Coffee breaks and concrete steps

Cindy ArpOur Town Outdoors

Last week I talked about husband Dan’s exhausted guardian angel. Well, apparently, while I was writing about Dan’s angel, mine took a coffee break.

In my summer-long quest to vanquish some long-neglected ivy from a steep bank beside our equally steep front-yard sidewalk, I took a step too far, executing what seemed like a never-ending, slow-motion fall, and landing in a heap at the bottom of the steps.

Do not try this at home; it hurts and has consequences.

For a few moments I lay in the grass at the bottom of the sidewalk, waiting for the pain to abate; then I cautiously sat up. When I was vertical again, I noticed blood dropping and realized an elbow and a knee were bleeding. Still sitting there, I took off my headband and found blood on that as well.

Eventually I rose to an upright position and limped my way into the house, cleaned myself up and called Dan. Lots of ice compresses and Advil plus Tylenol helped, but the next day I woke up feeling terrible so off to the Emergency Room we went. A CAT scan and several X-rays proved that nothing is broken. I don’t have any brain bleeds, but I do have a concussion. I was informed that more ice, higher doses of Tylenol and taking it easy is my path forward.

Concussions mean you must limit your screen time. That means you watch TV a bare minimum amount of time for short periods, and you stay away from any flickering lights such as those emitted by computers and mobile phones. This is going to be a struggle.

Concussions mean that you rest your brain. I am an owner of a restless brain, one that constantly spins, and I’m not quite sure how, other than sleeping, I am going to “rest” it. This will be another struggle, but on the bright side I have been told I can read until I’m tired and with 55 books on my TBR (To Be Read) list, that won’t be a problem.

Trying to make lemonade out of lemons, I’ve decided with the popularity of all things retro, for the next little bit my name will be Retro Woman. When a concerned friend called and we discussed how I am going to continue to write this column, he pointed that Henry David Thoreau wrote with pen and ink, and we decided if it was good enough for Thoreau, it will be good enough for me.

Well, this will certainly force me to choose my words more carefully as I will be handwriting them.

For all my struggles concerning banned technology, that is not my greater lesson here. My lesson is to be mindful, cautious, vigilant and patient. Another lesson might that next time I battle ivy, or any other physical attempts, I slow down and take it easy.

My time away from technology’s flickering lights will help me focus on the daily miracles of nature, those wonderful words of encouragement or thought, those things that are always right in front of me. As I venture into this new retro land. I’ll keep you posted on writing the old-fashioned way.

In the meanwhile, watch for your guardian angel, folks, and if that Spirit is taking a coffee break, just wait until your angel comes back before doing anything.

Cindy Arp, teacher/librarian, retired from Knox County Schools. She and husband Dan live in Heiskell.


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