We are no longer the only pothole fillers on the road. Travis the Dump Truck Driver, a new neighbor, used a machine with a heavy blade last weekend, even before the annual road scraping takes place, and fixed the potholes.
And then this weekend, the Road Manager and his daughter Susan topped off a few smaller ones further up the road with gravel that Travis delivered.
I watch Susan, backlit by the low winter sun. It’s shining directly in our eyes and casting gigantic shadows behind us on the road. I’m relieved, even elated. It registers on my face as tears.
So much has changed here this year. I started wearing glasses and I changed my last name. Ruby our Golden Retriever is dead, 58 Cornish meat birds were eaten by weasels, and we lost 4 layers to raccoons.
Beloved neighbors have moved away, even though they still visit. We see Momma Goose on the road, she who has flown to a new destination —
— migrated — and is just picking up her mail. She hops out of her truck.
“Let me hold that pup!” she says and scoops Arly into her loving arms. She misses us, and we miss her. We hug, she promises to stop by soon, and we say good-bye. Each small change has some ripple effect on anyone nearby. But we’re not moving. How do you change in place? I wonder. Apparently just by staying put. Fifteen-pound Arly yanks me across the road.
Our daughter was married in August, and she and our son-in-law and their puppy Roger arrive on Saturday evening and stay the night. There is a fire in the woodstove, we eat leftovers, and the canine cousins, Arly and Roger, chase each other around the couch, wrestling and growling.
I hug Roger and breathe in deeply. Arly wriggles at my feet.
I think I’ll take a break from writing this blog for a few weeks. Raise this pup. More in the new year. Love, Christi