Once upon a time in Mississippi:
“Nettie Helen, I think we’re going to have to cut it off,” Dr. Green soberly stated to my mother.
I don’t remember how old (young) I was, but it was before Dr. Green moved his office to Scott, Mississippi, about 5 miles from my hometown of Benoit in Bolivar County. It was either after hours or on a weekend, as he had met us at his little clinic.
I don’t remember being driven there, and I don’t remember exactly how I reached my parent’s kitchen, the older version that was later upgraded. I well remember the moment before the accident, when I was riding my bicycle as fast as my bare feet could coax it – along a flat stretch of rural highway along the levee. The moments before the accident I was peddling faster than I’d ever raced, thanks to a new ‘trick’ my sister Pat brought back from California.
Pat, who had visited our Aunt Dot on the West Coast, returned with the novel concept of pinning a few playing cards to the bicycle spokes, which made a fun sound, especially when one peddled as fast possible. The moments before the accident, I was peddling on pure adreneline – probably faster than I’d ever gone in my entire young life – and then my foot slipped from the peddle. My big toe took the greatest amount of damage, and I went from blissful childhood joy to —-
I don’t remember if I cried, or if I screamed, or if Pat screamed. In my foggy memory I remember that Daddy ‘happened’ along in his car or jeep or whatever he was driving at that time. I do remember a fearful respite – if that is possible- sitting on the kitchen counter with my foot in the ceramic sink and adults tending to Baby Girl’s most-recent crisis. The next thing I remember was hearing Doctor Green’s sobering words about cutting it off.
I well remember the next scene; I bolted from the examining table in the middle of the room, and Mother and Doctor Green attempted to catch me as if I were a wild rabbit! True fear coursed through my veins, and there was no way I was going to allow them to cut off my toe!
Surely they later laughed. And laughed. And laughed more when sharing that story, although it was never discussed within the range of my hearing. No, it was not my toe, but my toe-nail, and they assured me that my toe would remain intact. I remember very little else, except for receiving one of those oversized and pale-yellow Vitamin C tablets before leaving – my reward for surviving the most-recent accident.
A few years later in the 5th grade, that young girl studied about Argentina in ‘Social Studies’ and dreamed about living in that country and raising horses on the Pampas. She probably would have smiled if she knew that one day she’d be living on the equator and learning not only about the birds, but also iguanas!
The iguanas in the nearby park are hungry. They are no longer receiving the morning fruits and vegetable scraps from nearby restaurants. I shared my own ‘scraps’ this morning and confirmed with the guard that the iguanas are hungry. They especially loved the cauliflower and broccoli!
I think the internet options are about to end, but suffice to know that I am well and happy and full of creative options and self-isolation in the apartment. My usually-normal diet is even more ‘healthy’ — upping the nutrition and dodging the not-so-healthy options. I hope that everyone else is doing the same – now is a great time to be pro-active with health.
No one else works or lives in this 4-story building, but whenever I return, I wash my keys, my change/money, bags – anything that might have picked up an unwanted and microscopic hitch-hikerk!
Here’s a parting shot ‘selfie’ while trying to photograph the paintings in the not-yet-installed mirror!
Ecuador update: Curfew at 2 pm..