Wednesday, July 19, 2006


In my previous post, you learned that I nearly knocked myself out last weekend while claiming a small island for the queen. That episode brought back another memory where I did actually go out for a short time.

It was a late summer evening just as the day was turning “dark thirty,” as my dad referred to it. A short soaking shower had just passed through our area, dropping the heat index several degrees, and was in process of steaming off the hot asphalt of the neighborhood street.

Several of us had rallied in the street for one last spin before being called in for the night. I had only had my bicycle since the end of spring and was learning new tricks. I had already learned to put playing cards on the front and rear fender braces with clothespins and was buzzing up and down the street pretending to be a motorcycle, as was everyone else.

I had come a long way since the training incident two months earlier where my dad thought it would be a great idea if I got started by rolling down a hill so he would not have to tag along. Well, I centered a plum tree in the backyard as pretty as you did please with him screaming “TURN!” all the way. It was several days before he could coax me back into giving it another try.

Recently, though, I had begun perfecting another great bicycle trick – riding with no hands - quite dangerous, but the advancing rider had to master it or they could not move on to standing on the seat, or riding backwards!

So, as the light faded from the day and the steam continued to rise, I rode further and further with no hands, only catching the handlebars when I drifted too close to the ditch on the far side of the street from our house. Not being able to see the blackness of the road very well in the evening light I traveled with no hands through a short line of potholes.

The front tire bounced hard from the bottom of the first hole up into the blunt edge of opposite side, spinning the handlebars sharply out of my grasp and the bicycle out of control. I went into the second pothole with a big splash. It was a few moments before I woke up in the house lying on the couch with my mom and others gathered around looking at me anxiously.

What I had missed was someone screaming in front of my house that I was down and not moving. My mom ran from the house into the street and scooped me from the pothole. What she could not tell was that the warm liquid that dripped from between her fingers was not my blood! She was terrified as she ran with me back into the house and light. The light revealed that the only blood was a small spot on the back of my head and that it was not life threatening. That’s where I caught up with the story.

After a couple of hugs and a few words about why I should stop showing off on my bicycle, I rubbed my head and asked for some ice cream. When a local girl had her tonsils removed, the kids in the neighborhood had learned that the hospital gave her ice cream, so we used that knowledge to get a little bigger helping whenever we were sick or hurt. All was well again!


Goddess said...

Ya know, after I read your stories about childhood, my stories about pretending to be the Girl from U.N.C.L.E. all seem to be so damn pathetic....;)

BTW, my husband had the overprotective kind of dad who only let him ride his bike UPhill...LOL. Not much fun that.

Mushy said...

Uphill! You see, that's you gift, you are funny and it keeps me going back for more.

But anyway, thanks for the nice comment.