Through the front door of my home I look across the road to the house where I grew up. It now sits empty, waiting for the next family to call it home.
It’s been almost 3 years since we said our final goodbyes to our parents. My brother, sister and I have had a hard time deciding what should come of the house that our father built and our mother made into a home.
I see the barn that I played in on hot summer days. The long, country driveway that I walked so many times to catch the school bus. I’m reminded of the rainy mornings that I walked that driveway. The cold snowy mornings with the biting wind nipping at my cheeks.
One particular morning stands out to me. I was about 8 years old. I stood waiting for the school bus, looking at the house across the road, which I now own. The man that lived there just let his dog out through that front door. I’m not afraid of dogs, we’ve had dogs all my life. But this dog…he was big! And not very attractive. He was an Irish Wolfhound and a very friendly one, too.
He galloped, yes, he galloped across the road to see me. In his excitement he was practically dancing around me, very clumsily, but gentle at the same time. His hair was wiry and grey. He had long eyebrows. I didn’t know dogs had eyebrows, but this dog did.
Then I heard it…my school bus was coming up the road. Oh, no! I didn’t want the kids on the bus to see me with this dog. I was one of the first kids picked up in the morning. There couldn’t be more than 5 kids on the bus and what was the big deal if the kids saw the dog with me? I honestly have no idea. Perhaps I didn’t want the attention. I guess it was an 8 year old kid thing, but yes I was embarrassed.
For days after that incident I stood at the end of that driveway hoping and praying that dog wouldn’t come out of the front door of that house.
And now 40 years later here I stand at that front door with my 2 dogs by my side. No, they are not Irish Wolfhounds. And no, there’s no little girl standing at the driveway, at least not right now. Maybe someday there will be again. She need not worry. I won’t let my dogs out until she’s on the bus.