Fall-ing into winter


Loretta LiefveldI stretch to pick that one, huge, perfect apple, just barely out of reach.  It’s so much larger than the other apples on the tree and looks so beautiful.  I know I should get down and re-position the ladder, but it seems like so much trouble for just one more apple.  My 5-gallon bucket is almost full.  It’s just one more.

But what's wrong with this picture?

Feeling the ladder start to give way, I briefly think about grabbing the branch in front of me.  Just as quickly, I realize that the branch is old and probably brittle.  Grabbing it would only add more debris under me, over me, beside me.  The ladder is going to fall under me.  I kick away from it, not knowing if I’m kicking the ladder away from me, or kicking myself away from the ladder.  It doesn’t matter.  We are now separated.

I’m not that far above the ground.   It only looks that way.   It’s a 6-foot ladder, so my feet are only 4 feet above the ground.  I could probably land on my feet.   I’ve landed on my feet from higher elevations than this.  But the ground is sloped, and it’s covered with apples that could roll under my feet.  I could easily break my ankle.  I should try to land on my butt.   It’s the most padded, and least likely to break.

All of this took mere seconds, surprisingly.  I successfully landed mostly on my butt, but also on my back, knocking the wind out of me for a minute.  But in only a few more seconds, I was sitting up, holding my left wrist tightly, as excruciating pain radiated through my consciousness.  I could hardy breathe.  How odd--the pain is in my wrist, but it’s so intense, that I can’t stand up or walk.  I’m not sure where my husband is, and I didn’t bring my phone out with me.  It takes 5 minutes or so, before I can stand.

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