Butch Survived 2021 and a Few Mishaps

Well folks, I made it through another year. Sadly, some people didn’t. I lost another classmate and several friends because of health problems or Covid. And just as the pandemic appeared to be subsiding, along came the new Omicron variant. These mutations could go on for years, so I don’t worry about it. I am an optimist, and I also believe in fate. At age 73, I just keep on plugging away. My main problem, according to my wife, is that I still think I can do the same physical work as I did fifty years ago. I dug up a farm water hydrant by hand in the spring, and spent several hours upside down in the four-foot deep hole trying to connect the new hydrant. Then I dug up the septic tank so it could be emptied. After that my old dog kicked the bucket on the hottest day of the year, and I had to dig a grave for him. I started noticing some lingering pain in my lower back. Then, as I was taking the metal roof off a shed, one of the ladder braces broke…yep, I fell six feet onto my right side. My back seemed OK, but I am pretty sure I tore a ligament in my elbow. Of course, being a Dale, I would never consider going to a doctor. My elbow still doesn’t feel right, but I still do my 125 morning push-ups, so “I’m good!”

One thing I have noticed is that when I get out of bed in the morning, it takes me longer to “loosen up.” One evening I began thinking about all of the mishaps, accidents, and close calls throughout my life, and I made a list…Here are a few that I could remember:

….Age 2….drank kerosene; Age 4…fell into the dump hole at the elevator while the auger was running (fortunately Allen Yount saw me fall in and hit the stop switch button before it was too late); also cut a light cord in two with pair of scissors and was shocked; Age 6…loaded up Dad’s 12ga shotgun and fired off a round when he wasn’t around; Age 7…started up the old pickup truck by myself and drove back to a field, shearing off a rear fender and a running board on a concrete post; also pushed a razor blade through my cheek while pretending to shave; also ran a rusty nail completely through my foot; Age 9…jumped off the roof of our house while trying to imitate Superman and broke a bone in my foot; also tried to fill Dad’s cigarette lighter and spilled fluid, and when I tried to

light it, I set my arm and the kitchen curtains on fire; Age 10…floated to the middle of my cousin’s 12-ft. deep pond in a metal washtub…I couldn’t swim a lick, but luckliy the tub did not capsize; also drank from a creek back in the woods, and became deathly ill that night, but Dr. Humphreys saved my life; Age 11…fell from a corncrib and broke my arm in two places; Age 13…wrecked my Cushman motor scooter into the back of Dad’s Buick and landed on the rear window; also crushed my thumb joint in PE class while rolling out the volleyball standard; also knocked unconscious after my brother hit me in the back of the head with a large rock; Age 14…burned a 1/4-inch hole in my wrist when I dropped molten sulfur during a homemade science experiment; also was shocked when I grabbed an unprotected light socket while trying to invent something.

Then later on….Age 18…ran a steel rod approximately 1/2-inch in diameter completely through my shoe and foot while doing field work for my father-in-law…lost a lot of blood; Age 23…suffered food poisoning and was unconscious for seven hours after eating tainted ice cream; Age 28…knocked unconscious when a golf ball struck me in the head at Fairway Golf Course; Age 46…fractured a thoracic vertebrae when I wrecked my patrol car while chasing a burglar; Age 50…fractured my knee while trying to jump over a 3-ft tall hog panel; Age 68…ripped the flesh off my thumb down to the bone while firing an old 12ga shotgun; Age 69…ran a thorn in my eye while mowing.

I was very curious as a child and a “risk taker” to boot…I still am! As a police officer, there were a few times when I thought I might be injured or even killed, but I put those thoughts out of my mind in those situations, said a silent prayer, and got through them OK…Thank you, Lord!

After recalling the above accidents, I guess a little back pain nowadays isn’t so bad after all. I am looking forward to 2022. I am still an optimist, and I am in better health than I was 25 years ago…but I will keep my fingers crossed!