Sad walks with happy talks.
Sad Walks/ Happy Talks
I have walked the streets of Country Village for forty years. I know every elm, sycamore, and linden tree. I know when pumpkin décor becomes the norm and to which house each autumn display belongs. Each time I walked in a gentle snowfall, I marveled at the Christmas trees in windows with sparkling white lights. I knew which neighbors would adorn their yards with manger scenes declaring the real purpose of the season. I looked forward to the wild light displays of some enthusiastic home owners.
I have walked my dogs Penelope, Ezra,Malcolm Forbs, Fergus, and Dobie Gillis. Dobie and I have walked these streets together for ten years. We seldom miss a day. Dobie knows where each dog lives and the trees that hold his hunted treasure. His prey flees at his presence. Their shaggy tails and beady eyes gawk at his awkward attempts to catch them as they quickly climb a tree. Clutching a nut,they watched him with little interest as he smelled around and around the tree. He was never a threat to them , and they knew they could torment him with their chatter and scolding.
Suddenly, these daily walks are more important. In fact, I have cried on each of the walks for the last couple of weeks. On each walk, no matter what time, someone comes out to greet me or a fellow walker stops to tell me they will be sad not seeing Dobie and I on our walks. Today, an old friend with her walking stick stopped to chat. I told her we would be leaving in a week. She teared up and said she understood why, but I would be missed. We have been friends a long time and had history together. Thirty-five years ago her husband flew her , Denny , John Foster, and me to Naples , Fla. to spend spring break with my parents. It was a chiller trek of near misses. The plane was so small that John sat amidst the luggage. We were such responsible parents in 1975. Even with our poor judgement, God saw us through fog, we missed a tower by few feet, and dodged an unexpected plane in our course, or were we in its path? We just trusted God would protect and He did.
Once again I am trusting God to protect and guide us on our new move. He has gone ahead of us every step of the way. Selling and buying a house in less than a month seemed a simple task with Him in charge. Now, Dobie and I will walk new streets alone. No former students will wave hello. Walkers won’t stop to ask for prayer requests for their family. Neighbors won’t wander to the curb to tell me their latest story about their child’s success. I won’t know who decorates until I see the orange pumpkins and lighted Christmas trees. Dobie must discover where the Fort Wayne squirrels hang out. Our walks may be a bit lonely at first. I will have ample time to pray and seek, but I will miss my morning and evening greetings from my long time neighbors, friends, and former students.
I realize in one week this chapter ends. These streets will be exchanged for new streets. However, I know these neighbors can never be replaced. The Bozes, Hills, Calverts, and Headricks have been my neighbors for forty years. We reared our children together and watched over them as if each were our own. They are my family and will be sorely missed. Newer neighbors that have occupied our block for the last twenty years include Davises , Hartsocks, Ringos and Barb Norrick. They too have fit into our Yosemite family and become wonderful friends . This Yosemite community has proven true the proverb, " Love your neighbors like yourself." When someone needed laughter, consoling, help, prayer, a fresh tomato or a simple cup of sugar, these people provided those needs. Thank you, Country Village, for giving so much love and support through our forty years.