The Dog Next Door

The first day I opened the door to the backyard, the dog next door kicked up an inferno of barks to scare me. I was showing the tree cutting chap what needed to be done. The hedges near my bedroom had to be trimmed. There was a large grapefruit tree protruding into our space over the fence from our rear neighbor. Another large bush was hanging out into our yard from our left neighbor. The grass had grown sky high that had to be cut.

After showing the chap out, I was locking the door in the fence, (which is on the left side) when the dog started barking at me. He was jumping up trying to clear the fence to get to me. The barking sounded extremely ferocious. I called to calm him down but the sound of my voice made him more agitated. I hurriedly locked the door, and entered the safety of my home through the back door.

I dreaded every time I had to open the door to someone. I feared being bitten by the dog. At any slight noise he would appear alongside the fence, and bark, and growl his head off. It truly was frightening. I kept wondering at what I should do to appease him.

I had hardly seen my left sided neighbor. Most ladies in the neighborhood are working, and I was never at the right time to meet any of them. Son had apparently met nearly all the neighbors, except for our right neighbor which to this day both of us have never seen. Son parks his car in the driveway during daytime. Coming, and going he got to know the neighbors.

One day Son called me, “Come here Mama, meet Rachel.” After meeting her I learnt that the dog I dreaded was a she, and not a he, and her name was Lady. Rachel leaves her in the backyard to scare off any potential burglar wanting to enter the house from the back. That was another thing I came to know recently. Most burglars enter homes from the backsides. They know that someone may be watching on the front, so they enter from the back.

Lady has tampered down her barking at me, as I potter around at the back. She does a mild woof, and then she goes off to chase squirrels 🐿,🐿,🐿, or birds. But now Son bears the brunt of her ferocious barks. As soon as she glimpses Son, she goes into a frenzy of barks driving Son mad at her.

The Rising Level

Son had some errands of his own to run. I included mine, telling him to get me meat, vegetables, wheat flour, spices and all the miscellaneous items one needs to make food. He goes to a particular shop which is a bit far away from where we live. My chief worry when the day begins is what to cook? It’s kind of hard to decide when things are finished. Son had jotted down what he had to bring home, but as an added precaution he had asked me before leaving to send him a message about items we needed to buy.

As usual I forgot. Son sent a reminder as to what else I wanted. I added a few more items to the original list, and sent it on its way. It soon got apparent that the message had gone some place else. A ding sounded. I looked at the message, “ Mama do I bring them from Dallas?”

It was then I realized that inadvertently I had sent the list to my daughter instead. My level of forgetfulness is on the rise. I find myself quite often opening the fridge door when the microwave beeps. I peer into the fridge for a little while wondering what I’m looking for? Another beep sounds, and then there is the sudden enlightenment that I was supposed to get the cup of tea languishing in the microwave.

The other day I was outside in the backyard. It’s a mess. There is more of weeds, and less grass, and to make matters worse it’s the crab variety. It makes me want to dig up the whole backyard, and have it redone all over. With my dwindling money supply, I have to check my wayward impulses. On daily bases I attack the weeds, but there is more of them sprouting gleefully.

Looking out of the windows, I thought it would be warm outside. The cold wind made me come inside for a half jacket. I forgot to wear it, and went outside again. This happened twice.

I come inside to fetch something, or the other, and then go out to find I have muddled it up. I can only hope it doesn’t get worse.

Having You

Dear, although at the moment we are away from each other, I’m looking forward to be with you for forever. How I longed for you, you just can’t imagine. I want to put my arms around you to hug you, but you are so big (haha). I know it’s impossible. My hands won’t be able to get around you. I want to hold you to myself, and tell you how I love you, dear heart. You have been neglected for so long, but you kept a stoic upper lip, and waited for me to come into your life to take care of you.

Love you. It was love at first sight. I promise I will always cherish you my lovely home to be ……..

Did I misled you dear readers? How was the surprise?

A Bad Day

Since the time I was back, we were low on supplies, and needed everything under the sun. Twice during the day God saved me from accidents. I used to think driving was safer here, but it’s not. There are people on the road who disregard their own safety, and have total disregard for the safety of others. They drive as if they own the roads, and the lesser mortals (in their eyes) have no claim. Honking is so rude, and they indulge in it whenever they feel like doing it.

I don’t know why Son chose the cart we use to bring our groceries inside? Usually Son helps in bringing in our purchases. That day he was in a hurry to get to the mosque for the evening prayer, leaving me to do the needful. Every step of the way things were falling, and I was picking them up. I wonder how does he manages when he brings the things in?

My bad day wasn’t over. I was feeling sleepy, and didn’t feel like going for a walk. I was thinking of Son that if I didn’t go out with him, he will slump before his laptop instead. I walked sleepily after him, and that was when I hit the road flat in the face. My knees, nose, and the right side of the face took the burnt. The pain was exacerbated. Son helped me to our home. Blood was dripping nonstop from my nose. Son was aghast at what had happened to me. He conferred with Nola, as she took a look at me through FaceTime. Seeing that I hadn’t broken any bones (thank God), Son cleaned my injuries with alcohol, and bandaged me, giving me painkillers to dull the pain.

