Random Examples of My Grace


Yesterday one of the associates at the office was frightened by a branch.  Yes, it was funny to see his reaction and yes, being a guy, he was embarrassed and “humiliated”.  Oh please.

It led me to remember all of those times I have done something stupid.  I will hit the highlights as there really are an extraordinary number of occurrences.  But know this, they don’t embarrass me any longer.  I just shrug and laugh and say “and that happened”.

One of my earliest is when I was about 13 or 14 and my sister had been married a very short time and we were at the beach in South Carolina.  We were in the Ripley’s Believe It or Not wax museum and it was dark and I was scared.  Not normal, pensive, scared.  Flat out frightened to the point I was holding onto my brother-in-law and my sister like I was glued to them.  To make matters worse one of my cousins was screaming and making a fuss.  We heard a noise of “chains rattling” and I went ballistic and clung to my brother-in-law.  Out comes the janitor with a large set of keys on a chain.

The second time I did something that was embarrassing was when I was a sophomore in high school and we went to Stillwater to visit Father Bob at St John’s University Parish.  There was a Senior in college at OSU visiting him and in my 15-year-old eyes he was gorgeous.  While on the steps my mother said something about me having a crush on him and I said, “I would kiss him on his mouth.”  Then I looked up and he was standing on the landing listening.  While now, I would just smile and say, “hey you’re cute.”  At 15 I was mortified and ran down the steps and out into the car.

But my most graceful moves have occurred while I was an adult.  Some of my first adult occurences involved falling.  Yep, falling down, onto my knees (years of volleyball trained me well).  The last fall involved landing right on my back.

I lived in Dallas and my mother, my cousin Eddy, and her daughter Erin came down to spend the weekend with me and I had passes to the PGA tournament in Las Colinas.  True to form, in May, it had been raining for days and the greens were slick and the pathways muddy.  I was wearing white.  We were crossing the fairway and I turned to my mother and said, “Mom be really careful, the grass is very slippery.”  No longer than it took for me to take one more step and boom! I fell down on one knee.  I got up and boom! I fell again, this time on both knees.  My legs were muddy up to my knees and my arms up to my elbow.  My mother made it across without incident.

I was in Tulsa going on the Cascia Walk which is a fund-raiser for the school where several of the nice homes around Cascia Hall Catholic School have had a designers come in and redecorate several rooms.  People pay to walk to and through these homes.  I was with my mother, my cousin Pat and her husband Bill.   I have no idea what was wrong with me but I fell.  I just fell onto the front yard of one of the homes.  Understand there are crowds of people walking and waiting to get in.  I popped up before Bill could come over and be a gentleman.  Thirty minutes later, I did it again.  My cousin never lets me forget it.

Then there was the little problem in Chicago when I fell off a roof and down onto the next floor’s balcony.  Yes, this was major league stupid.  I was with Richard and Greg.  They were known to get me to do things I wouldn’t normally do.  We were visiting friends in Wrigleyville and the owners of the apartment (top floor) wanted to show everyone the view from the roof.  You could look down onto Wrigley Field..well sort of.  Anyway there was an opening in the roof of the porch and the guys, being guys, could pull themselves up with their upper body strength.  I wanted to see.  With Richard and Greg standing at the opening looking down, another girl and I decided we were going up.  I might add that I was wearing a short leather skirt and high-heeled leather pumps.  We pulled over a table but it was too low so we placed a beer keg on top of it and I figured if I got up on that, and walked the brick wall while Richard and Greg pulled, I would be up.  That was the plan.  Here is what happened.  I climbed up on the table and beer keg which I thought was heavier than it was.  The first step off of that apparatus with my leather soled high heel on the brick and the table tipped, Richard and Greg didn’t quite have a firm grasp of me yet and I fell backwards and down onto the next level balcony flat on my tush.  BAM.  I knew the minute I did it that I was injured.  But what really made me angry was that I broke three fingernails, scuffed up my shoe and tore my leather skirt and ran my stockings.  (side note:  I had back surgery the following July)

Living in Chicago I came home one dark and snowy evening.  The walkway to my front door appeared clear.  I emphasize ‘appeared’.  There were two huge mounds of snow on either side of the walkway and front porch where the walkway had been shoveled.  However, where the roof overhang had melted and dripped snow was refrozen into two dreadful words BLACK ICE.  In this case cement colored ice.  I was wrapped in a coat to my feet, hat, gloves, a sweater, a jacket and I went bopping up the walkway.  I slipped and landed face first into a snow pile.  Because I was sinking into it and layered so heavily I had a hard time getting out.  I made a huge snow angel.  I stood completely covered in snow; head to toe.  I brushed it off as well as I could before I went inside and faced Will.  At some point he went outside and came into the bedroom and said, “Bunny (yes he called me Bunny) did you see that human sized snow angel outside?”  I was silent, absorbed in reading my book.  “It’s almost as if YOU made it.”  He knew.  I knew he knew.  “Shut up.”  I rolled over and went to sleep.

After the fire I was living in a very nice leased house and it was a snowy winter for us in Tulsa.  I walked my beagles, Jake & Lucy, each morning.  It was about 6 a.m., dark, and it had snowed again.  Again, during the day, the porch overhang had dripped melted snow onto the steps.  Jake was in a particular hurry and was pulling me and I placed on foot on the top step and Bam!  You know that millisecond when you know you’re falling and it’s in slow motion then everything speeds up and you’re on your back with your knee racked by the wrought iron railing?  I laid there for a moment thinking I had broken my back but just knocked the wind out of me.  Lucy, was up on me licking my face but Jake, well, Jake just hiked his leg and pee’d on my foot.  It just doesn’t get better than that.

I could go on and on about stupid things I’ve done.  I laugh at them.  If I went around embarrassed each time I pulled a dumb move I’d be embarrassed often.

Besides, I believe my sister has taken over the role of the “faller”.

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