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Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Best Laid Plans

By Mary B Summerlin who keeps a photostream at Flickr

The last six months have been a difficult period for me. I have had many health issues that have been difficult, painful and limiting in what I can do. Just now am I beginning to make a few choices of venues to attend.

Yesterday was a big day at my UU Fellowship. Our new minister was to be installed. I had not attended many events at the Fellowship for the last six months so I was excited that I felt well enough to attend this event.

Now I wanted everything to go smoothly so I made plans accordingly. It was to begin at 4PM and I live about 15 minutes away. Nevertheless, I decided to leave at 2PM so that I could stop at Staples, get new batteries and a new memory card for my camera. I wanted to be prepared to take pictures, both of nature on the way to and from the event and who knows what else.

I also wanted to make sure I could get a handicapped parking spot so that my walk inside would be slow and easy. I wanted to get inside and not be out of breath – I wanted to be able to talk to people I had not seen for some time.

Okay, I go over all possibilities and decide that I have all bases covered. Everything should go smoothly.

I set out on time – slow and easy, no pressure. I’m dressed in my “good clothes” and am feeling like I look and feel good. I stop at Staples, get my supplies and insert them into my camera. It’s ready to go.

I continue on to the Fellowship stopping along the way for beautiful flowers and/or birds. I get to the Fellowship very early, about 3PM, find the perfect parking spot, get out and begin walking around the building taking pictures of the beautiful flowers. Much time and effort has been spent making the grounds shine.



It is a lovely day. There are three benches sitting in the sun and they are very inviting since I am in no hurry, have no pressure and can relax and enjoy people coming and going. I go over, chose one and decide to sit near the end because there is more support there. I sit down and!!!???&&**(*&??.

Yes, it dumped me on the ground, sprawled out, pocketbook askew and bench collapsed.

My immediate reaction was - oh please, I hope nobody saw this most ungraceful event. My next reaction was – oh please, I hope somebody saw this awful event and can help me get up.

Evidently nobody saw the happening and I was left to my own devices to figure a way to get up.

I had knee surgery in the middle of January. This is not the time to be testing the strength and agility of the knee.

The mother of invention can force one to be very creative. I manage to get on all fours and use all my strength and get up. Of course, I’m left breathless and red faced. There’s no way I can go inside and be presentable.

I take a few minutes to take pictures of something (whatever) to give me time to catch my breath. Then I go inside and luckily people are distracted by something else and I sneak into the bathroom.

There I catch my breath, rearrange my clothing, gather my wits and make a calm and cool entrance. As I leave the bathroom I let out a sigh of relief and remember the old saying “the best laid plans...”

A good evening was had by all except that half way through I began to feel vague aches and pains. Oh well, I’ll survive.

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Life is just amazing, but we as determined human beings are just as amazing as you proved yourself to be.
I could feel that something was going to happen to disrupt you’re perfect planning, but did not expect the bench to be the spoiler of the day.

Great story….Glad you’re okay and did not miss the event.

Your resilience brought you through. I hope you enjoyed your well planned day.

Dear Mary,
Your story led me through the 'plans well laid' right up to the fall off the bench.
I identified with the struggle you had, to pick yourself up and your surreptitious entry into the church.
I think God was providing you with the opportunity to discover you could survive "unlaid events" within any "well-laid plans."
Michigan Grandma

Ouch! As soon as you fell I wondered how you'd get up, but that you conquered and even attended the meeting. Best of all, loved the pictures, so most of your planning paid off.

I am glad you could enjoy the event. Please tell us you are fine with no problems after the fall.

Hi Mary,

Good for you for not letting your spill ruin your nice day.

As sort of sad as it was, I enjoyed reading about your day because you triumphed over everything and went on to have a great time.

Good pictures and great story....

It's good to read your story & know I am not the only one plotzing in public, as private as that can be, but dusting myself off and going right on about my business..talk about getting our second wind..the pictures are wonderful as always...and like the toddlers that we all once were, we are up and at 'em right quick..thanks for sharing..hugs..

Oh Mary. I'm glad the only thing hurt was your pride. And the good thing is that you now know you can survive a fall. And Nancy is right. You triumphed over the bad that can happen with humor and tenacity.

I love the story. Of course, I am lucky enough to observe your pluck and determination every day, since we are friends who live close by. It is hard, Dear one, but better days ARE coming.

Falling like that can happen at any age. The difference is how hard it is to get up. So glad you are okay.

Thanks Folks for your kind words. Yes my knee is fine, just a bruise and a little sore.
Hopefully I won't test it again.

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