As I'm leaving on Thursday to head north on the first leg of my mini-holiday, I've had lots of chores and things to do this week. I knew today was going to be the worst as I had appointments and several errands to run all over town, so I got up really early, not only because of my schedule, but also for the dogs to have a good walk at the park without collapsing from heat stroke.
So, we're about halfway around, lots of trees for shade and near the river. The boys are off-leash as there is no one else on the trail, or even in sight. Ozzy is on one side of the path, Max on the other when I hear this rushing sound behind me. I turn just as two
Thankfully, when I growl "stay" in the tone of an irate Kodiak bear, the boys freeze like popsicles and the couple blaze through us without incident. I wanted to throw rocks at them.
Still. No casualties or altercations--though I was sorely tempted to point out they were totally in the wrong area of the park.
I turn back to continue walking, release the popsicle dogs, contemplate the crass disregard the couple have shown...and promptly trip over the hump of a tree root in the asphalt.
[Aside: There are several very old, very large trees along this part of the walk. Their roots have burrowed under the path and buckled it in many places]
I try to keep my balance, but the root is a big one with a long split down the middle of the asphalt which catches the side of my shoe just when I think I've saved myself. I land on my right knee and skid on my palms until I'm laying flat out on the path.
Suddenly, I am six years old. I feel the burn in my hands, know my knee is cut, want to scream for my mommy. Max dashes up, sticks his nose in my face--I guess to make sure I'm not dead--then wanders off to sniff the tall grass under the tree that has tripped me up; Ozzy doesn't even bother to look in my direction.
I roll over and sit up. The blood is already running down my right palm, the skin is shredded, there are bits of gravel and dirt embedded and it stings like a million bees. The left palm isn't so bad...it was easier to pull out the debris and it wasn't bleeding too much.
My knee, however, is a mess. I spent most of my childhood with Band-Aids on my knees. Seriously. Back in the day, my mother should have bought stock in the company. I think the layer of skin might be thinner than normal from all the times I scraped both knees raw in accidents and mayhem. Right now I have a two-inch gash in my knee that is bleeding profusely.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Throw in some camels and a few sheep. And a donkey. Ow ow ow ow.
I get up and hobble back to the car, blood dripping off my fingers, and snaking down my knee into my right shoe. I dig out some bandages from the first aid kit and gingerly grip the steering wheel to drive home.
There's just enough time to doctor my wounds before I have to head back down the mountain for the appointments and errands. Once everything was cleaned and bandaged, I felt better, though now the right palm stings like crazy every time I wash my hands. And my poor, ol' knee? It's already bruising around the gash and a bit swollen, and hurts in a dull, achy oh-yeah-I-remember-this kind of way.
Whilst driving around town, groaning as I got in and out of the car, I couldn't help pondering the vagaries of Fate. What if I hadn't gone walking so early? What if those
Thing is, there's nothing more senseless than asking what if. And I've got the scars to prove it...