If I am not back in 5 minutes…

It was Friday morning and I was filling the woodbox. It is a chore I usually do on Fridays. After all, football is on Saturdays and Sundays and I would rather not be busy when the games start. Anyway, I use a hand truck with a 33-gallon square garbage can tied to it. I filled the garbage can and pulled it to the front porch.

There are three steps on my front porch leading to the front door; by the way, all three of the steps are different sizes. Based on the building materials I had at the time, and my limited carpentry skills, that is what I ended up with.

The first step is 9 inches tall. The next step is 8 inches, followed by the last step, which is 3 inches. Not your standard, up to code, steps, but like I said based on the materials I had that is what I ended up building.

I pull the hand truck with the garbage can up the steps, backwards, and then through the front door. Once I am through the door, immediately to my left is a small coat closet, which I converted into a wood box.

It takes approximately 8 garbage can loads of wood to fill the closet, or wood box. I had brought in 3 loads of wood and was working on load number 4.

George, our dog, was lying on the front porch. We have two dogs in our household, but George has been here the longest. He became part of our family in 2007. He is about 11 years old, and weighs 55 pounds. He is a blue heeler, Australian shepherd cattle dog mix. Because of his weight, and my bad hearing, I do not always hear him coming. He sneaks up on me all the time.

As I was trying to pull the hand truck up the last step, George ran behind me. I stepped on his paw, he yelped, and before I knew it I stumbled on the middle, not standard, up to code, step. My left foot went out from underneath me and my right foot slid over the step to the lower deck, 8 inches below.

As I was falling, I let go of the hand-truck. Once I landed I realized I was on my back with the wood, garbage can and hand truck on top of my right leg.

I was pinned.I could not move.

I started yelling for my daughter. She did not hear me. I could not understand why she was not responding. After all, I was yelling and the dog is yelping in pain! I am not sure how long I laid there. My time conception was distorted. Eventually, though, I was able to dislodge my leg and scoot, on my back and butt, to the front door where I began to pound the door for help.

Still no response, no help from inside the house, by now I am in pain, scared and mad! My right leg is swelling up and a bruise is forming as I lay there. I reached up and turned the handle slamming the door open. I started to yell again. This time, though, my yell was not for help. It was an obscenity-laced stream of words.

It is amazing how a person responds when life situations have them in a vice grip. True character gets revealed, and my character revelation was not flattering. Actually it was appalling.

My daughter came running to help; she had finally heard me.

            “Mom, why are you crawling into the house?”

            “Seriously, you didn’t hear me yelling for help? Didn’t you hear me pounding on the front door?”

            “I had my earphones in, and my music was kind of loud. So no, I did not hear anything. How did you fall?”

            “Your darn dog!”

At that point George, who had been standing beside me watching me writhe in pain, leaped over my head, and through the front door. He ran into her bedroom and stayed there for about 2 hours. I know he was waiting for me to calm down.

            “For Pete sake, mom, let me help you up.”

            “Leave me alone. I can crawl to the bathroom by myself.”

            “Okay mom, whatever. I am going to check on George.”

Just a side note, saying the word “whatever” to a hurting, angry, scared mom is never a good thing. It tends to engage an unhealthy response. I responded unhealthily. Yet another response this mom would like to forget.

I crawled to the bathroom, washed my right leg and wrapped it in an ace wrap. Looking back, I should have received an Academy Award for my performance. It was pretty good.

Anyway, I managed to hobble to the kitchen and grabbed a couple of ice bags I then went to my recliner and sat in it, and began icing my bruised leg, back and of course, my ego.

I sat in my chair for about a half-hour. During this time I knew the mail had come, so I looked at my daughter and said,

            “I am going to check the mailbox. If I am not back in 5 minutes come and find me. Chances are if I do not come back in that amount of time, I am laying in the driveway and the neighbors have run me over with their car.”

I know I know it was incredibly dramatic and sarcastic, part of my academy award winning performance, but that 5 minutes is what I needed. Within that time I had to acknowledge I not only fallen physically, I failed in my character.

I had been acting like a scared child, and I am not a child. I am over 50, sometimes a little crazy, but I am not a small child. I am not an actor in Hollywood, and it was time for me grow up and act my age. Maybe falling was in my best interest.  It gave me a glimpse into my character, and sometimes we need those glimpses.

Once I entered the house I apologized to my daughter and George the dog. By the way, George is fine. His paw was not damaged, and within a few hours, and being coaxed with dog treats, he ventured out of the bedroom and let me pet him.

Holy Cow, growing older isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I thought by now I wouldn’t have to learn these kinds of lessons. Guess I was wrong again. Maybe I need another 5 minutes?



  1. masodo

    January 2, 2013 at 11:24 am

    At our age falling anytime feels like getting hit by a planet. You are justified in ‘whatever’ response you care to have.
    Sorry, if I enjoyed this post too much. 😉

    • Misty Thomas

      January 17, 2013 at 4:29 am

      Thank you, Masodo, for enjoying the story. I appreciate that!

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