Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Yeah, Mom has one. Dad called me when I got back from Chicago to tell the tale. He said he was on the baler and expected Mom so sit in the truck. (Insert sigh here.) She evidently decided to take a walk up the driveway and when he found her she had fallen and hit her face and bent her glasses. Evidently, she could not stand up on her own, but sat up on her knees, seemingly unphased, and waited for him to come by and set her back on her feet. He said that Conna, the neighbor, had "doped her up" with some antibiotic ointment and she was fine.

Two things worried me about this call. First, if she had fallen and not received any marks, he probably wouldn't have told me. Secondly, if he took her to the neighbor to get "doped up" as he said, he must not have known exactly what to do. So, ASAP, I went down there to check the situation out myself.

Upon entering the house I said, "Ok, Mom....let's see what you did," and turned her face to me. There she was with an eye as black and blue as the ocean at midnight. She smiled and her eyes twinkled as she ran her finger across her blackened cheek bone. Obviously, she was impressed with herself. She then ran her fingers down to her knees to show me she had also lost a little skin there. Her glasses were scratched and all caddy-wampus (is this a word?) I said, "You and Dad have been into it again, I guess." She chuckled and again, appeared pleased with her wounds.

If Mom was the type of grandma who sat on her porch swing and did needlework, I might have gasped or exclaimed something. But we all know she's not. My mind went back to her telling me everytime we got the sewing machine out, "You know, one time I sewed right through my finger, nail and all!" She seemed to joy in the "cringe factor." And 1,000 other times I've seen her tell people, "Yeah, that steer came right after me and right before he got there, I put my hands on his head and pushed away. Look at my finger!" She would hold up the finger she broke in the process, all healed wrong, curved and permanently deformed. It was a small bone, she figured, so she just popped it back in place herself and continued to load cows. Another story went, "This cow was coming after me and hooked one horn under my rib cage and lifted. Look at this bruise!" She'd lift her shirt to reveal a bruise that covered 50% of her body. (She did have to see a doctor for that one.)

To my mom, getting work done faster and better than anyone else was where the glory was. The tougher the job, the better that "wonderful sense of accomplishment" was supposed to feel, (so she told me.) But when a person could do this same difficult job while sustaining a substantial injury, that was just icing on the cake! And so, I looked at her eye, and I looked at her smile, and I saw a twinkle of pride in her eyes, and I said, "Yeah, looks good. You're a tough old bird, but next time, I think you'd better work on that landing." So we chuckled together and I was just about as happy for her, as she was for herself.

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