You have always heard we’ll cross that river when we come too it, well, I really did not want to cross it.
When the husband and I were first married he had to fly back to Oregon to finish up a few weeks of work and the move out of his apartment. I flew out there for a several days to meet his family and help pack up the U-Haul so he could be on his way HOME.
Waiting for me at the PDX with my new husband were the two cutest little girls. I had talked to them many hours on the phone and fell in love with them. They were the daughters of my heart. I was shocked how much Jenni, the oldest, looked like my middle sister. Kathy, immediately took my hand. They were cute and very sweet. My family. There were a couple of my husband’s friends there also.
I was a nerd with my step-daughters right from the start. We went to a Chinese restaurant that evening. I was so nervous still about being around my new family. Exhausted and nervous, not the best combination. Completely stuffed, but plenty of food left over, we asked for a to go box. The waiter brings a box and a bag. This is where I show my hick colors. The box was a Chinese box, I thought the bag went in the box, not visa versa, so I proceed to scrape the food in the bag. The looks the girls gave me, trying to stifle their laughter. When I felt all eyes on me I looked up at my husband and he asked what I was doing, I looked at him confused. I explained that I thought the food went in the bag and the bag in the box. The girls could not hold in their laughter then, that is when I looked up and noticed several of the wait staff looking at me funny too. I finished putting the food in the bag, and dropped int it the box. “See, it will not leak.” I am surely a country mouse, visiting the city.
A few weeks before when we were in Helen on our honeymoon we saw a spruce tree, if I remember it said something about being the largest one in Georgia. It was HUGE, I was shocked. The husband laughed, and said that it was hardly a twig. On my Oregon adventure, I understood what he meant. I imagined Jack and the Bean Stalk as I looked at these trees reaching into the heavens. We dedicated a day to going up to Seaside, and on the way we stopped that the historic World’s Largest Sitka Spruce on the Klootchy Creek. We would spend the day doing the tourist thing, and the evening I would meet the in-laws at our informal reception.
I was amazed at its size. There were six of us, and we linked our hands and did not even reach halfway around it. It was massive. How massive was it? Well, it stood 216 feet tall, measured 56 feet in circumference and had a crown that spread 93 feet. Yes, MASSIVE!
After we hefted my jaw off of the soggy Oregon ground from beholding such a sight, we when exploring the surrounding forest and walked down to the creek. I thought Georgia red clay was slick, it has nothing on green slimy wet Oregon forest moss. I was filming everything with a video camera that had been my Uncles that died the year before.
The husband in his exploring takes us to a tree that crosses a small brook off of the creek. The girls had on flip-flops, my shoes did not have grips, they might as well been ice skates. I told him I was not comfortable with crossing the green moss-covered log. I knew I would fall, and ruin my Uncle’s camera. As persistent as I was not to, he was persistent that we would. He said to hand him the camera. I still did not want to. He kept begging and then made the sounds of a chicken. Not exactly what you want your new husband to do, and you do not want your step-daughters to think you are holding them back, nor the friends we were with. I finally, against my better judgement and succumbed to peer and spousal pressure. As I stretched to hand him the camera, my left foot slipped on the green goo sliding under the log, the rest of my body fell straight back. I felt a snap and awful pain.
Now I am covered in goo, in pain, embarrassed, mad that he didn’t listen, worried about having to hike back out of the forest. He helped me up and back to the car. We headed up the road towards Seaside. I could feel my foot swelling. Oh it hurt so bad, I tried not to focus on it. I did not want anyone to know how badly I was hurt. Pride. Isn’t that supposed to proceed before the fall, NOT after.
I wanted everyone else to go crawl around in a pig sty too so we would match. I was ashamed to get out anywhere, even to eat, but I did. We stopped to eat at the yummy fast food Mexican restaurant Taco Time. Crispy Chicken Burritos…And stuffed Tator Tots. I’ll trade you Taco Bell for Taco Time.
I was trying hard not to limp at this point, but my foot was insanely painful. Gratefully when we arrived at the beach a couple of things happened. You can drive on the beach there, so not too far to walk, and the water is ice-cold. It helped with the swelling. Every time I jumped the waves I felt my foot pop and grind, but I was bonding with the girls. That was important to me.
Leaving the beach was amusing to put it mildly. I said we could drive on the beach, apparently you are not supposed to do donuts on the beach, especially when you are doing them in sync with your friend in the car behind you like you are dancing. The blue light that comes is not a disco strobe light. The police only pulls the last car over, and luckily we were not the last car, and we were really close to the entrance to the beach. I do not recommend beach dancing in a car, unless you have $758 burning a hole in your pocket.
Out of the water my foot decided it wanted to blow up, a shoe could no longer contain my secret. When he saw my foot for the first time he was shocked and not happy that I had hidden it from him. He wanted to find the nearest ER. I refused to go because we had our reception at his parents. We only had time to get home, take showers, and head over. My step-daughters, particularly the youngest stayed right by my side. It was so endearing.
By the time we arrived at the reception I no longer had an ankle, and displaying colorful shades of purple, red, and blue. Not quite how I expected my first meeting of my in-laws to be. Laying on my Mother-in-laws couch with my foot propped up with a bag of ice on it.
We went straight to the ER after the reception. Yes, it was broken. Once back in Georgia I was supposed to follow-up with an Orthopedic, I didn’t. So every month or so for six years my foot would re-break. I finally had surgery in 2011 to repair it. They removed bone. Even now the tendon hurts from the damage, but oh well, something to live with.
What is the moral of the story? I do not think there is one. P.S. It is quite a sad PS the Spruce Tree, known as Klootchy Creek Giant, succumbed to the December 2007 windstorm. That is why I kept referring to it in the past tense.