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Every Life is a Story
    A place to share my own family stories

Monday, January 28, 2008

How My Father Broke His Leg- The First Time.

My father is an avid athlete. He played on all the Varsity teams in highschool. He played in college. He played softball for the Lions Club when I was growing up. He plays golf now whenever he gets the chance.

He was playing intramural basketball in college, when a member of the other team got the ball. He went in for a fastbreak, and my father ran to stop him. He jumped into the air to block the shot at the basket, hooked his hand behind the backboard, and swung feet first, slamming into the gym wall. His leg broke, and he collapsed onto the floor. The break was bad enough that his foot was turned into the opposite direction. A friend of his from high school walked by the crowd of people surrounding my dad, and didnt' even recognize him. He said that he had turned white-hair included.

It was snowing that night as they took him to the university hospital. The hospital was ten minutes away from the gym, but the snow was bad enough that it took them a half an hour to get there. The swelling in his leg was so bad that the doctors couldn't do anything to set it or fix it until the next morning. My father spent that night with his leg in a cardboard box packed with ice to get the swelling down. They had to put in a steel plate and six screws to hold the bone in place.

He was in a cast for eleven months. This is not because the leg actually took that long to mend. It was more because he wouldn't behave with the cast on. All the things he wasn't supposed to do, he went ahead and did anyway. He went fishing in the water, and rotted out the bottom of the cast. He went to archery tournaments, and would wrap plastic bags around his foot- still getting the cast wet with rain and dew. He broke the steel plate in his leg trying to jack up the car after it got stuck on some mountain roads. He sprained his leg in the cast once because of all the activities he was doing. When the cast finally came off, there was grass growing on the bottom of his foot. At least, that's what they told me.

As a child, I would trace the scar on his leg, and hear about the steel plate still there in my father's leg. It was a family story we loved with every retelling.

It was not the only time he broke his leg.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Saturday Nights

I have a long-standing social engagement every Saturday night. That's what I end up telling people when other activities come up on a Saturday night. And it's very true, it's a social engagement that's been going on since I was in college. It's just not something that I can always explain to people who don't understand. What I do is get together every Saturday night with good friends and play games. It's not a story I have to tell, however, because another of my friends has already told it for me. Her article was recently published here: Escapist Article

If you didn't guess, I am the Cruise Social Director and the "Her Royal Highness Supreme Goddess of everything". There's a story to both titles. Her Royal Highness came about because my friend asked me what name she should use for the article. I figured just my first name was boring, so I gave her something far more interesting. As to whether I AM the Supreme Goddess of Everything, you'd have to ask my children. They know.

Cruise Social Director came about only because I fear boredom more than just about anything else. That means if I'm coming up on a holiday or special occasion where NOTHING is planned, I'm darn well going to fill it rather than risk being stuck at home watching the paint dry. It means I never have to worry about hoping for an invite to New Years or Halloween. It's at my house, baby!

Either way, if you're looking for us on Saturday nights, we will try to fit you in....but I have a long-standing social engagement every Saturday.

Monday, January 7, 2008


My oldest had a playdate last Friday. She went on the bus to a friend's house and stayed until 9 o'clock at night. It was great fun, and all were happy.

My playdates weren't always like that. I had a friend when I was in kindergarten that I liked very much. She asked if I could come and play at her house, and I asked my mother. She said yes! So the next day I told my friend I could come play, and I went home with her on the bus. We had a fabulous time. I remember building forts out of blankets in her basement.

Then my mother arrived. My mother was not happy. Apparently what I had heard as "Yes!" was actually "Someday, let me talk to her Mom first and arrange a time." When I didn't get off the bus at my house, my mother spent the afternoon trying to find me. She went to the school, she called the neighbors, she called the police, and only after hours did she think about my request the day before. I had been blissfully unaware that I had even caused a problem.

Was I in trouble? Yes, and no. My mother was too scared and panicked to not let me know well and good what I had done wrong. But she also realized that it was an honest misunderstanding. I remember feeling really bad, but don't remember any lasting punishment.

I do know that I never went to play with that friend again. I'm not sure why....

"To be a person
is to have a story to tell."

- Isak Dinesen  

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