Christine’s Story for Wednesday Stories 4/12/17
A Daily Routine
Jack resisted the urge to leap down the stairs to greet his human. He knew, that if he stayed where he was, then his human would come and sit with him, and usually talk to him for a while. Whilst he couldn’t always work out what he was saying he just loved to hear his voice, and of course the pats and cuddles he got were not unwelcome either! He couldn’t stay totally still though and his tail thumped so hard on the stair that it sounded like drum practice!
Mark’s key in the door was the signal for the drum roll to increase, if that was possible, and Jack stood, ready to leap into Mark’s arms the moment he got close enough. Mark often wondered how Jack always knew to be waiting in the exact same place every day. Jack of course kept his counsel, never admitting that he heard the train’s whistle as it came into the station and knew to a heartbeat the length of time in between that sound and the key in the door.
Mark loved this time of day too. As a local high school principal he sometimes felt that he worked in an asylum – and that wasn’t just the children!. Today he had had to chair a committee of department heads and the athletics coach had been particularly difficult, refusing all efforts to get him to acknowledge the need for balancing sport and what the other staff considered “real” education. Sometimes he longed for the old days when he had been a pupil himself, and the biggest concern of the day was whether it would be windy enough to fly his kite when he got home and whether his father would have time to play with him!
The moment he opened the door he felt himself relax. He loved this house; the hallway was an oasis of calm after the frenetic activity of the day and he always imagined the stairs as a river in that oasis. Not that rivers were normally part of an an oasis he reminded himself but for him this one was! The stairs were a burst of colour in a hallway painted entirely white. The stair treads were painted in shades of aqua or teal, dark at the bottom and lightening in an ombre effect as they reached the upper landing. This scene, the stairway and Jack, could not help but lighten his mood the moment that it came into view!
Taking his shoes off Mark stood and went down the last couple of steps, Jack bounding ahead of him, looking back to ensure he was following, skidding on the hallway rug as he did every day and Mark laughing at his antics as he also did every day. Jack waited in the kitchen, his tongue hanging out, anticipating his treat and so the daily routine continued. Mark followed Jack into the kitchen, ready for his long awaited cup of coffee and snack. As he reached for the loaf Jack sat looking up with longing eyes while Mark made a sandwich, and, as Jack knew he would, made sure he had several mouthfuls himself.
They sat and relaxed together, the late afternoon sun streaming though the high windows, the garden starting to come alive after a long winter. Mark would relax for half an hour or so, then put the oven on, starting the process for the evening meal ready for Jenna to come home shortly after. He smiled, knowing that, in about 45 minutes time Jack would be heading for that same step on the stairs, waiting ……..