It doesn’t hurt as much today. The only lasting damage is to my pride. I want to make clear that I’m hoping for the day when I can finally put these lessons I’ve learned the hard way into practice and avoid any more pain and suffering. I’ve spent my whole life attending the School of Hard Knocks and it’s getting a little old. Does anybody know when the diplomas are handed out?
Last week was difficult in a lot of ways. You know by now that I’m an avowed winter hater, but Wednesday brought over two feet of snow, and Thursday brought record low temperatures of twenty below zero. No, we haven’t moved to Minnesota or North Dakota. This is the South. You know, magnolia trees and iced tea (sweetened, of course) on the veranda. Just not last week. As if the weather itself weren’t enough, frozen pipes and a leaky roof due to an ice dam ensued. The snow was shoveled, pipes were thawed, and the roof got cleared. Then on Friday, the brainiac who writes this blog noticed that the back of the music store had a one and a half foot overhang of ice, along with accompanying icicles nearly to the ground. Believing that I knew better than any of the experts (“Hire someone who knows how to handle the problem.”), I headed under the eave with a shovel. Moments later, gasping in pain, I repented. Fortunately, all I got for my stupidity was a really ugly bruise along my ribcage and a couple days of pain every time I moved. Although she has resisted the temptation to rail on me, I’m confident the Lovely Lady is having second thoughts about the mental capacity of her life’s partner.
Understanding that packaging is essential in making the sale, I presented my best side before we were married. I could have told her that she was marrying a habitual bumbler, but while we were dating, I took a lesson from the butcher, who always puts the fat under the good meat. The thing is, you know it’s there, but you buy it anyway, since what is visible is completely acceptable. By now, she’s had lots of firsthand experience and has even heard many of the heretofore untold stories, so I’m not sure why she was surprised by last week’s episode. Perhaps she believed that I had enough credits to graduate from that hard knock school also. She knows better now.
One of my earliest clumsy accidents took place in Jacksonville, Florida, where my Dad was stationed during his Navy years. I was four at the time and thought that it would be great fun to run around with a grocery sack over my head. The only problem was that I didn’t have the foresight to cut eye holes. The blood poured everywhere as I ran into the propane tank outside the house. Mom put a “butterfly” bandage to close the wound, but the scar remains on the bridge of my nose to this day.
A couple years later, my oldest brother was using what we called a weed cutter, also known as a weed whip, to knock down the tall grass near the driveway. I wanted to be able to do that too and stood watching him, moving closer little by little. The loud “chunk” sound stopped him cold and he rushed me home to have another butterfly bandage placed on my cheekbone near my right eye. The crinkle shaped scar is still visible.
I could go on and on. The cut on my foot from my fall into the canal reservoir (the last place the canal was above ground for three miles), rescued by my oldest brother again. The time I ran into a wire strung between two trees while riding my bike, tumbling head over heels. I lost a thumbnail and still bear a scar along the side of my right thumb. You know the football story, a scar which I can feel, but can’t see since the Lord has allowed me to keep my hair. The scar on my little finger from washing the car (too stupid for me to elaborate on). I am a klutz. Years later, as I left my position with the electrical contractor, my supervisor told me that he would be contacting Johnson & Johnson about my change in jobs. When I inquired as to why, he replied that it was only fair to warn them that the Band-aid market was going to be losing money without my constant need for their products anymore.
I try, really I do. I will never knock ice from the eave again while standing under it. I promise! But, I am confident that I will find a different way to hurt myself. It seems that life keeps handing me different lessons to learn and most of them, I learn the hard way. I’ve said before that these hard knock lessons are the schooling we learn best, but I’m just hoping for the day when the lessons stop hurting me so much.
Until then, I’m keeping the pain reliever and bandages handy. Oh, and it would be better for my pride if you’d keep this little episode to yourself, too.
“The burned hand teaches best.”
(J.R.R. Tolkien~Lord Of The Rings)
“We cannot learn without pain”
(Aristotle~Ancient Greek philosopher)