Sunday, January 10, 2010

Off with a Bang

I started the New Year off by falling down.

No, not from any artificial impairment, and not from anything as exciting as a horse. This time I fell off my own two feet.

It was a bright, blue, beautiful morning. New day, new week, new year! Full of new chances and bright new possibilities.  The weather was gorgeous—still a little cool, but on it’s way to to the incredible 74 degrees it would be by lunchtime.

You have to understand that Christmas in California—at least here near the coast--means that in the last few weeks we’ve had almost every kind of weather imaginable.

tropical flower vine Dec 1 2009 Sunshine….

December started off warm—the tropical vines over my table on the patio burst into unrestrained, almost obscene bloom on Dec. 1st. Roses were budding like crazy all over the garden, the not-a-camphor trees were covered in tiny white flowers, the sun was shining, and the sky was blue. 

Then we had a little rain…. much needed and welcomed. Also slightly unexpected, torrential, and brief.
Lovely green things started sprouting everywhere, the tiny white flowers from the not-a-camphor trees started drifting down like delicate white snowflakes everywhere, but then

it got COLD….

Really, REALLY cold. So cold, in fact, that for a couple of days I could see real SNOW from my backyard!
(Have I mentioned that I LOVE living out here?!)
Snow Dec 2009

Unfortunately, the frost that accompanied the snow took out the tops of the vines and some of the just-sprouted lovely green things. Somebody’ll have to do some pruning out there.

Any day now.

Then the heating went out on the 23rd (of course!) which was also the coldest night all year (of course!) and didn’t get fixed (sort of) until the 28th.

The little dog, however, knew just what to do. He moved from his usual warm, sunny spot out on the patio to an even warmer one inside:

DSCN4484 DSCN4483

So we had a fire burning non-stop over the holidays. Nice, and it turns out that the goofy little ole fireplace heats up pretty well!

(You’d think a black dog would get hot enough—sometimes he lies in the blazing sun until his fur is almost too hot to touch! But he loves being warm and basks in the heat.)

(He’s curled up at my feet, under the desk, with his head on my foot, as we speak.)

Starting Christmas Day, the weather warmed up. And up. And UP. Which brings me to back to New Year’s…

I was on my way down the driveway. Just happy that the sun was shining, and glad that it’s a New Year (this is going to be SUCH a good year!) and glad to be alive. And not watching where I was going until it was too late….

My happy-go-lucky, unsuspecting left foot landed on  the sharp edge of my poorly graded driveway, my ankle knicked over, and I started to fall…

There is a horrible fraction of a second, when you realize that you’re falling, but are already past your center of gravity and beyond any point of equilibrium. Helpless to do anything but flinch in anticipation of the inevitable, and rapidly-approaching impact.

I landed HARD. So hard I bounced. So hard that I was in shock for a second. So hard, that a second later I started to cry.

I lay there for a minute. As the shock wore off, the pain flooded in, and I assessed the damage. My first fear and concern is always my knees but practice or luck had protected them and they were fine.

But I’d twisted one ankle, tweaked the other, scraped a knee, banged an elbow (HARD!) when it hit the raised edged of the damned driveway, hurt my shoulder, and had the inevitable, grit-ingrained, scraped palm. Later I’d realize that I also wrenched my back—one of the invisible injuries that no one who hasn’t been there themselves understands.

Which, come to think of it, is true with most injuries and might warrant a discussion all its own.

In any case, I eventually got up. At first I wasn’t sure I could make it the short distance back to the house, but it’d been a long time since I sprained an ankle. I’d forgotten how much it could hurt. And how quickly you get used to it and walk on it anyway.

I did wonder, briefly, if I should do something …like ice or Ace bandages. My neighbor sprained her ankle recently. She said it didn’t hurt, but that she had to hobble around for a week or two with it bandaged. Her husband’s a physical therapist, so he would know.

But there’s no one in my house that smart. And besides, mine really hurt (still does) so maybe that was a good sign? I was determined to walk it off—so I later that day I put the dog on the leash and went for a long walk around the field, just because. I even went to the gym that night. I couldn’t hack the elliptical, but I did pedal away on the old-lady bike for almost an hour.

I wasn’t until I was changing for bed that I realized that I’d had blood dripping down my leg from the scrape on my knee. Of course, by then it was dry, so I just scrubbed it off and went to bed, determined that the next day would be better.

NOTHING is going to stop me from having a GREAT year!