Remember that old Steve Martin film The Jerk? (I have to be careful here, Steve is a neighbor of mine; he lives on the other side of Mt. Pisgah in Brevard.) Most people know him by his comedy, but around here his fame also incorporates his band, the Steep Canyon Rangers, and his considerable talent as a bluegrass banjo player. Where was I? Oh yeah, The Jerk. My point about that old movie is the nearly-famous line, “The new phonebook is here. I’m somebody!” Well, after more than a month of trying, I finally got the beloved United States Postal Service to update their computer to recognize my new address as a legitimate destination. Yes, at long last, I am somebody.
Don’t get me wrong, I have been receiving mail all along. The mailman and the local post office knew I was here, the electric company, DirecTV and UPS had no problem finding me, but for Fed Ex, Office Depot and scores of other businesses that automatically verify addresses, I was nemo, phasma, a non existentibus persona. (I’ll let you dig out your high school Latin books for that.)
So now that I’m really here, I can resume my practice of the late afternoon mail run. Not exactly an easy task at this new house; the mailbox is a full ½ mile away. And although that might make for an enjoyable stroll when the weather is good, that short walk would also take me down about 500 feet in elevation. Getting down there would probably be alright, but coming back…!
Even my driveway here is a bit arduous; it is almost 100 yards long, has a 90 degree turn near the top, and drops about 8 stories. From the house, you really can’t see down the drive except for the last steep segment after the turn. Twice I have been startled by an unexpected knock at the front door from an unheard visitor. This prompted me to order and install an infrared sensor at the gate that triggers a chime in the house anytime someone or something starts up towards the house.
This new toy of mine has been very convenient at letting me know my wife is home from shopping and needs help with the groceries, it signals me when UPS is here for a delivery or when a repairman, workman or neighbor arrives. The only downside is it also picks up any critter that may venture across my property line. Honestly, the few “false” alarms have not really been too annoying, but there is a visiting Angel that seems to enjoy announcing her presence.
It was during the transitional “moving” days when I was still running truckloads of “do we REALLY have this much stuff” over from the other house that I sensed myself being watched. Alone and isolated, that feeling began to play on my nerves. More than once I exited the garage searching and listening for whomever it was that was spying, but each time I saw nothing but an empty driveway and the quiet autumn woods.
It was after quietly placing a box of Christmas decorations into the storeroom and stealthily peering back around the corner that I first saw the pure white apparition’s face with its piercing blue eyes slowly retreating through the side door. I won’t say it didn’t frighten me, but instead of fleeing or scrambling to find some makeshift weapon, I ran towards the door to steal yet another look at this mysterious alien. The being knew she had been discovered and didn’t attempt another silent disappearing act; instead, she stood her ground and with mesmerizing azure eyes and a silly, toothy grin, Angel began to shake her entire body.
A tail wag is hardly enough for this overly affectionate canine to show her pleasure, her greeting begins at her nose, traverses her neck, across her shoulders, through her torso finally ending in her raised pointy tail. Angel doesn’t wag; she wiggles side-to-side like a fish out of water.
I couldn’t begin to tell you her breed. She is tall and muscular with an almost entirely white coat of short hair, broken only by a few large tan spots on her side. Her physique is thin and agile and she can scale the steepest grades of these hills with an ease that makes a mountain goat seem awkward.
The puppy and I hit it off immediately (I have that way with women). She frequently comes to greet me at my truck when I arrive home, and after charming my wife and dog (not so much the cat), she visits often and has adopted our house as hers. It’s evident that there have been times when she has come by to say hello but went unnoticed at the front door. So it is no surprise that she has figured out that by walking through gate and past the sensor, someone always opens the door and invites her in to play. Her new trick was very cute the first time, but… Well, it’s actually cute every time.
I guess when you live high up in the clouds, it should be expected that an Angel might come down to visit.