Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thursday's Tumbles and Stumbles ~ The Wet Pine Straw Incident

Last Sunday you read about my hospice dilemma. So you know I've been taking my own
trash out and then wheeling it to the road. It does sound like much, but I want you to consider my home sits in the middle of an acre of land so the driveway leading to the road is more than a couple of feet. It's more like 200+ feet from my garage to the road. From my front door to the trash cans is sixteen feet.

It being winter in southeastern Georgia, we don't have snow, but we get rain. Of course, the pine trees are doing their part by dumping loads of pine straw as wide as they are tall. When pine straw gets wet, it's slick so I always take extra care when walking on it. It's almost as bad as walking on salted ice. Slippery with a little bit of traction...just to put it in perspective for you yankees. (grinning)

Now imagine little, ol' me pushing a dumpster almost fully loaded (under 50 lbs) down a long driveway covered in wet pine straw. Not one but two of them (one regular trash and one recycle bin). The bins aren't small and the handle comes just below my chest. The wheels catch on every pine cone and twist the can throwing my balance off, because I'm using the trashcan to balance me rather than my cane.

I'll stop and get my balance back before I go forward again. Another foot achieved, and then *bump* another pine cone. This one was flattened by my car wheels. Except this time the wheels of the bin hit an open spot of pavement and kept rolling. Forward went the trash bin and so did I before I could catch my balance. I'm stepping and shuffling like mad to keep from falling.

I was mentally patting myself on the back when it happened again. This time I was not so lucky. This time the trash can was tilted back so the wheels would roll and it kept on leaning and carried me with it. My feet sought traction on the wet pile of pine straw beneath my feet and found none. I went down to the driveway in a half split. The trash can conveniently landing on one of my outstretched legs. You guessed it. It was my leg clad in my AFO and my functioning leg up underneath me. It was a sight worthy of a Kodak moment.

There I sat on a pile of wet pine straw. Rain water soaking through my pants in 36 degree weather. I wanted to cry. Not from being hurt but in frustration. I rocked and pulled my functioning leg out from under me, and then proceeded to kick the living tar out of the trash bin to get my other leg free. The kicking definitely eased my frustration, but it also used needed energy stores.

I stretched both legs out in front of me while I regained my composure and compiled the energy it would take to flip my fat behind over doggy style so I could stand up. The cold was quickly eating up my reserves. I used my feet to clear an area of pine straw before trying to stand or I'd never get up.

I was standing. Wohoo! Upright again! I flexed my skinned knees and hands while I glared at the trash bin. I was tempted to leave it where it lay. I kicked it again for good measure and said some not nice words to it. Finally, common sense won out. I couldn't leave it in the middle of my driveway and it wouldn't be emptied unless it was by the curb. I picked it up one handed by bracing it with my knee. Sure it threatened to open up and dump it's load, but my will was stronger.

I pushed it the last eighty feet to the curb. Saying a few choice words to recycle bin, I pushed it to the curb without incident. Hobbling into the house to tend to my wounds, my hubby calls to me. "You forgot to empty my trashcan."

"I'll get it for next week's haul," I answered as I made my way into the bathroom. I know he didn't hear me because I was in the hallway when I said it. All I wanted was to get the scrapes cleaned and put on some dry britches. Everything else could wait.

So that's the story of the pine straw incident. How have your tumbles and stumbles been this week?


  1. This post was so scary I could not finish reading it.

  2. Yeah Rebeca, it's one of those scary situations we all face.

  3. Ouch! {{{{hugs}}} The things we take for granted that we can do. I'll never look at my dumpster the same again.

  4. Yay for you! Conquering those evil trash bins! Give 'em a kick for me! And kick that pine straw too!

    And yes, everything, even simple things, are harder. People do take this stuff for granted.

    Stay strong. (I know you will.)

  5. Jo - I know I just left a comment, but was sitting here thinking about your dilemma and remembered that awhile back I saw a flyer from our garbage collection that said they offer a special service for disabled/elderly where they will actually stop their trucks and go to your house to get your trash cans, so you don't have to pull them out to the curb. Does your garbage collection offer such a service? Might be worth checking out.


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