in Friends and Family, Rosings Park


Warning: This entry contains graphic images that may not be safe for children. (Or for you.)

Our house has a cellar. The cellar does not have an earthen floor (as you might expect from the house’s age), but one of concrete. At the far end of the cellar there is hole in the ground. In the hole in the ground is a sump pump.

There isn’t much light in the cellar. There’s a small window above the sump pump, and the previous owners installed a light fixture without a switch. Meaning: to turn the light on, you screw in a 100-watt light bulb; to turn the light off, you unscrew it. If you forget to unscrew the bulb, the parlor floor gets warm and you can smell an odor like warm oak.

Last Spring I was down in the cellar, rooting around for something or other. I didn’t have the light on. I turned around and began to walk away when suddenly I plummeted thigh-deep into the sump-pump hole. I was stunned, more out of embarrassment than anything. I sat on the floor, twisted and tangled, for nearly a minute. I was angry. Finally I pulled myself from the hole and hobbled upstairs.

When the bathroom was being remodeled this summer, our contractor pulled me aside one afternoon. “Did you know there’s a hole in your basement?” he said. I nodded. “Well,” he continued, “I’ve put a milk crate over the top of it.” He didn’t say it, but it seemed clear that somebody had stepped in the hole. The milk crate was a great idea. After construction was finished, I left it there to protect against further accidents.

Apparently Kris, however, was unaware of the milk crate’s noble purpose.

On Christmas Eve she went downstairs to futz with wrapping paper and ribbons and suchlike. A few minutes later she came limping upstairs in pain. “I stepped in the hole,” she said.

“Didn’t you notice the milk crate?” I asked, perhaps not as sympathetic as a husband ought to be.

Fortunately, Kris isn’t severely injured. She is in pain, it’s true, and her foot has turned blue, but she’ll live. I think. Meanwhile, she’s completely fascinated by the various bruises on her feet and toes.

Two facts about Kris Gates: she bruises easily, and her feet are her worst feature. (Kris has many wonderful qualities; her feet are not one of them.) Her already hideous hoofs have mutated into something even more grotesque.

“Take some pictures!” she commanded last night. “You could put them on your weblog.” As repulsed as I was by her hideous feet, I obeyed. Aren’t you glad I did? Here is closeup of Kris’ toes.

sigh I was going to eat lunch after posting this entry, but now I am no longer hungry…

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  1. i broke my foot a couple of years ago (merely walking down the dry street on a warm, clear, sunny day, at that..) and it turned the most astonishing colors. My foot looked like one of those “over the hill birthday” balloons.

    omg i am totally loaded and just had to share that.

  2. Did she get that foot checked out? Pain from a fracture might get masked by the bruising, but it will last years if it heals poorly.

  3. I forgot to post a little side-story. One morning a couple of weeks ago, I was walking downstairs crabwise (as I always do) while trying to carry on a conversation with Kris. Somehow my brain told me I’d reached the bottom of the stairs a step too early. I took my final, big step and fell ka-whumpf onto the floor. I landed on my ass, which doesn’t really make sense, and somehow both my ankles hit the floor hard. My right ankle was sore for a couple of days, but the pain faded. However, my left ankle has some sort of lingering sharp pain. It’s not a sprain or a break or anything like that. No, it almost feels like there’s some small sliver of bone that got chipped off and is floating around beneath the surface. Is this even possible? There’s no swelling, there’s no sign of any problem on the surface, but especially when I bend the ankle in certain directiions, there’s a very sharp pain.

    Beware of our house: it’s filled with clumsy old people.

  4. the mysteries of our sub pelvis architecture are beyond me.

    We put a lot of stress on it, and if it isn’t quite right our body tells us. Everyone I know who has ever had fractures in their foot has some sort of daily reminder. Inflamation frequently increases friction between muscle and tendon and causes a never-ending loop of inflamation. As I’m clutsy my answer is to avoid all sliding sports.

  5. yes, JD, that is possible. And common in ankle injuries. Go have someone shoot some x-rays at it. I don’t know what can be done for it, but at least you’d know.

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