Friday, March 16, 2018


I read this morning that a Congresswoman has passed after she fell in her home. She was 88.  I recall that when my dad and mom were alive they would refer to friends who were hospitalized after falling. I could not get my arm around it as a relatively young man.  And this is to my discredit. Obviously it happens that what I once considered a simple fall can have disastrous consequences.

The point was driven home to me as I read the article today because last night-- I fell. I was walking in downtown Waltham which has become a rather busy place with more than a dozen restaurants and taverns, a movie theatre, ice cream shop, Indian grocery store the size of Kansas that people come from all over to frequent, and other enterprises of this and that. 

We have had some weather hereabouts. Three times in three weeks--no exaggeration--we have  been hit with storms. I was away for storm two but was back for storm three. Often in New England what passes for a blizzard would not be considered much of anything by those in Buffalo where I resided for the better part of a decade in the seventies and early eighties. But the third one here was a snowfall. Lots of wind and lots of snow.

A fellow who moved to San Diego left me a primitive snowblower when he departed.  I don't use it much because I don't mind shoveling snow and it is such a primitive device that it takes some energy to push the guy along. Also for certain kinds of snow--wet snow--it is not that helpful.  On Tuesday I went out twice during the day with my shovel. I should not have bothered. By the time I went out at 8 pm everything I had done was undone by the snow that had come by in the interval.  So, I took out the blower. It was great, but even with it, I was out there for close to 90 minutes.

Much of it melted in the past days, but last night it got cold again. So as I was walking home I watched my step for black ice.  Missed a spot and came kerplunking down half on the sidewalk and half in the street as I recollect it.  I knew or at least thought I had not broken anything and felt fortunate for that. But I could have. I was wearing my specs and could have come crashing down face forward. But did not.

Nevertheless today I woke up, and all day long, I cannot lift my left arm over my head. Very painful. I'm not a wuss, but if someone put a gun to my head I do not think I could stick em up with my left arm.

I wonder at myself often, as I approach three and a half score, of how foolish I was when I was even ten years younger, and how many of the things I assumed had to be true for everyone--like someone in good shape would not be hobbled by a simple fall.  I also recall my folks talking about people they'd lost and how that was depressing.  I knew it was not easy to lose friends, but I did not realize how much it could bring you down and, whether you liked it or not, thrust your mortality right in front of you.

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