Saturday, September 27, 2014

Landing With A Plop

By Betsy Ashton

I admit it. I'm clumsy. Before I was born, my mother wanted to name me after my two grandmothers: Delia Grace. I wish Delia was my name, but Grace? Get real, Mom. She knew something I didn't even before I was born. I was going to be clumsy. My nickname at school would have been Graceless. Heck, I can trip over flowers in the carpet.

I watch my feet all the time. Sometimes that leads me to run into posts or walls. Mostly, I watch my feet when I go up or down staircases. I trip up much more frequently than I trip going down. I have no idea why, but I do.

I've had some spectacular plops in my lifetime. The worst fall wasn't caused by me tripping. I was caused by me swinging onto my horse just as a drunk in a car came around a curve on the highway. He honked, shouted and threw a can of something at her. He yelled, "Hi yo, Silver." Those of you old enough to remember "The Lone Ranger" know that when the Lone Ranger shouted this his horse reared onto his hind legs. My horse jumped out from under me, unceremoniously dropping me on my back. On asphalt. She didn't run off but stood on my pigtails and nuzzled my face until I recovered consciousness. I didn't think I was injured, so I mounted and continued to the upper pasture to move our small herd of cattle to the lower pasture where we could give them water easily. Did I forget to say we were expecting a blizzard the next day?

The blizzard hit. So did the pain. My mother took me to the emergency room. I came home a week later. I'd broken my knee and torn all kinds of cartilage and tendons, broken three vertebrae and cracked my hip. Did I say I had a concussion? I did. Needless to say, my mother was not amused.

I've had many different falls all my life, even after doing yoga for 40+ years, but none so spectacular as that one. I was sixteen at the time. Had I been named Grace, I would have been the deserving butt of so many jokes.

My last fall led me to write a haiku:

Ice-shrouded world
One slippery step –
Technicolor moon.

On that happy note, watch where you step. Your feet could do you in.


Betsy Ashton is the author of Mad Max Unintended Consequences available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The second book in the series, Uncharted Territory, will be released in June 2015. She lives for words and writing.


Leah St. James said...

Great story, Betsy...although painful for you, I'm sure, in more ways than one! What an idiot that guy was. (I had a different word in mind, actually, but am trying to remember this is a family-friendly blog!)

I'm grace-less as well and routinely walk into walls. Going up and down stairs, I cling to the railing. When I'm wearing heels, I'd prefer to cling with BOTH hands, but it's usually not practical.

Thank you for sharing. I'm glad I'm not alone. :-)

Jannine Gallant said...

I'm a foot watcher, too. Maybe that's why I do't mind walking the same route through the woods every day--I'm looking at my feet! I count stairs in the dark. 7 up turn on landing 7 more. Geez, you'd think it'd become instinctual, but no, I count every time. Do you suppose writers have a clumsy gene?

Alicia Dean said...

Oh my, what an awful experience! Yikes, sounds very painful. I'm glad you can relay the story with amusement. Your post made me laugh. :) Perhaps Jannine has a point. I am extremely clumsy too. Just ask my family. They had this little joke going for years, since i so often dropped and broke things, anytime there was a loud sound, a crashing noise, etc, someone would shout, 'Alicia's in the kitchen!' Sigh...