Monday, March 5, 2012

Strangers at the Door

You know how they say pets resemble their owners – well, Fitz definitely does not resemble me, but I definitely see my old farm girl self in his reactions when it comes to strangers at the door.

Fitz will be relaxing on his pillow on the desk upstairs, all mellow, then his head will shoot up, his gaze steadily fixed into the empty space of the hallway and beyond.
His radar senses pick up something I cannot hear – a strange vehicle in the driveway.
A strange human has arrived.
He listens for a while.  Just by looking at his posture, you can tell if the person is heading toward my door or the neighbor’s.  If mine, a sense of panic gathers in his orbs.  An interloper, someone to offset the interior balance.  Must hide!

If he is downstairs and hears someone not familiar coming up the porch steps, he is poised at the bottom of the stairs, literally one paw on it, ready to bolt, eyes bulging from the sockets, looking at me, questioning my sanity, if he sees me start heading toward the door to let some ‘stranger’ in.

Funny thing is - I realized one day after observing his reaction, OMG!  Fitz is me!  Well, the 40 some years ago me.

Privacy was taken seriously on Midwest farms. Even “dropping by” your neighbors unannounced was frowned upon.  Farm life was hard work and 24/7.  It was not respectful to stop in when you knew they may be busy baling hay, sheep dipping, milking or the 10 million other projects a farmer had to do each day. First, you were usually a complete mess.  If not hands deep in axle grease, you either were just plain filthy with dirt or much worse, if you know what I mean.  It was practically a given that If you had company, the ‘visit-ee’ had to stop what they were doing, sit down, and offer coffee and snacks.  It would be a major project just to clean yourself up!   As for the house?  Well, farm women were working their butts off just as hard as the men folk, so up keep of the house was not exactly a priority.  Yes, unannounced visitors were just too stressful to deal with.

Staring at Fitz’s bulging eyes and readiness to bolt – I could relate.
I could actually see in my mind’s eye, a tasseled headed farm girl, with very crooked bangs, her head peaking around the door to the stairs, ready to bolt upstairs, after seeing a strange car venture down the hill into our drive.  What did they want?  The house is a mess!  I’m outta here!  No one’s home.

Tomorrow, horrors of horrors for my poor Fitz, I am having a new mattress delivered.

He will survive.
I did.
                                                                                                copyright 2012 Stepka