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Neighbors, Dolly, and No Pain

ButlerAugust 21, 2016 – Neighbors

I’ve lived in many different neighborhoods in my life. In some areas, you didn’t dare walk out the door after the sun went down. In other areas, some neighbors were pretty nosy, always showing up at the door unannounced, looking around and asking multiple questions.

I’ve lived in houses, high rises, duplexes and multiple apartment homes. In the one home, the people in the back had some young men that were into stealing cars. They stripped them in an old, abandoned , multiple garage across the street.

One day I parked in front of the garage and got irritated when they wanted me to move it. The next morning, someone had keyed the top of Ken’s car. Ken decided to take my car to the gym while I waited for the police. When he went to drive off, all four tires fell off.

The very next morning Ken’s car was missing. Luckily it was found a few days later with only the ignition damaged, and I still remember the day he called and said the kids in back had broken into the upstairs apartment across the street and the guy was on his front porch shooting at them.

Here, where we live now, we had altercations with the people across the street at our previous house. They had a big dog that kept getting loose, that, for some reason didn’t like Rich. Every time it would get out, it would bound across to our yard running around Rich and barking.

When I lived in what I thought was a safe neighborhood, I came home from off the road to finish my work on the computer in my office, only to find that someone had broken in, had been able to unhook all my equipment before they were scared off by the woman upstairs coming home from taking her kids to school. They did take the DVD player and case of juice I had for the kids at church.

Unfortunately, no matter what the landlord might tell you, you never know who your neighbors really are or what they are into unless they are already personal friends of yours. Where we live now, the neighbors seem pretty good.

On one side is a young couple with a small boy, and I have seen both parents out playing with him. They wave when they see us and go about their business. They are not loud and pretty much stay to themselves. On the other side is a couple, the wife works at the hospital and the husband works construction off and on. The husband knew Rich’s dad. They wave, say hello and we have had a few conversations with them. Very friendly people.

Today I am thankful for living in a decent house with good neighbors.

doggieAugust 22, 2016 ā€“ Dolly

We can’t have pets. The landlord doesn’t want any furry animals that may use the bathroom in the house. We can have fish or birds but haven’t decided yet which we want to get. Even if the landlord allowed pets, Rich cannot be around pet hair or dander.

Rich’s mom has a dog named Dolly. She is part Border Collie and we think the other part may be German Shepherd because of her markings and coloring. When we go over to visit, Rich has to wear a mouth wrap so he doesn’t breath in any hair or dander.

It took awhile for Dolly to warm up to Rich. She wasn’t sure what to make of a masked man. Now she is just ecstatic when we come over. She barks and jumps up and down at the door when we drive up and then runs over to where I normally sit, rolls over on her back and waits for her belly rubs. After that, she shoots over to where Rich is and nuzzles his hand. She’s a very smart dog and seems to learn very quickly.

She’s a nut at times too!! Sometimes she will run around the house like a race horse, going from room to room as fast as she can. Other times she jumps at the shadows on the floor made by Rich’s hands when he is talking. She has a variety of balls, and will bring them to each of us, mom, Rich and I, almost in sequence. She loves to have us bounce the ball and she leaps in the air to catch it.

We may go over there feeling down or ill, but I guarantee you, before we leave we have had many laughs and our spirits are lifted.

Today I am thankful for Dolly, no matter how I feel, I always feel better after visiting her.

older woman prayingAugust 23, 2016 ā€“ No Pain

I’ve mentioned before all the different ailments I have, including the most recent problem with my foot. It is not odd for me to wake up with a migraine, with a migraine and a back ache, or with a migraine and a back ache and my foot hurting.

While I try to treat my day as normally as possible, even when I am in pain, Rich says you can see the pain in my face. He says he doesn’t know how I am able to handle it every day without completely turning into a bitter, complaining person. He says I handle my pain very gracefully. To me I seem to be the opposite, but I do the best I can.

The pain is there. Just like anything else that becomes a part of your life, you have to learn to deal with it and go on. You have to accept that it is going to be there whether you want it to or not. That’s why it is so important for me to act as normal as possible. I never want to give in to it, I never want to let it take over my life.

On rare occasion, there will be milder days, days where only one or two places actually hurt and on even rarer days, I will wake up with no pain for at least half the day. I’ve learned all the tricks and methods to ease it or try to prevent it from getting worse, but I am so thankful for the mornings that I wake up without any pain, even if it is only for half a day.

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