I had ‘badgered ‘Dear Ole Dad’ for a puppy, for years. At 9 or 10, it couldn’t have been that many years, but just the same… Finally, after we moved on base, at Davis-Monthan (DM) AFB. AZ (Tucson), Dear Ole Dad finally acquiesced, and I got a puppy.
I loved that mutt! Fed him, played with him and slept with him – for all of 3 weeks, when we received orders to Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico – and I had to ‘get rid of him…’ Never was able to have another dog as I was growing up, but Dear Ole Dad always had a stupid cat around the house.
A couple years ago I had occasion to visit D-M once again. I checked into the Visiting Officer’s Quarters, settled in, and took off to find our old house. A quick stop by the desk got me headed in the right direction.
It was a beautiful evening for walking, and I could feel the excitement growing within me as I got closer to our street. I noticed some new construction along the way, but didn’t really think that much more about it, until I turned on our street – Cass Avenue. There were hardly any houses! When I finally reached where our house used to sit, it was gone! Just an empty lot remained, behind a chain-link fence. My house,
…was gone! I just stood there, looking at an empty desert lot – and I felt ’empty.’ It was as if part of my childhood never was. It wasn’t a ‘great house,’ by any measure, but it was our house – it was my house. And now, gone.
Empty; and long I stood there…just staring, not knowing what to think. I think ‘they’ call it ‘progress.’
In 2006 I retired. The first thing I did was, I bought a dog! (I had recently been ‘de-married,’ and I traveled a great deal with my job. No way could I have had a dog when I was working.) I love this dog, as I did the dog above.
I also have a nice house that is more than a ‘house;’ it’s a home. I have lived here longer than I have anywhere else. I don’t see myself leaving until “my Final Flight West…” And, okay, yes – I also have a stupid cat…