Sibling Assignment #96: The Guy Across the Road

I gave the sibling assignment this week.

"1996 was a year filled with life-changing events in our lives, both joyous and sad. Write about an event of 1996 and why it was significant to you."

You will find SVG's poignant story about the time leading up to my father's death here and now that Raymond Pert is getting back on his feet his will soon be posting here.

In March 1996 I bought my first house after becoming single. It is where I live now. My dad was diagnosed with liver cancer and died in June that year. I left my dogs with my ex-husband while working at the University of Idaho and my dear, sweet first dog Nikki died while she was there. I adoped another dog Emily to join Lucy in August. After those events I was ready for some quiet solitude as school began that fall. I took to walking the dogs in the evening to sort out my head and get them some exercise. There was a mobile home across the road from my place that I walked by every night. I had been told by people at school who lived there, but I didn't pay much attention. I wasn't really ready to socialize with neighbors. I was in a deep depression that I crawled out of to put on my happy mask during the day, but then I relapsed as soon as I returned home in the evening. The evenings were getting shorter towards the end of October. I was out for my daily walk with the dogs when I heard a voice coming from the porch of the place across the road. I think he was saying hello.

We stopped and I met my neighbor. We talked about our neighborhood, our dogs, and good books. It was so pleasant to converse with another human being again. I felt the depression lift a bit. A few days later I mentioned my gate and how I thought it needed fixing. Next thing I knew the neighbor was over to assist with that. Another day his pick-up pulled up and he dropped off some rose plants. He was working on a job at the funeral home and the roses had to be removed for an addition. I needed all the roses I could get back then. My gardens were bare. Next came iris plants from the same building site. I began to figure out that this guy from across the road was a flower lover like me, plus very kind.

We were both single and he wondered if I liked to go on drives around the area. This was before my digital camera days, but I still liked to take pictures while on drives. We went for drives and coffee, drives and lunch and we became good friends. My fog was lifting and I was actually enjoying another human being. Somewhere along the way are friendship became more serious. I was falling in love.

This guy across the road was my husband JEJ. The end of 1996 couldn't have been a better time for me to meet him. I needed a friend I could trust, laugh with, and enjoy simple things in life. Our dogs got along and he liked my cooking. Things were looking up! In August of 1997 we were married and I feel so blessed to have taken that walk one evening that led to meeting the guy across the road. We have enjoyed a wonderful life together for almost twelve years now . Dogs have gone and new ones have come. His cats never made the trip across the street, but we added more cats to the family. He may not have brought home more roses, but he found firewood, rocks for beautiful walls and walks, and willow to build lovely furniture. Now you can see why that event was significant in my life.

"One who walks the road with love will never walk the road alone."
-- C. T. Davis


  1. Goodness......... what a beautiful ending to a lovely story and a sad year.....


  2. I absolutely love this post! You tell the story beautifully! And by the way, the picture of Kit (?) at the top is the best one yet! I LOVE IT!!

  3. I came back to read this again........ it truely warms the cockles of me heart to read it :)


  4. Yes, a sweet love story...

    so what happened to the cats?

    (ps. on my rain comment my word verification was rettr. Just seemed appropriate)


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