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11.08.2010

I’m Not Dead Yet!

When I was young and zippy I had cash to spare and brains to waste. I blew the whole wad on a pilot’s licence, motorcycles, parachuting and hang gliding. My mother chewed off about 8 good years of her life wondering which of these pursuits was going to land me in a pine box. I poo-pooed the concept that I was mortal and kept on keepin’ on. (Years later, when my daughter started riding a motorbike, my mom got some serious payback). Anyway, while soaring down a ski slope on a hang glider one hot summer day, the thing stalled and left me hanging 20 feet in the air like Wile E. Coyote after he runs off the edge of a cliff. I froze there just long enough to look at my feet before the ground snapped up. I crumpled like a bad idea with 50 pounds of aluminum and fiberglass on top of me. After I limped off, I never put the wings back on again, thinking no harm no foul.

Wrongo. After a decade, some serious back pain I discovered I had a separated disk in my lower back. To avoid spending half my days stretched out I walk lots, stand lots and modified my workshop so I can stand while I work. But that doesn’t stop the old spinal column from still going out on occasion.

Today is one of those days and, man, a bad back and kids don’t mix. Carrying laundry, sweeping floors and bending down to do up zippers and wipe noses becomes a major issue. Suddenly I feel like a real old fashioned grandpa, taking baby steps around the house like I got a full load in my Depends, unable to bend over, and telling everyone I can “do this and do that, damn it! I’m not dead yet!” I wish. Just bending the wrong way over the sink to brush my teeth’ll drop me like a sack under the toilet hoping someone comes home before dark.

I’m really not ready for that scene yet. Before I know it the kids’ll be pushing me around in a wheelchair, shouting in my ear to see if the peas were soft enough before they tell the nurse to wheel me back to my cell.

I better get up, get dinner on the table, and get more exercise.