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We Moved Next Door To A Santa Claus Elf
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Our condominium neighbourhood in Ohio had changed after 20 years
and we did not fit in this environment.
Most friends and relatives believed I was losing my mind, when I told them we were moving out in the country, away from convenient condo living; they may have been right!
Many condo associations allow dogs in their rules, but 'Royal Place' did not.
I searched the internet and found 'Healthy Pups' website and we saw a photo of a cute Yorkie Teacup, 4 weeks old, near Columbus, Ohio.
We drove there and purchased this wonderful pet.
They had already named him Corkie; he wasn't much larger than a cork, so we kept his name.
I think about him every time I see a bottle of wine.
Next it was time to look for housing.
We circled our area for weeks before finding a sign 'For Sale' on the type of house that we were looking for, and in our price range.
They say a house is not a home until you have a Yorkie.
This house was a brick ranch in ill repair, the kind I was looking for, I don't know why.
It was owned by a 94 year old widower, Bert, who could no longer maintain the acreage without spending any money.
He was a tall lean man, six foot-four, still with a head of hair, some real teeth, and some store bought teeth.
He was unsure of his date of birth and had become uncertain about his money situation and decided to sell the house.
We called him and arranged for a property showing.
I will never forget when I asked "What was the condition of the house."
He said, "Everything is perfect".
I looked into the fridge and it was full of green mould as Bert tried to draw my attention to something else.
The dishwasher was like new he said, but when I opened it there were loose parts inside and it hadn't been used in years.
The stove, oven and burners, were unusable and filthy.
All the appliances were in a shambles, the roof leaked and the water softener was broken.
He had become very frugal in his later years.
He was a devout Christian and had lost both his wife, and years later his sweetheart had died.
Bert had been raised in an orphanage and grew up with several different foster parents and was often short on food, clothes and mistreated as a boy.
He joined the army when he was old enough to enlist and spent 4 years in various countries.
He was a sharp shooter and earned several medals that the Army either forgot to present them to him or he lost them.
He worked at General Motors for years after getting out of Military Service and then retired at 65.
When we purchased his house Bert happily moved into a nursing home, where the women outnumbered the men.
His missing medals came in our mail one day and we sent them to him.
The neighbour, George, did not like our little Yorkie and Corkie could sense hatred.
George looked like a Santa, but there the match ended, but I started calling him 'Santa' anyway.
He was a heavy set, white bearded, nosy rosy cantankerous domineering male and mean.
His poor wife had not gotten any bargain when she married him.
He doled out fuel for her car from a gallon gas can, so she wouldn't go too far from home.
He was never neighbourly, or helpful, to the 90 plus year old Bert.
He didn't help with any of his yard work and snow shovelling, even though he had a tractor and power equipment for doing so.
When Corkie was young he would bark like a big dog and run into his yard whenever he saw him outside.
George would yell and wave his arms in a hostile way, not the right thing to do to a Yorkshire Terrier, they do not forget.
We had lived in our home for three years when one day in December there came a knock on our door; it was our neighbour's wife.
She told us that George had been having nightmares lately and was acting strangely; "He thinks he is a Santa Claus Elf, preparing for Christmas, busy making toys."
Bert had passed away at 97 years old and appeared twice as a ghost in George's dream; he came to his bed and frightened him.
He said to him, "You mistreated me and never moved a muscle to help me or others. Therefore each year you will become a Santa Claus Elf during the Christmas Season; then, in January, you will return to your former self, but as a better person.
Do not forget that good neighbours help each other and are friendly to little animals."
On his second visit to George, during another frightful nightmare, Bert warned him "You can do better than that, try harder, put more effort into it or I will have you turned into a Reindeer."
George was trembling with fright and said "Don't do that, I promise to improve." And he did!
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