Sunday, July 02, 2006

Wrung Out

Do you remember wringer washing machines? My grandma used to write in her diary every Monday morning how thankful she was for hers. I have many memories of walking over to her house on a Monday after school and seeing that machine in her kitchen. We were warned more than once to keep far away from the wringer.

Two days before my birthday last month I had my very own wringer washer moment. I am still somewhat puzzled as to how I am here to tell you about it. The moment definitely got my attention.

I tend to be anal about lawn mowing. You can do a great job at mowing the whole thing and I can fixate on that little strip that somehow got missed. Lawn mowing is one of the few things in life one can do that won't get messed up overnight. (Other than those dandelions who duck their heads when the mower passes over them!)

Dearest one had just fixed the lawn tractor. Before I started to mow lawns he told me not to get myself in a spot where I had to rely on the clutch to stop because it was going to take some breaking in for the thing to be reliable. No problem. 'Cept for that little strip of lawn that lies between the A shaped frame on the end of the heavy duty swing set in our yard. The strip I can get anal about. Normally I inch my way up to that strip to mow it, back up and go on my merry way. The weed eater thingy takes care of what I can't reach with the mower. I was trying to inch as close as I could get when the clutch worked just fine to stop me. So I thought I would see just how close I could inch. The next thing I knew I was being squeezed wringer washer like between sitting on the mower seat and the cross bar on the A frame of the swing set. Did I mention that space was 6 inches high and I am a 200 pound woman? Or that the swing set is held down so tight there is no give to it? I had no time to think. Next thing I knew I was out the other side in pain. A small tear in an abdominal muscle was the extent of my injuries. It felt like the tractor seat bent over backwards as I went under the cross bar. But we checked the seat and there is no bending backwards to be had. It also felt like my esophagus had rubbed all the way up as I went under but there is no explanation why my chin didn't catch on the cross bar as I went by.

I have had plenty of time since then to sit in my gazebo and look out at the swing set and think. My husband spends part of his work day in ER and he sees the sometimes tragic consequences of stupid accidents. Preventable accidents. Ones like mine. I was pretty shook up and cried some because I knew that there are people every day who don't live to tell about it. Every time I see the swing set I have a little talk with God about life. And I thank God for sparing mine that day.

And being anal about lawn mowing? That little strip of grass can grow three feet high for all I care. Sure, it being there will bother me but being able to see it and tell you about it, feels like a gift.

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