know about him. I think maybe part of the reason he wanted to help is I donít know who he is.

What an experience. And I have a new friend who likes bike riding and can help me with my grief.

I am praying this is real and that it lasts. If I hadnít go back to my house for the jacket and then for the helmet I would have never been on Duluth Street at the same time he rode out his driveway. The timing has to be perfect for me to almost crash into him.

I had such a release from depression and grief yesterday. I felt like a person who actually enjoys life.