Tuesday, January 23, 2007


We all have holiday traditions, some universal, some personal. Some years ago I started a tradition of painting an egg each Christmas – to give a picture-image of what happened in that particular year. Some are more creative than others – like the one with all eight of our very first chickens, or the one with our first protea bush.

The tradition of making a New Year’s resolution is universal. Don’t we all see many more joggers, bike riders and gym attendees after New Year? Cigarette companies probably see a massive drop in sales for the two weeks after New Year. Of course, resolutions rarely succeed, but it’s a nice tradition.

This year, a couple days after New Year’s Day, my husband and I went to a house-warming for new neighbours. It’s one of those events you automatically think: “How can I get out of this?” Since it was an unexpected invitation, and since it was delivered in person, and I had no immediate excuse on hand. So we went. It was wonderful. We spent a great evening communing with many neighbours we’d previously only waved and smiled to in passing.

Unfortunately, as always, I managed to do a bit of entertaining I hadn’t intended to do. This time it was taking a nosedive off the small step from our neighbor’s entry hall into their living room. Thankfully, I wasn’t carrying a glass of red wine or strawberry punch to stain their brand new, light-blue carpet. But I did manage to badly sprain one wrist, bruise the opposite hand and wrench a knee.

Not wanting to embarrass the hostess, however, I leapt up and assure her I was “…just fine!”, hoping blood wasn’t spurting from severed arteries to stain their couch. Every part of my body throbbed and I felt as if I’d need a gurney to get me out to my car. But I smiled, and chatted and nodded inanely for another ten minutes before I was able to make my escape.

While I couldn’t use my right hand and was hobbling on my left knee, I was happy enough and certain everything would be fine by morning.

Unfortunately, in the morning, the previous evening’s ‘anaesthetic’ (read: wine) had worn off and I could barely move. I couldn’t use my right hand at all. This is not good news for an author and online instructor with a slew of 10,000 word assignments coming in for critique. We managed to get in to the doctor, and he sent me for x-rays of my wrist. While the hand wasn’t apparently broken, I was to wear a splint for at least two weeks. So much for my New Year’s resolution to swim daily.

Last year at this time, I fell and broke my left elbow. I’m thinking perhaps I’ve inadvertently started a new ‘holiday tradition’.

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