… on pride-ing and falling again (dammit)


This whole ‘pride goeth-ing before the fall’ thing is getting old.

Allow me to amend my previous statement.

This whole ‘pride goeth-ing before my fall’ thing is getting old.

This has been an interesting theme in my life, which I assume is The Universe’s attempt at cosmic education. Case in point would be the time a friend told me that I could have my gardens proclaimed a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Foundation.

My Nana and Papa gifted me subscriptions to Ranger Rick – that factoid-rich trash panda who happens to be the National Wildlife Foundation mascot – for nearly a decade during my youth. So being dubbed a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the same organization?

I was practically being knighted.

Also, I was sure I’d be like Snow White or Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty in that all the birds would land on me and the critters would want to make me outfits and stuff.

And then a rat showed up.

And I know that you are not supposed to discriminate against certain wildlife over other wildlife. I get that. But… a rat showed up.

Because pride, that’s why.

There may have been a few dozen more prideful occurrences before that one.

But it was the rat on the porch that had me laser-focused on humility. It was the last straw, a strong message from The Universe for sure.

Well… last straw-ish.

Yesterday I boarded a gorgeous wooden schooner for a two and a half hour afternoon sail put on by a phenomenal local organization called Rebuilding Together. I’d been invited a few weeks back and had been looking forward to it ever since. I’m quite fond of the organization, and the local friends and neighbors who work to make it so great and impactful for so many folks in our region.

Also, you gotta love sailing on a big ol’ wooden ship, through a glorious summer’s day.

I’m just sayin’.

So there I am, sitting on top of the cabin with my friends and I start… bragging.

I mean, I didn’t mean to brag, but I was saying that I’d been applying the ‘secret sauce’ (everyone seems to have their own) to waterproof the wood on my little skiff a week or so back, and that I was doing it from beneath the upside-down skiff. This was my view:

And I was really proud of myself (which is not the braggy part (even though I said the word ‘proud’)), until the next morning when my shoulder was killing me!

That was when one of my friends said that I might have wanted to flip the boat over so that I could apply the stuff right side up, which could have saved my shoulder.

This was an excellent point, of course, but here comes the bragging.

I said that my shoulder totally felt better in no time and I was very happy about that because the same friend who suggested flipping the skiff over actually has a bum shoulder (or two) and they have been bothering her for a while now. I told her I didn’t want her to think I was copying her.

I’m pretty sure The Universe took a note. Like, ‘Oh she is on thin ice now. Look at her being all braggy about having a pain free shoulder and trying to hide it with comedy’.

But I think it – The Universe, that is – was going to give me a second chance. I really do. And I should have paid a lot more attention because I blew that chance… and blew it quickly.

Like, this quick…

The sail ended.

My friends dropped me off in the driveway.

I noticed roses.

My roses.

The Universe noticed me noticing my roses.

These roses – the ones on my driveway gates-slash-trellises – have been in the ground for three seasons (including this one) and have never bloomed. And they are not even hard roses to grow! They are supposed to be really easy, and therein has lied (laid? lown?) oodles of  frustration on my part.

But they are blooming now.

I am so excited.

I say to my friends that I am so excited.

And then it happens… right there in my brain, I begin thinking, ‘I’m such a good rose mama!’ and also ‘I am practically a magician!’

My friends chuckle at my giddiness, and leave me and my excitement with the roses… and The Universe, which can totally read minds, and has had enough of me and my shoulder-plus-roses self-glorification.

I go inside.

Because, clearly, I need to document my brilliance.

I take my camera outside.

The late afternoon light is pretty.

I squat down.

I squat down as I have squatted down a thousand times ten thousand times this spring and early summer, as I plant and weed and and and.

But I can’t get quite the right angle.

I shift from one leg to the other.

I consider dropping one knee down to get a little lower and more sturdy and… some stones shift, I shift and… crack.

Nope, not the camera.

Now, to be clear, my knees crack sometimes when I get up from a deep squat, and this sounded just like that – it wasn’t a scary big ‘pop’ like the one that, say, took Julian Edelman away from my beloved Patriots in 2017.

Problem was, it didn’t feel just like one of those ‘innocent’ cracks.

My brain was all, ‘No biggie, just stand up… and that hurt. It hurt so much that I got dizzy and had to put my hands on my thighs and my head down and breath deeply as I eased back up.

Which was when our new neighbor drove up the little hill and stopped to tell me she had been admiring the gardens and was so happy I was outside so she could tell me so.

So very nice.

And what did I, a recovering (sort of) people pleaser, do?

I smiled and acted as if everything was normal and thanked her and chatted for a good minute or two and, then, when she left, I went back to the deep breathing and knee pain whilst, at the same time, wondering if I’d been rude for not walking over to her car.

But I couldn’t walk over to her car!

So then I was standing (tilting) in my driveway, laughing at myself because – quite plainly – I am an idjut.

So now here I sit, with a sprained knee that hurts like the dickens, which I am told is normal. If it becomes wobbly, I will go have important pictures taken of it, but for now there is remarkably little swelling and I am on the R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate) regimen.

The dogs are eyeing me suspiciously, as I’m much slower than I was yesterday. Belle’s ‘spare human’ (JoHn) is not here so she is having to deal with the agony of waiting a minute or two more for her dinner to be put in front of her. Blaze, as an elder statesman, is taking it in stride. She doesn’t get up much herself, and is conveying (with her mind) that I may want to try the monoclonal antibody treatments she’s been taking for her osteoarthritis. She says it’s made a big difference.

But it’s not osteoarthritis for me (at least not right now), just a pain the arse (and knee) sprain that will keep me close to home for a week or two. And how much can I complain about that, here on the midcoast of Maine as summer envelopes us?

Not much, that’s how much.

As ever, I’m learning my lessons from The Universe as they are dished out. I just have to stay humble, low key. Step away from the braggy.

I can do that.

In case you need to see it, here is the last snap of the camera, before the snap, crackle, and – not so much – pop of the knee.

It’s not even a very good photo, probably because I was falling down when I took it.

It’s just your everyday, average Rosa ‘New Dawn’ climbing rose.

Hanging out with a few other Rosa ‘New Dawn’ climbing roses that worked their way into bloom.

Looking fabulous and rose-y, all of them.

Blooming happily, I’d say.

Probably due to all my care and coaxing, I might also say, if I was feeling braggy… which I’m not.

But thank goodness I did all that research to know what to feed them (and when). Moving the mulch away from the stems probably also helped. And the monitoring of the soil – not too wet, but never, ever dried out. And don’t get me started on the importance of air circulation. Oh! And the daily chats and affirmations… I mean, without those…


Oh shit.

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