He had a number of options for handling this. He may choose to ignore it, but he would likely lose patience quickly and rip out all of his hair. A “no trespassing” warning felt far too hostile, but he could post a sign.
He was unaware that the $2 remedy was already available in the nearby store.
For Dave, installing a security camera in front of his home was a no-brainer. With all the bells and whistles and a convenient app that alerted him right away if someone approached his house, it was a luxury package.
It initially felt like the smartest move ever.
It wasn’t the first time he had been the victim of a minor, bothersome crime that the police didn’t take seriously, or lost an Amazon box to porch pirates. The new, sparkling system was much appreciated even if the neighborhood was respectable.
He was unaware of the annoyance it would cause at the time, though.
It all began with the distinctive “beep” that warned him someone was on the sizable concrete slab in front of his house. Dave pulled out his phone, feeling like a covert agent about to bust a cunning thief.
But what he found in the driveway did not at all match his expectations.
A young child, no older than four, raced his blue and green bicycle around the driveway. He had unintentionally activated his alarm by the child’s zipping. After chuckling, Dave tucked his phone away.
Oh well, such things were destined to occur. But he would quickly learn that it would be a common and quite frustrating occurrence.
His phone would beep every day and display the same situation. The mother of the little child strolled along the sidewalk while juggling the leashes of two sizable, agitated dogs.
The youngster would dash ahead, turn into Dave’s driveway, make a loop, and then wheel out to rejoin his mother. What could he do about it, though?
Not only were the repeated notifications becoming irritating, but they were also taking up more and more space in his memory and notifications. He was definitely not going to be one of those dreadful strangers who would attack a young child for engaging in some innocent play.
No, this needed a creative solution.
The response came fast and was a straightforward yet practical “skill” he had used in his youth. It just cost a few dollars and had memories of lengthy summer vacations spent with pals on exciting adventures.
Dave hurried home with the brilliant idea after purchasing a colorful bucket of chalk at the neighborhood dollar store.
It was an easy concept. He didn’t mind if the boy or anyone else used the driveway for a short while. All he wanted was for them to avoid any areas where his security system would be triggered.
Dave stooped down, picked up a piece of bright pink chalk, and dragged it across the surface.
The end outcome? A twisting “racetrack” with entry arrows and “curve warnings.” The child had something to ride along with, but Dave was left in peace. But there was still the fundamental issue.
Would the child use it? He deliberately paid close attention to the camera stream the following day.
Like clockwork, the mother and kid show up – his little feet pushing the peddles as fast as he could. Normally, he would swerve in and out. But this time, he slowed, surveyed the path and then looked to his mother.
She gave a smile and a nod then pointed to the “in” section of the track. But that wasn’t all!
It wasn’t just the perfect solution to what could have been a dramatic problem with the neighborhood, it was something Dave found he enjoyed doing.
Whenever the rain washed the lines away, he would just grab the bucket and chalk and draw a new, different one. In a small, adorable way, his driveway became locally famous. Why?
It wasn’t just the one tiny boy that used the fun run. Many other children who sped in front of his house, saw the opportunity, and happily took it.
As things couldn’t get any cuter, or surprising, Dave found something else appear on his recordings.
First, the boy now would finish the tracks and then give a little “thank you wave” to the camera. Dave felt like he would melt into a little puddle on the floor.
Second, it wasn’t just kids that used it! His jaw dropped when he saw that adults were using it too!
One mom with a stroller grinned and took the “side path,” and shortly after a teen on a scooter did the same thing. A few grownups on their own bikes, even though it was tricky, decided to tackle the racetrack.
It was a better solution than Dave could ever have imagined – one that made everyone happy.
Dave had started a trend. Many people in the community were now using Dave’s street as a meet-up point. Dave would see different people meet at his driveway with their bikes or scooters daily.
Sometimes it was just an elderly couple walking who wanted to follow the chalk route for fun. No matter who it was, there was one thing they all had in common. They were all happy.
They all had huge smiles on their faces. And that was all thanks to Dave. One day when Dave was leaving his house, a mom was walking with her daughter, who was riding her bike. The mom waved at Dave as he drove out and stepped aside.
