If any additional evidence was needed to prove up the truth of the title of this post, I am old enough to remember the song with the lyrics, “You’re not a kid anymore…” from the early 1960s (I think) by Lesley Gore (I think) and most of the lyrics. Although I definitely do not want to be, “Bobby’s Girl” I do sometimes wish (and sometimes believe) that I was still a kid and foolishly act accordingly.
This post details one of those moments.
On Wednesday of last week, February 6th, I ran some errands around town and got back to the house around noon. Mary greeted me at the door and told me that our neighbor, Maria was locked out of her house and could use some help.
It seems that Maria was hanging up laundry on the lines by our parking lot when Geovanna (our two-year old adopted granddaughter we have featured in earlier posts) shut the only door. The door was locked and Geovanna and the baby were locked inside and Maria, without a key, was stuck outside.
Maria, Giovanni, and their two small children live in this caretaker’s cottage across the parking lot from our home.
When I got to the scene, Maria had been trying to get two-year old Geovanna to open the locked door for about a half hour and even mild-mannered Maria was starting to get frustrated as she helplessly considered her options with Giovanni, her husband, away in Bahia and her two babies alone in the house.
The house is a secure brick structure with small windows on three sides of the building and one door. The door is solid with a good lock with anti-shim protection that works. I found this out when I unsuccessfully tried to shim the door open with an old credit card.
I also tried out my charm and communications skills with little Geovanna talking through the window by the door to see if I could get her to open the door.
She smiled and laughed and listened closely, said, “Ya!” and jumped down to the door and tried her hardest to turn the locked knob. It was funny listening to her laughing and trying and running back to the window to explain that the door would not open. Funny, but frustrating and ultimately fruitless.
So, Maria and I moved to the side of the house where a slightly larger window that opened is positioned six or seven feet up on the north side of the house.
At this point a reasonably intelligent “seasoned” man with more that six decades of life experiences would have thought that we needed to get some young boy to climb through that small window and come around and open the door.
However reason, intelligence, and experience sometimes is lost on an old man who looked at the scene and remembered countless times scrambling through windows as a kid or even as an older man chasing down felons and saving the day! No problem!
I did concede to age and went to get a chair and eventually a ladder rather than scale the fence, swing over and deftly swish into the window while clinging only to the slight hand-holds provided by the bricks. (I really think that I might be crazy, because, in my mind’s eye, I actually thought for a moment about that option!)
While there was still time to gracefully back out, I did look into the window from the ladder and saw that there was no heavy furniture or footholds below the window on the inside leaving a good six-foot drop to the floor inside the house. Again wisdom and common-sence failed me and I decided that the thing to do would be to hoist myself up to a sitting position with both legs in the window and then deftly swing around onto my stomach and lower myself to the floor inside the house.
The plan worked out perfectly up to the point where I was supposed to show off my agility and swing around to my stomach part… I got my legs into the house, but when I tried to move my oversized body around in the too small opening I lost my hand-hold on the bricks and tumbled backwards out of the window and fell in a decidedly un-graceful fashion to the ground. During the fall I caught my left foot on the window opening and twisted three of my toes beyond their designed range of motion, caught my lower back and rump on the top of the step-ladder and broke my fall with the back of my head jamming my chin into my sternum and rolling my body into an involuntary backwards somersault.
You can still see the impression the back of my head made in the dirt.
Luckily, fate and a loving God allowed my foot to catch the window just enough and my rump to catch the ladder just enough to break some of the fall and my head landed in a spot with no rocks or concrete and the old fool popped up in a cat-like fashion no worse for wear.
Well, maybe not exactly cat-like and not exactly un-worn. I severely sprained three of my toes and I believe I broke the toe next to the big toe on my left foot. I have a large painful bruise on the right side of my lower back and rump (no pictures available!). And my neck, shoulders, and sternum still hurt and are only now starting to regain full mobility.
I conceded defeat and Maria went and got a thirteen or fourteen year old boy to come to the house. The little skinny (flaco) runt swung through the window as I had envisioned and opened the door in a half-minute. Young whippersnapper!
Seriously, I have been praising God for the fact that I am not confined to a wheelchair or otherwise disabled. For some reason though that line from the song, “Bobby’s Girl” keeps running through my head. Hopefully it will ring loudly enough to forestall any future reminders that I’m not a kid anymore!
God is patient and Life is good in Ecuador!