- be clear what you want,
- know it will come to you,
- relax and let it go.
- Follow your inner promptings.
- Do your part.
In 1997, when I bought my house in Mill Valley, I bought my very first gas grill. It was $79, the smallest model. It came in a tiny box, and I put it together myself, from the directions. I used it every summer (some winters, too), but it didn't come with a cover, and I didn't understand the necessity of getting one. Over the last couple of years, we've lost the knob to one side of the grill, and so have to use pliers to use the entire grill surface. This annoys me enough that I rarely use the grill. In any case, the grill doesn't owe me anything. But I don't have anyone who can fix it for me -- no way to buy a single knob these days, either.
I got very clear what I wanted: a gas barbecue with a side burner, small enough to fit the available space, and under $100. So last summer, I shoppped half-heartedly for a new one, idly looking at different models to see which were small enough to fit, and checking prices. When barbecues went on sale at the end of summer, the model I wanted came down to $99. Since there was only one left, the floor model, it was already assembled, which was the good news and the bad news. I didn't have to put it together, but it wouldn't fit it in my car, either. I put it on hold, and told them I'd be back the next day with a truck and someone to help move it. When we went back the next day, it had been sold!
A few weeks ago, I went back to Lowe's, but they no longer carry the model I wanted, and all the new ones are too big for my space. I wasn't desperate for a new barbecue -- it's not like I went to other stores to check their inventory. So I let it go.
Normally, I use my morning exercise time to run errands. I walk, as quickly as I can, to the bank, the library, the drugstore, the gym, and a few different grocery stores, with different specialty items, so most mornings, I have a destination. This morning, I had none, for the first time in about 8 months.
I remembered the running workout I'd been given last fall by Mike Spino, running coach extraordinaire, and thought, well, today is the day to go up to the old high school and use its decrepit track to work out. [I was following my intuition.] I walked up to the track, and just as I arrived, I noticed that the last house before the high school had a 'free' sign taped to a barbecue -- the exact model I'd wanted! But did it work? Who knew? There were also some used bricks, as well as some lumber scraps and used window blinds.
I'm a sucker for used bricks -- there are a million uses for them. But it wasn't clear if the bricks were free, so I knocked on the door. No answer. I decided I'd do the workout, walk home, get the car, and come back for the bricks, which were probably free. [I took action.] When I got back to pick up the bricks, the garage door opened, and the homeowner emerged! And sure enough, the bricks were free, and even better, the barbecue worked, just needed a tank of propane! I took the FREE sign off the barbecue, put it on the pile of lumber, and arranged with the homeowner to come back later for it, with my husband and his car, which is larger than mine.
Tonight, we went back for the barbecue. There was no way it would fit in the car. So I wheeled it home, 1/3 of a mile or so, downhill and uphill. My husband helped me get it through the house to the back deck. I attached the propane tank from the dying barbecue, and the new one really does work! The universe provides.