Dave rolled down his window and greeted the lady. They were kind people. The lady asked Dave if he was the one who drew the chalk route every day. Dave was shocked for a while.
The confused man didn’t know whether to tell her it was him. He wasn’t one for attention. It was his secret service. He enjoyed being invisible and doing a good deeds. It was almost like he was his community’s bike batman. He smiled kindly at the lady and rolled up his window.
He wasn’t ready for anybody to know that it was him. He pretended like he was in a rush and drove away. The lady looked confused and walked away with her daughter riding beside her.
Dave thought about the incident that had occurred. He had not anticipated what would happen if one of the people had to strike up a conversation with him. He could not keep checking his camera to see that it was clear before he left the house.
He also couldn’t chase away any of the children. He had drawn the chalk bike routes in the first place. Dave contemplated what to do.
The good samaritan was a very private person. He was at home most of the time. This was why he had installed a camera and security system in the first place. He enjoyed his privacy and was not one to talk to strangers. But he was not a shrewd man, somewhat shy. He had been quiet his whole life and had few friends.
He didn’t know how to maintain relationships, so his friendships never lasted. People mistook his quiet nature, and he never had the tenacity to be able to save or retain any relationships.
This had to change. Dave decided that he couldn’t hide forever. He was a grown adult and had to start maintaining relationships with other adults. He thought that the next time another child or parent came along to use his driveway track, he would have a conversation with them.
What he did was much better than putting up a sign which said, “Keep off the driveway,” he thought. From then on, Dave went down to chat with his community members.
And he didn’t make the wrong choice. Every single child that came through was smiling from ear to ear. Dave kept the gate open so the people could see that he was the property owner. Some children were shy when he greeted them and just drove away. He didn’t mind because he knew how children could be, and others stopped to chat with him.
Some thanked him and said they had a lot of fun on his raceway track. Some children wanted him to meet their parents. And he did. The parents thought that it was very clever of Dave to make such an educational and entertaining game for the children.
Dave laughed as he told the parents that he had seen some running up and down the track. For the first time in a long time, Dave felt like he was really part of a community and a family.
His heart was glowing as he thought of his happiness from such a simple task. It wasn’t a big thing that he did, but it brought much joy to him.
Dave was amazed by the number of people using his street daily. Schoolchildren and working people regularly used his street as a shortcut to the main road.
He had met people from all over the country who actually lived in his neighborhood. He never thought that one kind gesture would lead to a world of friends.
Dave wondered how much he was missing out on by being locked inside daily. He wanted to be a part of his community and help wherever possible. Perhaps this was the sign he was looking for.
As though the universe had heard his inner desire. The next day, Dave received a phone call from an unsuspecting person.
The school principal from the local middle school called Dave to talk about his driveway track.
Dave at first thought that he would be in trouble. He thought that the principal will reprimand me about the children loitering here. But that was not the case. The principal had heard about the local man who had drawn a chalk bike track on his driveway and wanted to meet him personally.
Dave agreed and invited the principal to come over. The school principal was friendly and explained that Daves’ driveway was creating quite a stir in the school over the past few weeks.
The children wanted to thank him for his kindness. The principal explained that every year, the senior class puts together a music video about what makes the community special; this year, they wanted to include Daves’ driveway.
Dave was ecstatic. He agreed immediately and said that he would volunteer to help the children in any way. He thought that it would be much fun to participate in.
The principal said they would post the video on the school’s social media page. Dave’s little street was going to be famous.
As the school, parents, children, and Dave prepared for the video in the coming weeks, there was a strong sense of unity and togetherness in the community. Dave helped the children to have fun while they created their videos.
He even met a single mom who took a liking to him. Things were looking great for him.
Dave continued to draw the tracks well into the year. He only had to stop during the fall when it rained. And even then, he still put orange cones outside to remind the kids to be safe.
New Friendships were formed, and new everlasting connections were made. For the first time in his life, Dave was part of a community he loved. And they loved him too.
To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.