All that breaks is not potter’s clay

Sherri Gardner HowellBlount, Farragut, Kitchen Table Talk

For all of you who have been waiting anxiously to see the outcome of my venture into the art of wheel-turned pottery, it has taken a tumble.

Actually, it took a full-frontal, face-plant fall.

On Sunday, as I walked from Sunday School to the sanctuary at a new/old church I am visiting, I felt my shoe catch. The floor wasn’t slick. There was no rug, mat, puppy or small child running around – just me and my unevenly worn shoes.

It’s a strange sensation – that split-second realization that you are going to fall and hitting the floor. And man, did I hit the floor! Face-down, dress flying up, walking cane clattering to the side, I was on the floor in less than a second. I must have twisted a bit to the left, but my nose and face took the brunt of the fall. My left hand was quick to try to brace, but there was no stopping me. I have some balance problems anyway—hence the walking cane – so there was no stopping me once I pitched forward.

As if falling wasn’t spectacle enough, hitting my nose full force on the floor meant I added quite a bit of bloodshed to the scene. This was only my third visit in several decades to Central Bearden Baptist, but I have met quite a few people in the church and at Sunday School. Luckily several of them were headed into the sanctuary foyer at the same time as I made my dramatic entrance.

We have a doctor in our Sunday School class, and he came to help. There was an incredible physical therapist going into the sanctuary, and she came over quickly. Several from the class brought ice, tissues, and they even found a wheelchair. Strong men helped me stand after all the bleeding finally stopped, and there were several offers to drive me home. I am certainly extremely grateful to Joan who was behind me when I began to fall. She quickly pulled my dress down, sparing me additional embarrassment!

Everyone was absolutely wonderful, and I got home safely, insisting I was completely fine.

I wasn’t. By the next morning I was so sore I could hardly move. My nose hurt. My hand hurt. My ribs hurt. My neck hurt.

A trip to the doctor for X-rays yielded results that were a mix of not-so-good and good news. My nose is broken. My left hand has a couple of breaks. But my ribs are only bruised, and the break in my nose is on the tip so I can breathe a little easier than if it were broken in that thin nasal cavity.

My black eye is not as bad as everyone predicted it would be. It’s just a little blue on one side and easily covered with makeup.

My typing is limited, but a combination of dictation and a weird one hand plus three fingers on the keyboard is working okay.

My pottery adventure however is shattered. With the broken bones and now cast on the left hand, there is no way I will have the strength to work with the clay. In addition, it is now extremely difficult for me to get up-and-down off of chairs or stools that don’t sit up pretty high.

I am sure my teacher will help me make up the three classes I am missing with a later set of classes, but, for now, my fun is over.

And we were making bowls in the next class! I think I’m going to find my new calling with bowls … as long as you don’t want a mug to match.

Sherri Gardner Howell has been writing about family life for newspapers and magazines since 1987. She lives in West Knoxville, is married to Neville Howell and has two sons and three grandsons. Her newest adventure is as a travel agent with her own company, SGH Go Travel. Email her at [email protected]


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