Sunday, November 23, 2008
No Way To Spend Thanksgiving
Eleven years ago I was in Ramona, California visiting my daughter for Thanksgiving. My son, Mark, and his wife, Karen, were driving down from Los Angeles to join us for the festivities.
As usual, I was the earliest riser and the first thing I always did was get the morning paper. Anyone who gets a paper from a big city knows that the paper on Thanksgiving morning is the largest one published for the entire year. The San Diego paper was no exception; actually I think it was the rule. The number of ads to lure the shoppers to open their wallets at the start of the holiday season was unbelievable .
My daughter's house was on a hill and the driveway was so steep that you had to rev the car to get up it. Needless to say, the paper delivery person didn't even attempt to throw the paper up toward the house, but left it at the foot of the drive. My sense of balance, never very good, was beginning to fail me. This was in my pre-cane era so I was depending on my own two feet to keep me upright.
I walked down to the bottom of the drive and picked up the bag containing a paper so big that it must have caused the death of two large trees to furnish the required paper . It was HEAVY. Bearing my burden in one hand I turned and started trudging up the drive. About half way up I lost my balance and found myself helplessly dancing a fox trot backwards down the hill. Unable to stop my backward progression I finally felt my feet leaving the paved area and hitting the dirt. My last thoughts were, "Thank God I won't fall on the concrete." As it turned out I might have been better off if I had just knocked myself out and been done with it.
My kids had their house up for sale and the Realtor's sign was right next to the driveway. (Please see the Real Estate ad photo and notice the Realtor sign in the lower left of the picture). When I landed I managed continue falling backwards until I was stopped by the sharp corner of the post holding the sign. The edge cut a big gash in the top of my cranium. I'm sure you all know that a head wound bleeds like a bubbling fountain and I was soon covered in blood.
There is one thing that everyone who knows me will agree on; I am one stubborn babe. (I hesitate to call myself a broad because I can hear my family, who might read this, start to snicker.) I picked up the paper and staggered up toward the house one more time. Because I didn't want to get blood on the carpet, I rang the doorbell to summon aid. My son-in-law, being roused from a sound sleep, and my oldest granddaughter finally opened the door. Their eyes got as big as the proverbial saucers as they asked me what happened. Randy insisted that I was to come in. As I just told you, I am an obstinate mule and told him I wouldn't move until he brought some paper towels for me to use to stop the bleeding.
By this time my daughter was up and insisted on taking me to the emergency room. I didn't want to spoil everyone's Thanksgiving and I said I would be fine and refused to go. Didn't I just tell you that I was stubborn?
Thanksgiving preparations were under way and all would have been fine -- well, sorta' --- but I was sitting in the living room and, because the room was sunken, my daughter standing above me got a good look at the top of my head. She informed me in no uncertain terms that she was taking me to the ER. I fear she inherited my mulish disposition and there was no arguing with her. We were in the garage ready to leave for San Diego and the clinic when my son and his wife appeared in the driveway. I managed to shock two more people that morning. I mean, if I am going to do something, I will go all out and do it well.
Eventually, I got 17 stitches in the top of my head and Thanksgiving dinner proceeded without further mishap. My shaved head didn't seem to spoil anyone's appetite, even mine. I did have to forgo the champagne though and that hurt almost as much as being stitched up .
I guess you could say that there were two turkeys that day. I think I will sit this Thanksgiving out.