In the long and illustrious history of this-could-only-happen-to-me, this weekend took near-death-experience to a whole new, blog-related level.
Believe it or not, last Sunday seemed the most extreme example of the very-best and very-worst all happening at once that I have ever experienced. And, as many of you know, I’ve lived quite a few extreme-experiences—a mafia childhood, an adult battle with bipolar disorder, a year living in Vietnam, another in post-earthquake Haiti.
Since my partner Sara and I have returned to the US, I’ve been, in addition to writing a memoir about growing up in an organized crime family (to read chapter 1, click here), trying to meet many of my fellow WordPress bloggers. Meeting the writers who grace my blogroll didn’t begin as a goal, exactly. Rather this blog-related objective has evolved, as last summer I met both Emily (Hey from Japan) and Lisa (Woman Wielding Words) within a month of one another. Both experiences were so positive and post-inspiring—we laughed so much with both bloggers and their families—Sara and I decided more would literally be merrier.
Then two months ago we traveled to Nashville for our friend Tori‘s (The Ramblings) “Very Bloggy Wedding.” My role as WordPress wedding correspondent inspired me to pursue even more blog-related get-togethers and to invite Miranda (scatteringmoments) and her husband Jim to visit Sara and me in Kentucky, where we would explore the Bourbon Trail together—visiting distilleries across the state.
Miranda’s encounter with the Bluegrass (the race-horse region of Kentucky in which we live) started off mildly and innocently enough—with visits to the Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark distilleries—and discoveries of the uncanny qualities we have in common.
The foreboding and infernal heat, however, should have warned us of the accident ahead. But 105 degrees Fahrenheit, Kentucky’s worst heat in half a century, did little to prepare me.
We went out to dinner Saturday night. Sara and Jim enjoyed bourbon-tasting together. Miranda and I chatted and laughed until heat and fun-induced exhaustion ensued. We went to bed. All was well.
Or so it seemed.
The next day, just after a hot and hazy sunrise, I decided a cup of coffee was in order, but rather than making my way slowly and safely down to the kitchen, I stumbled at the top of stairs, adding a tumbling exercise to my morning routine, and sailing, head first, down a flight of sixteen wooden steps.
Alarmed that I articulated no cursing on the way down and sprawled a silent heap below, head cock-eyed in the corner, Sara screamed for Jim to help, fearing from above, that I might be dead at the bottom of the stairs. After the second or two it took them to get to me, I tried to assure everyone I was okay, but my slurred speech suggested otherwise. Alive and able to move, I couldn’t make the words come out right. A head injury was obvious.
I’ve long perfected my aptitude for clumsy, stairs having always been an issue, but mostly I trip going up the steps, ending up with bruised knees and broken toes on a semi-annual, you-can-mark-it-on-the-calendar basis.
But this was different. This entire weekend was different, an exercise in firsts—the first time we had virtual strangers stay at our house, steal the heart of our dog, and even sleep in our bed (but that’s another story, entirely). It’s the first time Kentucky had seen such infernal heat in fifty years, and last but not least—the first time this blogger turned Amelia Earhart has crash-landed, having felt flying after coffee was called for.
Needless to say, I was taken to the emergency room, where x-rays and CAT scans verified I’d been broken but would live.
Good for us, however, my injuries spared Miranda and me the ordeal of another day out in the insufferable heat and even more (dare I say) boring, bourbon tours. Sara and Jim set out alone, literally, in hot pursuit of whiskey trivia, while Miranda and I stayed home. Yes, I was in pain, but Miranda and I were comfortably cool. We beaded and blog-talked the afternoon away.
It’s strange to bond so deeply with another blogger in such a short period of time, but Miranda is dear, and smart, and oh-so-funny. It seems to me, impossible not to love her.
Miranda has a soul that’s old and deep, rich in insight and rare in Appalachian roots that reach from her current home in northern Ohio south to this WordPress peak experience—namely, my opportunity to see the beauty to be had in the heart of another blogger.
Thank you, Miranda, for your honesty, for sharing that is raw and rare and stubbornly lovely. Thank you for yourself. You are the grace that has grown from my silly, stupid fall.
Thanks for turning my death-defying “feat” into a poster’s peak experience–for witnessing the weekend blogging went to my head, in the most literal and accidental way.
What epic accidents have you experienced? Have you ever met or aspired to meet another blogger?
(Note: If you would like to read Miranda’s recent article about bullying in the Christian Science Monitor, click here.)