Sometimes I get all wrapped up in what I’m doing and time gets away from me. But it never gets away from my dog Merlin. He always seems to know exactly what day it is, what time it is, and what should be happening. If you have a dog, you’ve seen the kind of hopeful look he gave me to take him for a walk. So, just after 8 p.m., we left our house and began walking east.
I have lots of friends who live east of me, but one of them was having major surgery within the next three days. We walked past his house and I noticed a blue Toyota Camry in the drive.
“That’s not a car I see there normally,” I muttered with a slight glance and a little worry.
The car was beginning to point its nose into the wind and move forward out of the drive and onto the street. At first, it began turning toward the setting sun. Then it stopped, turned, backed up a little and its tires began their circular motion toward us.
“I thought that was you.” Steve Miller said as he pulled up next to Merlin and me.
Steve’s tie was loose around his neck. I knew he was tired. We had talked earlier in the day. He had been with clients, working. It was a Friday night and he had worked long into the evening every day this week. I asked him about his long hours once as we brainstormed some marketing ideas for his business. So I knew this was the norm for him.
“It’s what I have to do,” he said as we strategized. “You know how it is? You work when your clients need you.”
This was just like him. He knew his neighbor, and friend needed some support before surgery, so he stopped in to make sure everything was alright. He stopped before he had been home. He stopped before he had eaten dinner, too. Now, his last stop, before reaching his home to receive a well-earned hero’s welcome, was on the street just so he could greet a little dog and me.
Indeed, sometimes I get all wrapped up in what I’m doing and time gets away from me. But it never gets away from my friend Steve. He always seems to know exactly what day it is, what time it is, and what should be happening. If you have a friend and neighbor like Steve, you’ve seen the kind of cheerful look he gave to me. It was his everything is all right in your world, I’m here to offer you encouragement look. So, just after 8:30 p.m., Steve left our side and began driving east, on his way home — finally!
The heroes in my neighborhood wear loose ties, because they’re out working, out doing good before they go home, after a long day in the office. They’re out helping their neighbors, when their neighbors need them.
Lynn Butterfield lives in Erda and is a managing broker for a real estate company.