The driver of the Red Cross van and I were happily chatting away about the oldies playing on the radio, when he pulled up to my house and backed into the driveway. You dont need to walk me to the door, I said. Ill be fine. I had left Pippen at home, because I had been to physical therapy for my spine surgery, and she would just be in the way. I had my white cane though, but when I reached the front of the house, it didnt sound right. I dont have super hearing, as sighted people often claim I do, and I dont have facial vision that many totally blind people have, but my suspicions were confirmed when the tip of my cane tapped an ankle-high rock on the left side of the walkway. This was definitely not my house. By the time I made this discovery, the driver had started to pull forward into the street.
Don! Don! I yelled, as I waved my white cane wildly above my head, hoping to catch his attention in his rearview mirror. But no. Don was on a mission to get to his next pickup on time and didnt hear me or see me.
So there I was, in front of a house that wasnt mine. It was also not my next-door neighbors, which I would have recognized. How far up the street was I? 2 houses? 3 houses? At least I knew I was on my street, because I recognized the bumpy surface that had been poorly patched and repatched. I had 2 options. I could call the transportation service and tell them to call that driver and tell him to turn around. Or, I could be brave and start making my way until I found the landscaping in my front yard that would help me find my driveway. I had never found my house on my own. My guide dogs were each excellent at finding the right driveway. I was just digging in my purse for my cell phone, when a friendly-voiced young man appeared out of nowhere. He said he lived across the street, but I still think he dropped down out of Heaven. He held out his elbow, just like we had been doing this for years, and he walked me to my door. I felt a little like we were the very picture of the Boy Scout helping the little old lady across the street, but I was very thankful for that Boy Scout.
For just a moment, I thought about reporting Don, but hes a really nice man. Hes been my driver several times and couldnt be more polite and helpful, except for this one time. I didnt want to get him in trouble, especially since I got help immediately. Later that afternoon, he called and apologized all over the place. Now he feels terrible, but as a result of his error, I met my neighbor. The question is, who told on Don? This story had a happy ending for me, but not for him. The lesson I learned was to not be so cocky from now on. Im going to ask the driver to not leave until he sees my key in the right door. I shouldnt have to ask, but apparently I do.