Some of you who have been with me for all these years may remember this. However, it has been 11 years since I posted it on my old blog, so here it is again.
How time flies!
This is a photo of us just before we were married in 1975. We had driven to Worcestershire to introduce my dear other half to my sister and brother-in-law. I haven't seen this photo in years, but I went upstairs and delved into an old box and found a whole bunch of them. We just bought a replacement scanner for the one that broke a while back, and this week I have been finding old snapshots to scan and file. Good job too, a lot of them are fading. When I first saw this photo I said something like "Egads! Where did the time go?"
I immediately noticed how young we looked, and my second thought was where are my eyebrows? After an eye-roll, I hoped it was the style of things back then, and not because I had gone a little bonkers with the tweezers. I never had much to start with but would try to be as fastidious as possible in shaping them. Knowing me, the scenario would go like this, "Nope, that doesn't look right...maybe I ought to tweeze a few more on this side. Nope that looks terrible, let me try and match up the other side" and before you know it, you’re saying, “Whoops!” And there you have it, my no-eyebrow photo. But you could actually see eyebrows if you got up close.
The first thing Gregg said? "Who is that skinny guy?" He remembers that pink shirt and also wearing bell bottoms. He also remembers his first meeting with my sister and brother-in-law, and Blue, very clearly. The first thing I said after noticing those eyebrows was, "Egads, who is that skinny girl." The young girl who thought she wasn't skinny at all, and was always trying to get skinnier. Young-uns! I am happy with who I am now, most definitely not skinny at all and that's okay. Another thing that comes with age, you learn you can never be perfection, and frankly who wants that? "Contentment (my word of the day), a state of happiness and satisfaction", and last but not least, good health. Far more important and that's what I wish for everyone.
We were probably smiling broadly due to relief. When we first arrived, my sister had left the key under the mat and told us to let ourselves in. She told me on the phone before we started our journey, "Do not let Blue out, he'll see the open door and do a runner." I apparently didn't impart the importance of this to Gregg. He opened the door and saw a big ball of fur flying at him from down the hallway. Startled he did what any sensible man would do, step aside before being trampled down.
Blue was a big old English Sheepdog with a major attitude, and he was his own dog, not a dog who would stay put when called, by us anyhow. We spent the next hour hunting him down, frantically following at great speed, jumping over hedges, startling neighbors, apologizing to neighbors while trampling prized roses down - not us exactly as Blue had flattened everything already and jumped over so many fences and run across so many gardens, he was his own elephant stampede. (This was normally a quiet little village where people took care of their gardens with great pride. We felt terrible!)
This thought flashed through Gregg's mind, when talking about our arrival on the journey home a few days later. He envisioned himself saying to my sister and brother-in-law, "Hi I'm the guy who is going to marry your sister and oh by the way, I just lost your dog." Thankfully, we grabbed Blue after about an hour. The neighbors were really nice considering the interesting spectacle/entertainment they had witnessed. They knew we were coming, and I think Gregg was the first American they had met in a long, long time, if ever, so he was a bit of a novelty. I on the other hand knew them from the many trips I had made up there.
Let's just say we made our mark and when we walked into the village pub that night, all heads turned our way. What did my sister say? Nothing much, she just rolled her eyes, looked at her little sweety and said, "Oh Blue, you naughty boy!" Blue looked back adoringly. At this point my brother-in-law rolled his eyes because he will be the first to admit that Blue loved my sister but males on the whole, not so much. All ended well and fortunately this did not prevent them from liking Gregg from the beginning.
I had known Blue for about three years and always enjoyed my weekends with that funny dog, because you just never knew what to expect. He was a character from day one. He always paid my sister mind but didn't give a hoot to anyone else. If he had been human, I would have said he had wild mood swings, you just never knew on which side of the bunk bed he got up on.
And that bunk bed I had to fight him for at bedtime? It was after all his bed, and I was just the drop in. I never took the top bunk because I always had this fear of rolling out of it when I slept. So, the battle of wills began. Blue had already been there a couple of hours before. As I sat, he lifted his head and growled a little, and I would catch a glimpse of one blue eye daring me. Next thing was to try and scoot down under those bed clothes (he took up the whole bed) as I gently tapped him with my feet. More growling and we had this conversation the whole time, "Don't you growl at me you naughty boy." But he was all growl and grumpiness, and lovable at the same time. Blue definitely had to let me know he was not a happy dog, though he would put up with me as he knew I wasn’t a permanent bottom bunk bed stealer. 'She' would be away soon enough. Every time I stayed with my family, it was a repeat performance of the night before and that went on with each visit in the three years before I met Gregg.
How I loved that dog and when I think of him, I get this big smile, and a chuckle follows.
So, look again at that photo and you will now understand those big smiles which are a mix of happiness and relief, and very thankful we didn't lose the dog.