How turning the other cheek saved me

I just want to laugh today.
And when I want to laugh, I try to find something tragic and turn it into something funny. That’s what people who value the power of humor understand – that comedy and tragedy are two sides of the same mask.
So, this week I’m taking some of my pain and using it, hopefully, to make you laugh.
Also, the word politics will not once be used.
(Quick sidenote: I have this one friend whose name I won’t mention, but her initials are S.h.a.w.n.e.e., who will find this hysterically funny because she has a morbid obsession with people falling down. If this doesn’t end up on her refrigerator, I’ll feel cheated.)
I’ve never been accused of being graceful, at least not to my face.
The word “graceful” was not used to describe me as I lay in the middle of my yard a few years ago after a short but brutal and bloody bout with a rollaway dumpster.
And, it sure wasn’t used to describe me as I lay on my back in the middle of Petco’s parking lot last Friday surrounded by a crowd of people I was not aware had congregated on my behalf.
It was misting that day, and I was wearing a pair of black boots – now known forever as the Boots of Satan – that were apparently not designed to successfully carry my body from the car to the door on slick asphalt.
When you add a nervous Weimaraner to that equation, the short answer is I was doomed before I even began.
 Erma remembers nothing.
Bobby and I took our two Weimaraners to Petco Friday to get their nails trimmed – my feet have been gouged recently, but that is a different and not as funny story.
It had been misting all day and was cool out, so I was wearing my favorite boots. I was even wearing makeup and had put some effort into how my hair looked. I was feeling sassy and ready for anything, with the one exception of falling in public.
It was in the middle of the parking lot that I reached over to take Erma’s lead from Bobby, which turned out to be the last unaided movement I made for the next several hours.
I don’t know if a mouse sneezed or what, but Erma took off like she had just arrived on Normandy Beach and that’s when I found out my favorite boots have no tread. Like, none at all.
My feet came out from under me and I landed with all my weight on my tailbone. Not to be dramatic, but I thought for a minute I had completely broken my back in the Petco’s parking lot.
I don’t know what happened to Erma, or anyone else for that matter, because my eyes wouldn’t open and I could hear my own heartbeat in my ears. At least I think it was my own heartbeat.
The dogs, I’m sure, were confused about why I was taking a nap in the parking lot on their rare outing, but I couldn’t bring myself to care as I was sprawled out all over the asphalt.
I’m pretty sure I gave ridiculous directives to Bobby, like “Save the dogs,” and “I think I broke my ass.”
I don’t know why in situations like this – as well the infamous dumpster bout – it takes me a significant amount of time to deal with reality and pain at the same time. So I just don’t, and apparently lock down.
Another thing I do when placed in sudden pain is something I call “using all of my words.”  There was a lot going on, and I probably did use all of them but my dogs are used to it by now.
When I did finally open my eyes, what I saw were several kind-faced strangers and as well as  employees at Petco’s holding in their hands everything that had flown off my body. One woman was holding my glasses, another was holding my purse, and yet a couple more were holding things that had been thrown out of my purse.
This is why I’m glad I don’t carry clean underwear in my purse for times likes this.
My husband helped me sit on the curb and all I could think to say to my new sympathetic fan club was, “Hi y’all. I was hoping nobody saw that.”
It was awkward, and I’m pretty sure I had asphalt in my hair. Also, I wasn’t sure if I was going to walk like a newborn calf when I did try and was really wanting the crowd to disperse so I could test out the tailbone.
It was a Christmas miracle, y’all, I could walk! Like an injured baby calf.
I spent the next few days on a heating pad and eating chocolate for its healing powers.
It worked.
By Monday a series of bruises had emerged on my body, providing a roadmap to where, specifically, my dignity left my body. It was the left butt cheek.
My left butt cheek literally had my back, and I will never doubt it again.
But I am still looking for my dignity, and a new pair of boots.
The moral of this story, I think, is this: My ass was saved by turning the other cheek.
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Biker Chick to Hiker Chick

A great friend of mine asked me to go hiking in the Wichita Mountains last weekend.

Historically, I hike in much the same way that most people eat blowfish.

I don’t.

But I said I would go anyway.

The first question you ask when you are about to go on your first hiking trip at 50 years old is “what to wear?” Actually, that was the second question for me, with the first being, “Have I lost my mind?

Since my first question was already answered, I spent an inordinate amount of time looking for the right outfit, and luckily found a pair of jump boots my husband bought me when he got a motorcycle. The boots, he said, would protect my delicate ankles.


Check out those protected ankles.

Luckily, my motorcycle mama phase lasted less than three months,  mostly because my addiction to breathing supersedes a need to feel the wind in my hair.

The boots have been in the top of my closet around six years, and I only kept them to  remind me how grateful I am I never thought I would look good in a leather jacket and chaps or I would have those, too.

Still, I laced up my army green jump boots, threw on some jeans and a sweat shirt, pulled my hair back and took off for the Wichita Mountains and the first hike in what I feared was my short life. I had successfully morphed from Biker Chick to Hiker Chick.


Yeah, I don’t believe it either.

Not to say that I am a girly-girl, but I don’t run or exercise much, and I haven’t been in a physical education-type atmosphere in somewhere around 30 years. However, I dance both on land and in my car which turned out to be enough cardio to get me through the three-mile hike.

Early in the hike, we passed a lady who appeared to be approaching her 80’s, with unprotected ankles, wearing running shorts and traversing rocks like a 15-year-old hopped up on Red Bull.

That’s when I realized I should have put some big girl panties on with those boots.

In addition to not being a hiker, I am also not a fan of heights. It probably should have occured to be that I would have to deal with heights in the mountains, but it didn’t. I was too busy protecting my ankles.

After one particular steep ledge where I was writing a heartfelt farewell note to my loved ones in my head, I had a visit with Jesus. And Jesus told me to put on my big girl panties.

I’m so glad I did or I would have missed waterfalls, crystal clear water, four different colors of moss and bison tracks. It was beautiful.

I’m glad I saved those boots, because I’m going back.


My new church home.

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