Saturday, April 11, 2015

REPEAT PERFORMANCE, WITH MUD


 The meadow at the edge of my property:
Lovely but dangerous when wet

I was covered in mud on Friday, but I'll begin my story the night before when I was relatively clean.

On Thursday night I decided to go to bed early, which was around 3:00 a.m. As a hardcore night owl, I often don't embark for Dreamland until dawn. Then I'll get up in about three or four hours to start my day.

This could possibly be the reason why I usually feel completely exhausted, quasi comatose, and on the verge of death - but I'm not sure.

Anyway, as soon as I climbed into bed, a massive thunderstorm began. Torrential rain, nerve-shattering thunder, and lightning so sharp and bright that it singed the hair on my chest and eradicated several of my best tattoos.

I only threw the tattoo part in to colorize my story and possibly pique your waning interest.

Since there was no possibility of sleep, I laid in bed for several hours watching the storm from the window. All three of my cats went into hiding because of the thunder, so I had the luxury of having the bed all to myself.

Incidentally, I have no curtains or blinds on my bedroom window because I love gazing out at my rustic surroundings (and the lightning) while snuggled in bed. I never worry about prying eyes or Peeping Toms. Heck, I'm in the mountainous middle of nowhere. Who's gonna see me - - Bigfoot? Smokey the Bear?


My boudoir window

By mid-morning the storm subsided and the torrent dwindled to a drizzle. By early afternoon the sun appeared and the freshly-drenched landscape (mountainscape?) looked gorgeous. Since the temperature had dropped drastically there weren't very many bees or wasps to annoy me.
Check out my previous post to read about the aforementioned bees and wasps.

It seemed to be a perfect time to venture outside and take some photos.

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you'll know that I'm a fairly new and inexperienced resident of the mountain wilderness. I've never quite grown accustomed to the dangerous slopes. I had several extremely nasty falls on the ice last winter - one of which was so bad that my back still aches every time I move.


Ever since then, I've tried to take some precautions. I've traded my slippery cowboy boots for shoes with rubber soles and traction. I'm careful where I walk and usually watch where I'm going.

So I'm outside, wearing rubber-sole shoes, and scaling the hazardous slopes with reasonable caution. And I'm capturing the wonders of nature with my El Cheapo digital camera.


As I point my lens skyward, toward the tops of the towering trees, my skid-proof soles come in quick contact with slick mud. I'm suddenly airborne and even more suddenly landing directly on my astonished ass.

The slide down the muddy hill is so fast and seamless that I don't have time to be scared. I crash into the side of the house with such force that the breath is knocked out of me.

I'm completely covered in mud. My right leg took the brunt of the impact and my knee is twisted. My wrists hurt. My back has discovered new dimensions of agony. If I still have my spine, it probably looks like a corkscrew.

As I laid there for fifteen minutes (no exaggeration) three thoughts crossed my mind:

1. If it wasn't for the house, I would have probably slid all the way to Kentucky.

2. The tires on my new wheelchair will have to have damn good tread.

3. My digital camera is undoubtedly in the trees.


After I locate my camera (it wasn't in the trees) and limp to the house, I begin to fully realize how extremely dangerous this place is - no matter what kind of shoes you're wearing. Hell, I hated Texas, but at least it was on level ground.

This was a repeat performance of my wretched experience last winter. Same fall. Same slide. Same pain. The only thing missing was the ice. 


My surroundings are beautiful,
 but is it worth the pain?
(all photos were taken yesterday) 
So how am I doing now?
Not too good. I ache in places I never knew I had, but at least I can still walk. I'm suddenly realizing that I might not be so lucky next time.


It took a helluva long time for me to tell this story, but extending small incidents is my specialty.


 

 

23 comments:

  1. This does not bode well for the future does it? I mean seriously how many times are you going to slide down that slippery slope before becoming completely paralyzed? On a positive note, the wheelchair would probably sink in the mud and get stuck, so you wouldn't fall on your ass again after that. Provided it continues to rain alot. If you think ahead to more snow and ice, all bets are off.

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    1. Actually, a wheelchair would be a complete impossibility in such an unlevel and dangerous place. And it would definitely get stuck in the mud. I'd probably get attacked by bees while trying to dig out the wheelchair.....

