Friday’s Weekend Column
—a Day Late

by James Glaser
August 6, 2004

I was going to write about my accident, but I have told it so many times now, I can't really write about it. A drunk came through a stop sign and smacked me hard. I have a broken hip socket, left hand, and some broken ribs. My truck is history and the guy doing the smacking is dead.

I spent twenty three days in hospitals and I am now home learning how to walk again and I must be getting better as I am bored out of my mind. Right now the ribs hurt the most and it is hard to sit and type, plus the broken hand doesn't help my keyboard skills at all.

My neighbors have been just great, I couldn't ask for any more help. This week I took a ride down to the clinic in Bemidji, stopped at the bank on the way home, and I was then totally exhausted.

There is a shining light through all of this, I met a woman and she has been just great. I told her I was looking for a friend who was a girl, rather than looking for a girl friend. She fills the bill way better than I could have ever hoped for.

It is summer and being a semi-invalid is not good. Every day I push the distance I can walk a little further. Yesterday I moved from a walker to a cane. This looks something like what people who have had polio use with that piece that comes up the arm.

Weird as it seems, with a bad right hip, I have the cane in my left hand, the broken one. I walk along my road and when people drive by, they stop their car or truck and talk or walk along with me. Every day I try to make it farther, remembering that no matter how far I go, I do have to turn around and make it back. I have the tail gate of my old International down and that is my rest spot.

This afternoon, for the first time in a month I was really really hungry. I went to the freezer and took out a bag of frozen spaghetti sauce and started to thaw it in the microwave. I started the water for the pasta and just before that was done, I realized that I didn't have a strainer and the one I usually use was low in the cupboard and there was no way I could get it out as I am not supposed to bend more than ninety degrees or my hip might pop out of the socket.

I saw a plastic strainer that I use for berries and used that. I poured in the noodles and put on some olive oil, but as I was moving it back to the stove the handle broke on the strainer and the noodles hit the floor. I think I wanted to cry, but I had to clean it up.

I went outside and got a long hot dog cooking fork, one we use at a camp fire. I bent the tines and used it to pick up every noodle and many of them would slide off before I could get them to the waste basket. It took awhile, but I did it. I then needed the mop and wouldn't you know it, it was in the basement. I can step down one step and then I sat down and lowered myself down to the next step and so on until I was down stairs. I got the mop and did the same in reverse to get up.

I cleaned up the floor perfect and after it was dry I started cooking pasta again. This time I didn't care and I just used the lid and got as much water off this second batch of noodles as I could. I took out the sauce and gave it a taste and it turned out to be enchilada sauce, not my spaghetti sauce. I was really feeling bad right about then and there was a knock on my door. I didn't want to see anyone, but this was my down the road neighbor, Ms. Marble. She said that she and her family were going to town to eat at the drive inn and would I like to come along. YES! I said yes I would.

The hardest part of this whole thing is that I can't drive and I know that I can't drive. In fact I have a hard time riding in a car, but each day I get a little better and other than being bored out of my mind, I guess things are moving in a positive direction. We will see how things are next Friday.

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