A Change in Altitude

Stockton fixes all kinds of stuff around our house. Basement stairs, appliance installation, repairing plaster walls. There seems to be no limit to his ability to learn new skills in the This Old House of our lives. Lately, he’s been working on a cement project around our basement hatch doors. He needed a bucket of water, so I walked around to the spigot to fill up a bucket.

Mayberry is quiet on Sundays. Birds chirp. An occasional car passes. It’s peaceful. I was enjoying the clear afternoon when I noticed the white plastic-sleeved newspaper in our darker driveway. Once I turned off the spigot, I lifted the full bucket and meandered to the paper. I balance the newspaper in my left hand and the heavy bucket in my right hand and started to cross the unbroken green expanse of our front lawn, an easy trail to walk with low vision. I decided to toss the paper on the porch. My grip slipped and I found myself tangled, my right foot tripping up my left. Oh no.

Slow motion kicked in. I gave up trying to fling the paper and hollered out an involuntary, “Jeee-zzzuuusss.” as I continued forward, bucket swaying in the air. My right knee bent in genuflection in the muscle memory of Mass and I collapsed onto the grass, facedown. Silence.

I inhaled the earthy scent of the lawn and collected myself, my red t-shirt now soaked on the right side up my neck, into my hair. No cars passed. No neighbors hollered out. The only noise I heard was my laughter.

It took me a few moments to straighten up, drop the paper onto the porch, and go back to refill my bucket. I giggled uncontrollably as I listened to the gush of the water. When I finally reached Stockton, he was busy working. He turned to me and raised an eyebrow. “What happened?”

Through chuckles, I recounted my mishap. My body felt fine. No trauma, only a small reddened area below my right knee to indicate my downward journey. Graceful, that’s me. Stockton shrugged his shoulders.

I’m still laughing as I type this. I may not be large, containing multitudes, but I am comical, containing altitudes. Have you put on a silly solo performance lately? Tell me about it.

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Casee says:

    In my attempt to make a dramatic exit out of a room after making a belittling remark to someone, I misjudged the distance to the door and managed to hit my shoulder hard on the edge of the doorjamb. Talk about a humbling moment. It hurt for weeks after but was only bruised
    not broken. I was humbled and in pain and promised myself no more dramatic exits and more importantly no more belittling remarks or insults! A life lesson I hope to never forget.

    1. Yeah, that’ll leave a mark, ouch! It always works out better in the movies you know?

      1. Casee says:

        My drama queen days are now over after that debacle. You are so right. It is so much cooler when they do it in the movies.

  2. herheadache says:

    I ran smack-dab into the corner of a wall once. It hurt like hell and there was a visible sign of my misjudgement just above my forehead. Glad you are alright.

    1. A lasting mark of pain. Wearing my baseball cap indoors has kept me from similar moments lately, but I sympathize as I’ve had my share of run-ins in the past.

      1. Casee says:

        I had not given thought to a baseball cap indoors. With the long billed ones that would definitely give warning before a collision. Especially when walking fast to do a dramatic exit. Exits that I have sworn off now. 🙂

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