Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Dangers of the Woodpile

Some people just will not learn, cannot be bothered - they are not sure about what they know but are surely determined to do something anyway.   ~

The above is called "blithering".  The blitherer would be me.  The untoward provocation that resulted in said blithering would be the *LOC falling over the woodpile.  I suppose it would not be so upsetting if I did not care about the old coot but ....... here is what happened.

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The other afternoon I heard faint cries for assistance from down the hall, so I went to investigate.  Given that there are only two inhabitants in our little domicile, it seemed fairly certain that the whimper was likely emanating from the LOC.

He was sitting atop our California king-sized bed with his left foot stuck out over the edge of the bed, apparently so as to avoid getting blood from his makeshift bandage on the bedspread.  Upon closer examination, it was not actually a bandage at all, but rather a sizable swirl of TP wrapped around his toes with concerning blood stains seeping through.

"For the love of Pete, what have you done?" I asked in what could only be described as a "tone".

"I was out stacking firewood."

"Well, I guess I sort of tore off a toe nail or something.  I 'm not exactly sure as I can't bend over that far to see it very well.  I thought maybe you could take a look at it."

Long story short, he had partially torn his little toe nail off while stacking firewood.

"How could that happen?  I don't understand.  How could it tear through your shoe?"

"Uh, well, uh, I didn't exactly have my shoes on."

"What?  Have you lost your mind?  Never mind - rhetorical question.  You were stacking firewood barefoot?"

"No, of course not.  I had my slides on." (His open-toed, rubber slip ons.) 

"But I caught my foot with a piece that was stuck between some other pieces and when it came loose it swiped my foot and ...well..."

Hydrogen peroxide, Neosporin, bandages, moving on.
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A few days later the LOC rose gingerly from his recliner and limped toward the kitchen.  I happened to glance up from my reading and saw him moving haltingly across the carpet, placing each foot carefully as he went.  I didn't even want to ask but decided to just get it over with.

"What's the matter?  You look like you can barely walk?  Did you hurt yourself?"  (Please note:  I charitably did not add "again.")

"Oh, nothing for you to worry about.  Just a little sore, that's all."

"But you weren't limping yesterday.  What happened?"

"I had a little fall.  No big deal.  I'm fine."

Sure.  Fine and dandy.  Just a few bruised ribs, a barked shin, a nearly dislocated shoulder, and a wrenched back.  Those are the injuries we could identify.  Who knows what else was tweaked, bruised or micro-fractured?

The culprit?  Once again it seems the woodpile had jumped up and attacked him, out of the blue, with no provocation whatsoever.  He was just stacking wood, a few pieces shifted near where he was standing, he attempted to jump out of the way, and in so doing he fell over the woodpile.

I bit my lip.  I counted to ten.  I took several deep calming breaths and then quietly asked what had to be asked.

"Were you wearing your shoes, at least?"

The LOC was clearly irritated that I should ask such a silly question.

"Of course I was."
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So we had a talk.  I thought I was finished having "talks" about inappropriate behavior when my youngest child became an adult.  I had not counted on the LOC's penchant for risk-taking at this time of life. 

We talked about the fact that we do have central heating, and thus, it is not necessary that we have a fire in the wood burning stove every single day.  We discussed economy - the cost of a few dollars saved on the gas bill, versus potentially tens of thousands for a broken leg, or even worse, back surgery.  We reviewed the fact that neither of us is exactly a spring chicken and the fact that some adjustments in our expectations of ourselves and our own bodies must be accepted.

We talked.  Or as the Lord himself once said to someone in need of a talking-to, "Come now, let us reason together."

Finally, I thought we had reached, if not an agreement, something of an understanding. I must have been living on another planet where older fellows stack firewood made of marshmallows.

For as I left the living room to go to the kitchen, the LOC looked up at me smiling and cheerfully stated, "But honey, I really enjoy stacking firewood."
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Here is the lesson I have decided to learn from all of this.  (I do not know what the LOC has learned and I am not inclined to inquire at the moment.)

Perhaps it is better to keep doing a little more than is strictly indicated than it is to just sit down and bemoan the fact that we can no longer do "this, that, and the other thing."  Maybe one's "ailings" do not have to become one's permanent "failings" - failing to try, failing to enjoy, failing to make an effort.

The fact that he admittedly could not bend over far enough to see his torn toenail, did not prevent him from working his self-appointed chore the next time.  And the further fact that he limped a little as he started out the back door today, did not keep him from smiling as he approached the woodpile.

Maybe there are greater dangers lurking than the woodpile.  Maybe a "sit and sulk" is a great deal more dangerous than a possible stumble now and then, while doing something you really enjoy.
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Dear, Lord, help me to get moving and keep moving.  Just saying .....  :)
Hope your toes are intact, your ailments are few, and your smiles are many. Until next time ~ Marsha
(*Lovable Old Coot)


  1. Old coots have a proclivity to obsessing over a pet program. So your LOC likes to stack wood. Sorry he was injured. It is loving of you to cut him some slack, too. We old guys have endured many lectures over the years: yes, we bring them on ourselves, but we know that. The both of you live long and prosper. Hope you won't need to burn much more firewood this winter. --David

    1. Well, God bless you and I hope your recovery from heart surgery continue at a good pace. Of course, if you have any "inside info" on how I could dissuade him the next time ... no , I guess you guys are going to stick together on something like this. :)

  2. Sorry about the LOC, but I must admit this had me laughing out loud! Hope he heals fast!

    1. Hi, Mari
      You know me, always glad to be able to provide a chuckle, especially at the expense of the LOC ... just saying :)

  3. This was so much fun to read.....albeit at the poor guy's expense!! Louis Dean does these same things!

    1. You know, Linda, I suspected that the LOC and LD might be cousins or something !

  4. Amen!! I am learning this in little things with my husband as he turns 62. I am going to take your lesson to heart! Thanks for sharing!

    1. You are very welcome. I just hope yours makes a little better choices than mine. :)

  5. LOC, gotta love him. Cute story, great lesson. I've got to be honest, I watched my dad let his life whittle down to a recliner. And I believe that it aged his body and his mind much faster than was necessary. There is something to be said about keeping a *youthful* mindset, and at least trying to keep busy and active. Of course, we must let our years of experience help us make intelligent choices. For instance, I'm not going bungee-jumping anytime soon!

    A story from my neck of the woods - I arrived yesterday afternoon from visiting my family. Only to find out that my hubby (almost 62) had been up on a roof, in a snowstorm, trying to help a neighbor fix a leak. Nothing happened, thank goodness. But, when the cat's away, the mouse makes some dumb choices, in my humble opinion...ahem.


    1. Oh, we have already done the "falling off the roof" thing - TWICE ! And no, I am not kidding. I'll tell you which one of us is going to die first, though - ME - from heart failure over his shenanigans! :)