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  2. Oh Jon! Please, please, please be careful. You do not want to happen to you what happened to me. I still have a month to go until my leg is completely healed. And I fell February 18th.
    I know what you mean by not walking on level ground. Your surroundings are beautiful. As a matter of fact they make me yearn for my former home in Pennsylvania which was on the side of a steep hill. But I often slipped and fell on wet ground just like you did. You're lucky you didn't do more damage to your leg. It is so easy to really cause major damage.
    By the way, isn't that redbud tree gorgeous? I had a few of those growing wild at my Pennsylvania home on the side of the hill in the middle of the woods. I plan to plant one here this fall.
    Now at the risk of being a nag, Jon please be very careful. You may not be so lucky the next time and I'm telling you, if you damage your leg (even a broken leg), like I did, you're done. You will have to go in a rehab center because it would be impossibile for you to care for yourself. I'm just lucky that I had Bill.
    Sorry for the long comment. I just wanted to emphasize how easy it is to have a real problem when you slip and fall.
    Continue to enjoy your beautiful country. I envy you looking out your window at night at your beautiful meadow. This spring and summer and fall will provide you with much enjoyment in your new location.
    Ron

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    1. Ron, you and I certainly know firsthand the dangers of serious falls. You are paying a much higher price for your fall than I did. Every time I fall I think of your leg and what you are going through. Even though I tried to pad this story with humor (probably unsuccessfully) my fall was very serious. My knee is swollen and the pain in my back and pelvis is excruciating (all the same places I injured the previous time). I honestly never considered the genuine dangers about living on a steep slope - - but I'm learning.

      You certainly are fortunate to have Bill there to help you. I've lived alone for so damn long that I don't know what it would be like to have any help.

      I had no idea that they are redbud trees.

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  3. Ouch! Falling really stinks.

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    1. I admittedly took a heckuva long time to tell the story - - but it helped ease the pain (a little.....).

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  4. You seem to live dangerously without even looking for it. I should have thought that you'd have had more than enough 'excitements' in your life already - certainly more than most of us. Maybe you ought to live out the rest of your life in a room with padded walls and super-thick-pile carpet.
    If it's any consolation to salve some of your present physical discomfort, the pics are excellent.

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    1. I'm laughing at your comment because it's right on target. A padded cell is exactly where I belong - - - and I have no doubt that I'll be confined to one someday........

      Glad you like the photos.

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  5. Scary fall! Best move with extra caution until your body gets used to uneven land. Hope you feel better soon.

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    1. Geo, it's starting to be a habit and I don't like it. I truly NEVER realized how dangerous these damn slopes can be.

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  6. After my own recent adventure, I know better than to suggest urgent care. But(!), do you have access to Epsom Salts? Or a giant roll of bubble-wrap?
    Seriously, Jon ... the idea of your possibly hitting your head and blacking-out -- with no-one to summon help scares the heck out of me. Maybe if we don't see a new episode of Lone Wolf Concerto every 48 hours, one or all of us should alert the County Mounties?

    Amazing that your camera survived ... but for what it's worth, your photos are great!

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    1. A giant roll of bubble wrap might work. And probably a St. Bernard with some whiskey. Ironically, I was completely sober every time I fell. Perhaps if I was soused I wouldn't be so clumsy. I certainly need to keep my cell phone handy - - even though it would take weeks and probably the assistance of Poirot to find this place!

      I like the photos, too, but I'd rather have a video of my fall.

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  7. Well I'm late and I guess it's all been said so I'll just say BE CAREFUL and the tree is beautiful. Mine is through blooming and already leafed out.

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    1. Paula, I hope you get some more much-needed rain (I'll try to send you some). I've been so accident-prone since I came ere that it's scary. I'm too used to the plains of Texas.

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  8. Bubble wrap, helmet and a pair of shoes with metal cleats. That might help a little. :-) glad you lived to tell the story. Stay away from stairs and escalators too, just in case. Take care and hope the pain subsides soon. Sheila

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    1. A helmet and cleats might help. I doubt if they ever heard of escalators in Tennessee (*smile*).

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  9. I would say keep your cell phone in your pocket at all times. It has been almost three years but one fall on my driveway and I broke a hip. I had to crawl into the house and call an ambulance. I hope you will be careful on the slopes. That sure is a beautiful place where you live. Take care. Jean

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  10. Unfortunately I didn't have my cell phone with me - - but I will definitely bring it next time. Your fall on the driveway really sounds frightening.

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  11. It sounds like your lucky to be alive never mind walking! Can you drive to where you live (it sounds so steep)? All the best for a continued recovery. The pink blossom is wonderful against the deep blue sky.

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    1. Yes, you can drive to where I live, but the road is narrow, winding, and quite dangerous. That's why I hate having to drive to town.

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  12. I've yet to come across a pair of boots that I haven't slid in, no matter how resistant to ice and moss etc, they claim to be! I giggled rather loudly at 1.2.3. Even in pain and distress you manage to keep your sense of humour up! ........beautiful snaps btw, it's blossoming all around us, too!

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  13. Beautiful pictures, but sure am sorry to hear about the fall.

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  14. Jon, it occurs to me that you might want to invest in spiked footwear. And prescription painkillers. ~~~ NB

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