I was having a bit of a back and forth chat with one of my cousins, talking about the good old days and how much trouble we got in without really getting into trouble at all. She was saying how she would never let her kids do some of the things that we did. It's not that our mothers didn't worry but it was just a different time and children were allowed to be more free and able to figure things out on their own.
My cousin, I'll call her Bev, that's her name, remembers that I always was the one who got hurt. She said maybe it was because I was the youngest and they made me try things first, her and her brother and my brother were all older than me by 2-3 years. Maybe I was the clumsiest or maybe I was the most adventurous. I don't know but there were a lot of "accidents" in my pre-teen years and a lot of them required casts. I was recently reminded of something that happened to me when when I was 11 or 12ish and my Mom and I had gone over to visit Bev and Auntie Betty for coffee. I don't remember any males being around that day. My cousins had recently acquired a bicycle built for two and I could not wait to try it out. Bev took the pilot seat, in the front and I was going to pedal from the back. We walked the bike to the top of the hill of the driveway and down the street a bit so we could get off the narrow street and glide down one of the new subdivisions that was still being developed, away from traffic. at the top of the hill we both jumped on the bike and started pedaling. Woohoo, we started picking up speed and that's when I made my fatal mistake. I decided to lift my feet off the pedals and coast, make Bev do all the work. I had to lift my feet high and towards the back of the bike because my pedals were spinning furiously as we picked up speed. That's when it happened, in an instant the toe of my right food made contact with the spokes of the back wheel and hungrily began to consume my foot.
After that it's all a bit of a blur, Bev was still pedaling hard and we were on a hill so my foot being in the spokes had to work pretty hard to bring that heavy bike to a standstill. I don't think it was my foot that stopped the bike I am pretty sure it was my screams. Lucky for us this happened right in front of a house being built and the construction guys were the first at the scene. At some point Bev ran home screaming to get our Moms but I don't really remember. What I do remember is the look on these big strong guys faces when they saw my foot because the bottom of my foot was facing the same way I was. It took them a long time to figure out how to get me out of that bike.I remember being lifted and twisted and somebody had to pedal the bike backwards before it would give my foot back to me it was jammed so far into the spokes and if it weren't for the fact that I was wearing a very sturdy pair of canvas running shoes things would have been far, far worse. As it was the shoe was shredded and so was my foot.
I ended up with a chipped bone on my ankle and a broken bone in my foot but it was the deep scrapes that hurt the most. It was many weeks of crutches and a slow healing on the scrapes because they were so deep. One of my most painful accidents ever.
It wasn't until years later that I realized how traumatic it was for the people that helped me, my cousin Bev, my Mom and my Auntie but especially those construction workers.
I've always had a soft spot for construction workers since that day.
I've broken my foot, twice, wrist, collar bone, and elbow, that was the worst. That's a story for another day. How about you? Ever broke any bones? I bet you thought a cast would be fun until you actually got one.
I'm reminded of this story now because I am having some pain in that old injury and the memories came along for the ride.