I learned about life changes when I was 12-years-old. That was when we moved from Darby Street to Crawford Street. This is the house I grew up in on Darby Street. It was brand new when we moved into it. It boasted 3 small bedrooms and about 1000 square feet. You can see the train tracks behind it and there is a large field to the west of it. I had an idyllic childhood on Darby Street. Our block was full of boys and I was the only girl for many years. I had all of those boys trained to obey me and I would play army with them and then make them play house with me. At least it worked that way for awhile. My best friend, Peggy, moved in up the street when I was in second grade. She was a redhead, too. We played for hours every day. She had a two-seated bicycle and we rode the wheels off of that thing! People would ask us if we were sisters...we almost thought we were. In fact, Peggy was my best friend until I was married...we even roomed together in college. The parents on Darby Street all decided not to put fences around their yards so the whole neighborhood of kids could play from one yard to the next. My brothers had neighborhood football games the length of the block in our back yards. In the evening, our parents would sit in lawn chairs in the front yard while we kids would play hide-and-seek all over the neighborhood or catch lightening bugs and put them in coke bottles or catch tadpoles out of the drainage ditch. Our neighbors all enjoyed one another. It was perfect.
While we lived on Darby Street, our next-door neighbor's dog had puppies. My brother and I begged our parents for one of the puppies. They relented and we picked out a male puppy and named him Lucky. I think it was because we felt pretty lucky to get a dog. He was a Dachshund/German Shepherd mix and looked a lot like this as a puppy:
He actually became my older brother's dog. Lucky would follow him when he'd throw his paper route and Bob actually slept in the garage with him after he'd been hit by a car and had broken his leg. For some reason, my dad decided to raise rabbits one year. We had lots of baby rabbits. Occasionally, we'd let the rabbits out of the cage and would be cautioned to watch them--knowing they'd hop in every different direction. But the funniest thing happened: Lucky began herding the baby rabbits. He would gather them into a tight circle and nose them back into position if they tried to get out of their space. He was a very smart dog. And loyal.
Some of our good friends, the Lewis', were moving. And apparently, they offered to sell their house to mom and dad. It would mean moving 4 kids from a tiny three-bedroom house to a large 5-bedroom house with about twice the amount of space. So my parents bought the house on Crawford Street. I was in sixth grade and almost 12-years-old. The move was so much fun! And I immediately found new friends on our new street--Debbie and David. My aunt and her kids were living with us at the time, so they made the move with us. It was an adjustment moving to a new school and adjusting to new people and a new class. It was hard. After the new (and fun) wore off, I became very homesick for my old school, Peggy, and my old home. I remember coming home from my new school one day and began crying my heart out. I told my mom I wanted to go home! My mom (also crying) told me I was home. My aunt began crying and telling me she didn't even have a home! We were a mess. It was also about that time that our old neighbors began calling us each day to tell us that Lucky had walked 2.5 miles across town to come back to Darby Street. We'd go and get him and put him in the new back yard. We began watching him and he'd climb up on a pile of logs, jump the fence and head "home." Every.single.day. for weeks, Lucky walked from Crawford Street to Darby Street. And every day, we'd get a call from one of our old neighbors that Lucky was back on Darby Street. Lucky & I commiserated with one another.
When I was 12-years-old, Lucky & I learned that change was hard.