It was one of those evening shifts back when I was on 7 day shift rotation. Those were only 8 hr. shifts. They changed every 7 days, hence the name....7 day rotation. The evening shift's hours were 1400-2200 hrs. I got home at 2217 usually and there were the three boys, lined up on the kitchen step waiting for me to drive in. The usual spokesperson was the middle son, who would say " You look hungry!" and that was MY cue to say "Hop in and we'll go to Micky-D's". This happened fairly often while I was on evening shifts. I was only doing 8 hrs. unless I was mandatoried into 16. So, if I got home after 8 hrs., I was fair game to persuade to go out again with them in tow. No early getting up times to face. I could sleep till 1000.
Anyway, on return, I stepped out of the Camaro and the middle boy hesitated a little to allow me to see something before I stepped in or over it. It was a tiny boy- made stick cross stuck into the ground at the side of the porch and a little banner of paper that had the deceased name on it in memoriam. His name? Mr. S. P. Arrow. A former flying friend who was more popularly know perhaps as...a Sparrow.
He had left this world somehow and someway..I hope it wasn't Miss Robin our indoor/outdoor reigning feline. Probably not. Ahem. But Mr. Arrow got a proper resting place and acknowledgment. So did other creatures as they were brought in or just found outside. The side yard became a cemetery. Our beloved male cat Hopping John is there as is Ex Caliber. Robin, the 16 year old is resting just at the edge of the deck's drop off where she always jumped up onto the porch to rap at the window to ask to be let in and where she dropped off to go on her perimeter rounds. Other birds, chipmunks, mice, poor turtles who were too slow crossing the road...who ever needed sanctuary found it here. Many were named but Mr. S.P. Arrow's name remains with me after all these 20 years.
This was a good day. I went to church where the choir sang "Down to the River to Pray" and they were exquisite! They did that in four keys!!! I told the Minister of Music in an email (I am always writing mash notes to the Minister of Music and the choir..always!) that if I had been in the hospital after major surgery I would appear in church to hear that!!! OH they were so good I got chill bumps! How can 20 some people sound so professional? It's this way every week!!
One of my parting gifts at work my last week among many, was another gift card to a popular somewhat upscale restaurant in The Big City. My youngest volunteered to go with me so I picked him up at his place and we drove over to that restaurant. They won't see US in there any more. Why? A rather bad brunch was all they served...eggs were dry and hard and the bacon was dripping with grease...etc etc. We had our little glass plates filled (by us) (self serve) and ate. the bill was the entire gift card plus 3 additional dollars and...AND they figured in the tip FOR us. I am always generous with a tip. Always. Unfailingly. I do NOT like having that figured for me. And 42.00 plus change for THAT!? It was not worth it but I guess it was a lesson learned. Just call me backwoods.(I know you are...I heard that! )
Came home after a little visit with my son, hopped up on the treadmill after mailing some bills and going to the grocery.
Thought I would check on you all and tell you about Mr. Arrow. he somehow was on my mind.