Saturday, March 7, 2009

Falling Down


This was the view from my back yard at sunset after our recent snow storm. I was standing out on my deck trying to focus on taking this picture while balancing myself in the snow and ice, because I have a proclivity for falling down. It's genetic, I can't help it. Speaking of falling down, here's a story about just that.

Chesapeake Bay Mother shares a story on the topic of our gracefulness.
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On Falling Down Stairs
by Chesapeake Bay Mother


"Having physically plumbed more stories than all the fire poles in three counties, I fear I have lost my amateur standing as a stair tumbler. While I don't hire myself out for pay, perhaps I should at least consider that option.

I began these feats when my parents moved into our first two-story house. Mother believed in floor wax and about once a month the whole house smelled of "Bowling Alley" floor wax, a thick, translucent paste of amber hue and strong odor--best described as a marriage of petroleum base with a whiff of equine liniment. It lubricated the old wood and when dry, buffed to a handsome shine. Along with the shine came the slip-and-slide feature, which was deadly to those in sock or stocking feet. Since I was young, agile, and wearing socks, my virgin tumble was just bruises and a learning experience. It only happened once because after that I clung to the banister like a cat on a tree limb.

Years later, we moved again, this time to an apartment with treacherous steep steps. Going to work early one morning, my high heel betrayed me on the top of the landing and I wound up going to work in hose with runs spreading over goose eggs on my shins.

Fast forward to 2001. Husband and I fall heir to his parents' three-story farmhouse. Opportunity to try all three! And I do!

The first occasion was the cellar stairs. The old house had a cellar built with the original house circa 1910. Obviously constructed for a family of midgets, the stairs required the average person to bend forward preventing head bumping while stepping down an incline of short steps ending about three feet from a concrete wall. One could hear sirens just contemplating the scene.

When the cellar light burned out, I grabbed a new bulb in one hand and held a lit candle in the other; then I set out to put in the bulb, thereby preventing anyone from falling down the darkened stair, lying helpless, bleeding, and undiscovered for hours after being thrown against the concrete dead end by force of gravity plus added momentum. Since the light was well into the center of the cellar, the candle was my only light.

There's something awkward about having both hands occupied, your feet exploring unfamiliar landscape, and your head bent forward against your chest. Suddenly it becomes evident that someone neglected to give me the tightrope walking training required and crash went the bulb, out went the candle and down went the bulb changer ending up nose to the concrete wall.

I got up, went upstairs on hands and knees and repeated the process. Finally I got it done and there were no bad juries, and even better...no witnesses."

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Chesapeake Bay Woman's Addition to the Topic at Hand:

Once upon a time in a county called Mathews, a daughter lived next door to her parents. One day, the father had to be admitted to the hospital for intestinal problems. Around 2:00 a.m. that same night, while fumbling for the light switch on the way to the bathroom, the mother fell down a huge flight of steps and crawled over to the daughter's house wearing very little, if not less. The daughter awoke to what sounded like a bull thrashing around her living room, and went out to discover her mother babbling incoherently with a big knot coming out the side of her head. The daughter rushed the mother to the emergency room and waited for medical professionals to diagnose a broken finger, a concussion, a fractured ankle, several abrasions and a host of incidental injuries.

The daughter, satisfied that her mother was going to be OK, strolled down the hall to the opposite end of the hospital where her father was recovering from the intestinal problems.

So, once upon a time--on her wedding anniversary no less--a mother fell down the steps and nearly did herself in. She was rushed to the same hospital where her husband had been admitted earlier. In case you're not familiar with this mother, it's the very same one who was run over by the Cub Cadet lawn mower about a year later.

And the daughter just shook her head and said, "How is this possible?"

The End.

11 comments:

Grandma J said...

Oh my goodness...it keeps on getting better, or should I say worse! Remind me not to attempt any stairs in Mathews. I have a hard enough time on flat land.

Annie said...

mmm...that is unbelievable...! What a lucky family you have chosen to be born into!

May the stairs be kind to you!

...and to think that I thought I was the only clumsy person on earth. Fortunately my clumsiness has only manifested itself into dropping forks from plates at stand up dinners on social occasions...I am learning to stay away...and kicking all my toes on any piece of furniture at home...since I walk barefooted...you would have thought I would have learned by now!

Mental P Mama said...

I know what I'm bringing to y'all as a hostess gift;)

michelleharbour said...

Thank you for the stories...I feel SO MUCH better about the three big falls I took in 2006 that injured more than just my pride.

I cannot wait until we meet in person. Let's just be sure to give each other plenty of space, not that I have the sense to grab anything or anyone around me when I'm going down.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

GJ-As long as you steer clear of any of the Chesapeake Bay Family, but especially the females, you should be plenty safe on stairs.

Annie-Oh, the pain and agony of a stubbed toe. Those occur not infrequently around here too.

MPM - Is it a scooter? Or one of those mechanized seats that carry you up and down steps? Please?

Michelle - You're in very good company. We will definitely need to keep a safe distance when we meet.

Happy Saturday. It's warm as summer here today.

Keeper Of All Things said...

I love your stories!!!!!!

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

All I can say is, it's a good thing they have you nearby!

Our stair-related run-ins have been all kid related. My youngest lost 3 teeth after an ass-over-kiester tumble down a wooden flight of stairs when he was two. My oldest, also when he was two, slid head-first, face-up, backwards down the open wooden basement stairs in our friend's house, and it was a lucky thing that our friend stood at the bottom and caught him before he slammed into the concrete at the bottom. And after reliving these stories, I just can't think about it any more!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Keeper - Thanks, we sure have some crazy ones, and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight.

Meg - Ouch. But I must say the visual of your son going head first face up down the steps made me laugh. Only because I know he's OK. But still...

Auds at Barking Mad said...

Good Lord...I could be related to the CBW family just by virtue of the falling down thing. However, do you guys also fall UP the stairs or is that my burden to carry, all by myself?

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foolery said...

We don't do stairs. Too hot upstairs in the summer, so it's easier not to have an upstairs. The water table is too high so a basement is not an option. It's a good thing because I would have been a goner before kindergarten, for sure.