A Lucky Shamrock
Being a storyteller occasionally I use this space to tell stories.
This one is about a Shamrock.
Years ago, in the days before anyone knew who the Taliban were, Osama Bin Laden was not a household is when this takes place. We had a Clinton in the White House and we were more concerned about a bug known by the moniker Y2K. It is years before my wife passed away and I became a single parent.
I lived with my wife and then infant daughter (the only child then) in a small Craftsman home in the heart of Omaha’s Country Club area. it was a little 2-bedroom place and it was cute, quaint, and we loved it.
My father ran a drug store that had gift items and my mother had given us a shamrock to put on the door for St. Patrick’s Day. It was a great little wooden item, the kind you hang on the front of your door. It has a little saying on it, green and light green, and it’s just a little knick-knack but we loved it.
My wife had a flair for decorating, so our home had a hunter-green door, a brass knocker on the front and the porch, old wood, with brick columns holding it up so you had to climb the steps to get to the door were totally quaint and noisy as hell. Walking up those steps without anyone knowing was impossible.
One afternoon, in the week before St. Patrick’s Day, I had come home for lunch, a rarity for me. My little daughter, just walking, stumbled up and put her arms around my calf and smiled. My wife was smiling, a group of college textbooks for her Pharmacy school splayed across our dining room/kitchen table. In this point in time she was probably wearing a big, fluffy sweatshirt and wearing her glasses so contacts didn’t hurt her eyes.
I had come home to eat and heard the creak of the steps outside. Out of habit, as our mailbox was attached to the house, I walked up to the front door, about to open it and looked out. Standing there, below the window level, crouched with her knees bent was a girl, likely no older than 20, with her hands on my shamrock, trying to take it off the nail from which it was hung on my door.
The look of terror and panic in her eyes as she was caught trying to steal my door hangar was, I have to admit, priceless. I clicked the door handle and she sprinted, tripping as she went, down the steps of the porch and then the steps down our steep front lawn to her waiting boyfriend in a piece-of-crap car running like a getaway from a bank job.
My wife, curious, asked what was going on and my confused and puzzled look must have befuddled her as well. When I told her what happened she was simultaneously amused and angered.
From here on we locked the front screen/storm door so that the woman couldn’t return to the scene of her failed crime.
That shamrock has followed me from Nebraska to Texas to California. I manage, every year, to find it in the closet and put it on the door. It’s more than a good luck charm, it is . . . as I said in the beginning . . . just a good story.