The next day I went to see my primary care physician. He took a look at my injuries. My face is healing, but my knees are in bad shape, and they will take a while to get healed. A lesson to me is not to go on a walk when I’m in dire need of sleep 💤.

Fresh Air

Back home the first thing I noticed was the stale air in the apartment. It was one thirty in the morning I couldn’t do anything about it. Knew I couldn’t blame Son for it too. He had been away from home most of the last two months, and upon returning for short periods of time was tired in dire need of sleep.

The next day I tried to air the apartment by having open doors, and exhausts turned on. No help there. It didn’t clear the air. I could take it no longer. I rolled the blind in my room, and opened one of the windows. It was stuck. I had to practically wrestle with it to make it go up a few inches. It looked nobody needed to open it before me. I sniffed appreciatively the air in my room after a few hours. It smelled fresh.

As the evening approached, I felt apprehensive. I didn’t know how the blind in my room worked. It wouldn’t come down. I tried to pull it downwards while afraid of damaging it. Son was away in Los Angeles. I was on my own. What was I going to do? I enjoy reading a book before sleeping. I would be on view to the outside world if I turned on a light. Thank God he was free to answer the phone. Normally I rarely phone , but send a message when I’m in dire need of something. He told me to gently tug it down. It worked that way. All right in my world!

Where Did it Land Me?

My two months stay was coming to an end, and I had to catch a flight from Islamabad. I refused the invitation to the wedding of a relative, but accepted the Walima invite on the third day of the wedding. It was a mistake. I shouldn’t have gone there, cause it was the last day before the flight which was early the next morning. I should have stayed back at home, and rested before the long journey ahead. The whole day was tiring, and I didn’t get any respite in resting my poor feet.

Traveling in economy class is sheer hell. You sit in a cramped position aggravated by the person sitting in front of you who tilt their chair into your face as soon as the plane gets into the air. With aching feet I got through the customs, and immigration counter, although the official mercy fully was really quick. The drawback was the multitude of passengers, and waiting in line was tough. At various moments I kept thinking I was going to drop to the floor with fatigue.

Next step was the location of finding the rest of my bags. Son was supposed to come for me, but when I phoned him there was no reply. It was then I found out that he was up in the air coming back from Austin. There were two options— waiting for Son to arrive, or take an Uber to get home. Son was arriving at Hobby airport while I had landed at Bush International. While I was trying to decide, Son sent me a message to stay put while he came to get me.

I waited inside a resting area, but when an employee told me she was locking up, I exited to the outer area. Half an hour later, I realized that when I was loading my other two bags on to the cart, I totally forgot my carryon in the baggage area. It had all my important stuff. In near panic, I rushed to the door from where I had exited a while ago. Since the door opened from the inside only, I decided to get through when the inside travelers were coming out.

An airport employee yelled at me to stop. She said I couldn’t do that, it was illegal. My dashing through the door would have the airport alarms ringing, and police would have come, and I could have been sent to jail. Thank God I escaped that fate. She thought I was up to no good, and was mad at me. I held my hand up in her face to stop her tirade, and told her to listen to me, explaining about my carryon. She relented, and told me to stop where I was, and wait for her to come back to me. It was the longest twenty minutes wait of my life. She took me inside through another door, and from behind a counter, without even knowing my name, she brought the carryon to me. Probably it was the only one there. You can’t believe how happy I was. Relieved beyond measure I thanked her, kissed her astonished face, and walked outside.

A Mishap

Coco (daughter in law) and I went to Charsadda to attend her sister’s bridal shower. It was raining copiously the day we started from Peshawar. It was non stop raining when we ventured on the road. My late husband’s first cousin had died a day before. I couldn’t make it to the funeral. We decided to go first to the cousin’s house, and then drive back to attend the bridal shower.

Actually we had to attend two functions. The second one was a dinner at the bride to be in laws’ home. I wish I had taken some pictures, but I was totally drained out, and kept falling asleep through out the function.

We stayed for three days at our village home. I ‘m still unable to sell off my home, and land in the village. The buyers give pitiful offers which I can’t accept. My property is worth more.

A mishap happened on our return to Peshawar. Our roads are terribly narrow. With the influx of cars, trucks, buses, wagons, and motor cycles, it’s a wonder we arrived back in one piece. Another vehicle wouldn’t give me any space to get ahead of it. It kept driving in the center of the road. At one point where the road widened a bit I tried to overtake it. It scraped the side of my car. I kept going. I didn’t want to see the damage inflicted on my poor car.

We don’t have car insurances here, so it was no use stopping.

The driver had other ideas. He over took me again, and wouldn’t let me get through. In frustration I stopped. Imagine his audacity in telling me, “I didn’t want to let you pass me, why did you do it?” His ego got hurt by a woman getting ahead of him.He came to pick a fight with me, and wouldn’t acknowledge his own wrongdoing.

Life of Sheen

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