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.

13 comments:

Mortart said...

What a dreadful story. Fortunately you seem to have a good sense of humor.

Rinkly Rimes said...

No doubt you Gave Thanks with extra fervour!

Gary White said...

What a story, Darlene. Have a safe Thanksgiving this year!

Sylvia K said...

Hmmm you sound a lot like someone I know well! But what a mess! Sorry you missed the champagne though!! Don't miss it this year -- skip the turkey, maybe?

Rain said...

wow, that would indeed make for a thanksgiving to remember. I can so easily understand how it could happen as I get older and less steady myself. I try to be careful but it's you just don't think when boom. Glad it wasn't worse.

Joy Des Jardins said...

Thank God you have such a beautiful sense of humor Darlene. Believe me that makes all the difference in the world when something like that happens. You were so fortunate that it wasn't more serious...not that 17 stitches wasn't serious enough. I suppose you would have just sat there like that for the whole day if your daughter wouldn't have insisted you go to the ER, huh? Stubborn is right! Well, you can't say you didn't liven things up sweetie. Hope your Thanksgiving this year is nice and calm....no falls, no ER rooms, and plenty of champagne. Happy T-Day Darlene... Cheers!

Mildred Garfield said...

What a Thanksgiving that was, one to remember!
One good thing about it is - it made a great post. You had an opportunity to show us what a great sense of humor you have.

You made a bad experience sound funny. ( so long as it was after the fact)

Enjoy Thanksgiving and have that champagne!

Anonymous said...

What an incredible story Darlene. Have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving this year!

Darlene said...

Thank you all for your nice comments.

To Anonymous, I will certainly try to stay upright. Since I don't even need to sip champagne to end up on the mat, I think I will skip the added danger this year and just watch the parade.

Bear Naked said...

Oh my!!
Hopefully this Thanksgiving you will not injure yourself as you did on that Thanksgiving day.
Be careful and let someone else get the newspaper for you.
Thanks for continuing to visit and comment on my blog.
I really do appreciate it.

Bear((( )))

One Woman's Journey said...

Oh Darlene what a dreadful Thanksgiving. I hope you have a safe one this year.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful story, Darlene. It is wonderful because you found the humor in the situation, and because we know that you are now well enough to shlep stuff from room to room for days on end! As are all of your readers, I am thrilled that you had a happy ending. Seventeen stitches are not to be sneezed at!
Many hugs--
Cop Car

joared said...

Hope your Thanksgiving proved to be better this year.

You reminded me of the time my friend's electric garage door came down on my head. The blood from my scalp was profuse as you describe. I, too, was worried about protecting my friend's light carpet. Does this mean we both may have cracked heads?