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“Come over and visit me when you get off work,” she said. Eight hours later, I am standing on a darkened porch of an empty house fearful of the growls I hear on the other side of the door. Through the glass a very large, very mean-looking dog is glaring at me with murderous eyes and salivating jaws. When the neighbor’s lights start switching on I decide to go home.

My grandparents had an extra seat on their drive half way across the country. Everyone said to go in the van with them. It would be a good idea. Once there you could go on and visit your sister, the newlywed.  But I had a better idea, I could surprise my sister instead. I hadn’t seen her in nearly two years and the thought of just showing up at her doorstep out of the blue made me smile. Three days of driving with my Grandparents, their friends an elderly couple, and not one, but two aunts, was endured. I was now eager to set out on my own for the last stage of the surprise trip to my sister’s. That was when I got a call from my mother, informing me. “Don’t bother surprising your sister tomorrow. She surprised us today and showed up here at home.” The next three weeks were spent learning that the opinions my grandparents often expressed were not necessarily that of my own.

I stood at the wedding of my high school best friend nearly two decades ago. He and his wife then moved away and I had not seen him since. Driving pass his parent’s home one summer afternoon I noticed a sizable crowd of individuals standing, laughing and talking in the driveway. Kids were playing on the front lawn, and someone was setting up a barbeque in the side. It’s a family reunion I thought, everyone is home! I should stop and say hi, maybe I’ll get invited to stay for supper. I pulled in the driveway and rolled down my widow and said “Hey!” All laughter stopped. The kids halted in their playing and stared blankly. The guy at the grill lowered the lid and step between it and me, arms folded across his chest, a meat fork clutched ready in his hand. I was staring into the faces of an extended family of complete strangers. The Harris’s, I learned, had sold the house and just moved out the day before.

YOU BACKBREAKER!!!!

YOU BACKBREAKER!!!!

Twelve years old, I had accompanied the church’s youth group to the local senior citizen’s home. They were holding a sing-a-long to help brighten the lives of those residing there. Everyone likes to have their life brighten during the dark, cold, bitter evenings of February. The residents were very old. The building that housed them was older still. The exit was comprised of a huge, solid door of wood that even a strapping young boy as myself had to push hard against to open. I walked out and let that door shut on its own, but the sickening thud and the howl of mournful agony that sounded behind me cause me to stop in my tracks and spin around. Pinned between the door and the jam was a spiteful old lady in her robe screaming for help. She had darted for freedom behind me when I had left the building. She wasn’t spry enough to make it through the heavy door before it slammed closed on her. Why she felt she had to be out in the parking lot on that bitter February night in her bathrobe I’ll never know. As the staff freed her from the door she waved a bony hand at me, one finger pointed at my face. “It was that boy! Him! He did it on purpose! He broke my back!” I tried to explain that I had no idea she was behind me and it was an accident, but all I could do was stutter and try not to cry as she screamed again and again, even as the staff escorted her, dragging her away from the door into the depths of the building. “He broke my back! He broke my baaaaack!” My voice was never heard at one of their sing-a-longs ever again, and though that shrieking little woman has probably long since passed on, to someplace warmer, I get panic attacks in the doorways of any seniors complex’s to this very day.

Today, the “Zero to Hero” blogging challenge requires us to visit new blogs. Oh great! Just what I need, to go visiting. Really? Visit? Me? I am sure that will work out just fine, after all, when it comes to visiting I am so good at it. What could possibly go wrong?

I'm a Zero to Hero Blogger!

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4 thoughts on “When I Come Knocking on Your Door!

  1. Hey, put some pooh on her shoe and you have an idea of how I may have looked in my fit of rage. Haha! Love this pic! GREAT post! I really enjoyed it.

    • I have a lot of family members are still waiting to read the book about that trip. But unfortunately most of the details are lost in time, and most of the participants are now long gone. I should have made notes.

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