Monday, February 03, 2014

Pekinese puppy we didn't buy in 1956; a memory thread

My husband, the peacetime draftee, holds one of the puppies our landlady is selling for $75 each. This is the first time I have noticed how much my husband likes dogs. He is really drawn to this little guy, who is undeniably cute. And we do have $75 dollars--it's exactly the amount of wedding gift cash that we have saved for something special.
Here S sits on the ground in what serves both as our front yard, and as the chainlinked dog run. We are renting from a woman (I think I remember her name as Lucille) who lives in the house on the street side. Our place is visible behind S. He is serving in artillery (because he majored in literature) at Fort Sill, in Lawton, Oklahoma. The little cottage we live has a small kitchen, a hallway that passes the bath and a closet, and a front room in which the double bed lifts out of the sofa. Later, my mother ships us a small baby crib and we stick that in one corner for new baby Kimberli. Near the end of my pregnancy I have trouble avoiding hitting my stomach on the opened refrigerator door. Tight quarters.
We don't buy the puppy. We cannot realistically afford even dog food. We have no car and S takes the bus to Ft. Sill. Friends pick us up for church. Sometime later, we will use the $75 as a down payment on a 1952 dark green Chevrolet with a metal sun visor. In which we will go here and there toward the rest of our lives.

Here's some Li Po for the long view:


You ask why I live
in these green mountains

I smile
can't answer

I am completely at peace

a peach blossom
sails past
on the current

there are worlds
beyond this one

FIVE T'ANG POETS, translated by David Young, 
Oberlin College, Field Translation Series 15 page 69.

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