Friday, February 29, 2008

Many Happy Returns

Nope, this one isn't about the Barbie lady.  Surprise!
I was in the lobby when a gentleman came in with a large box of sporting goods.  I give him the usual cheery greeting (I was particularly cheery that day, too) and dinged the bell.  Before I could ask him if those were returns, he flashed a badge and told me his name.  "I'm with [our town] police department and I'm here to return some stolen merchandise."
I blink, grinning like a fool.  "Really?"
He smiles back at me.  "Yup."
I page our sporting goods super, and then page him again when he doesn't answer right away.  The manager and asst. manager walk by and the Big Guy mentions that the sporting goods super might be tied up with a customer.  "I think this is something you guys may want to get involved in anyway," I tell them.  "The police department is returning some stolen goods."
Handshakes all around and gushing thanks from everyone.  
The sad part of the story--the thief was a former employee of ours.  He not only got caught with the stuff but a local pawn shop reported suspicious transactions so the guy was charged with trafficking in stolen merchandise, a much bigger owie for him (federal) than just taking the stuff and using it for his own purposes.  He pled guilty and handed over everything that he had stashed to help save himself some time.  
The sporting goods super arrived and we got to explain again.  More handshakes, more big
 smiles.  They went through the box item by item.  Deluxe predator call.  Fish finder sonar.  Gun fittings.  All kinds of stuff, all higher priced items, all smaller than a breadbox and in the original packaging.  Anti-climactically, I guess they just get put back on the shelf but what a great boon for the store.  It added up to hundreds of dollars of loss magically (well, not magically, but due to the diligence and hard work of our local police, yay!) reappearing in our inventory.

I had some household happy returns too.  Yesterday our crocuses exploded.  Deer and bunnies had taken quite a few out or trimmed them so that the flowers looked weird, but most of them are in perfect shape and look gorgeous.  The earliest of our daffodils are ready to pop any day now, if the weather holds, which it isn't supposed to but now that we have crocuses I'm happy just to look outside and see some color and sunshine.  I took the pic early in the morning so everything isn't all golden and the flowers are still closed up.  Notice that the pansies are starting to bloom now too.  The ones at the store are loaded with blooms but having the ones from last year come back and start blooming without the benefits of a greenhouse--that's especially wonderful.  It's even more remarkable when I consider that the slugs normally eat them down to little irretrievable nubbins.  I lost most of the ones in the jester garden and those that lived have no buds, but these three plants in my pagan cheese crock were spared. 

We also had a return of the robin who thinks he's a duck.  He did some proper bird bathing too, but mostly he sat with his belly immersed in the water, soaking.  Goofy bird, but so cute! 
I  tried to get a pic after letting him have some peace and quiet for ten minutes, but when I went outside he flew awkwardly away, dripping.  Welcome back, duck robin!  I imagine this is something that robins do in general, but I'd like to think it's the same one.  This robin duck pic is from March 22, 2006.  

My last return salute is to the sun.  As is often the case in February, we had a couple of weeks worth of sun and warm weather (not consecutive but pretty darned close.)  There's a good chance we'll get a hard frost and lose a lot of fruit buds, but so far so good and I'd rather risk that than not have the sun.  It feels so good to put on a tank top, slather on sunscreen (with that yummy sunscreen smell) and work hard in the garden.  I'll miss it when the rains come.  Sometimes the rain stays with us all the way through June.  Can't begrudge that, though.  Without the rain we wouldn't be green, and the mountains wouldn't be white, and in summer the river would get too low and all would be badness.  So come on in, rain, but if you can spare me a few more days of sun, I won't complain.


Kai Jones said...

It's been so lovely I had to remind myself that it will nevertheless rain until June, and we will have frost between now and then as well.

I planted sweetpeas (seeds) and azaleas and strawberries (plants) last weekend. My honeysuckle has buds. Must get the slug bait out sometime this weekend so I get more daylilies than last year.

Carole said...

Oh yippee! Welcome back duck robin!

Kami said...

Yes, yay! Although the rain is back this morning hopefully it'll stop raining for long enough this afternoon that I can sneak some roses into the ground. The ground may be too muddy if it rains really hard, but so far it's weeny rain and the ground was very friable, almost dry, when I worked in it yesterday.

I have pictures last year of snow on March 1, today. Ooo, maybe I should put that up on the blog. And thanks, Kai, for the reminder about slug bait. For some reason I always remember about slug bait at work (and don't buy any because I have plenty in the garage up where the cats and dogs can't get at it) but when I get home it's all la la la I'm going to pull weeds. Silly brain.

Robin said...

Robins Are My Favorite Birds