When I was growing up in the Southern California desert, my sisters and I spent almost all our free time outside…when we weren’t riding our bikes or hitting tennis balls off the garage door, there was lots of playing in the dirt. I was always fascinated by the pill bugs (some people call them roly-poly bugs) which would be crawling along in all their leggy grayness until you touched them, at which time they would snap closed into a ball and stay there until they were absolutely sure it was safe to come out. We used to collect them just to watch them curl and uncurl. I know, we were plain and simple children back then.
Fast forward to today…I know I have mentioned my penchant for going out on the deck in the wee hours of the morning to take my Good Morning photos, wearing not much more than undies and a smile. It is especially easy these days, as it is hot and foggy and no one can see a thing…which was a really good thing this morning. As I leaned over and contorted to find creative ways to photograph fog, I suddenly saw a few birds down on the rocks which cried out to be snapped. I stepped backwards, camera to my eye, only to feel the cinder block behind me scrape against my leg…it tipped backwards, I tipped backwards and we both went ass over teakettle, sprawling to the deck. The moss-covered cinder block was unharmed. I, on the other hand, am now sporting a huge scrape on the back of my left thigh and a smaller one on my left calf. I have been taking lessons from my 98-1/2yo dad-in-law, who has perfected the art of falling without hurting himself (he claims he doesn’t ever fall, he just sits down)…I could use a little more practice, but managed to escape with just the two scrapes, a couple of minutes of total shock and horrid embarrassment…if it had been caught on camera, you would have seen me in my scanties, stepping backwards through the cinder block, camera clutched tightly in my raised hand, rolling backwards over the cinder block, scraping lots of tender, lily white skin, and continued rolling backwards…butt first, then roll like a pill bug. Then you would watch me just sit there, absolutely stunned, trying to figure out if I was hurt. The burning scrapes, little blood drops and instant navy blue bruises signaled that I hadn’t escaped unscathed. However, the rest of me was, miraculously, unharmed…nothing wrenched, strained or broken. I really stuck the landing!
Thank you, Pill Bug, for the valuable lesson you taught me, lo these many years ago.
P.S. Some aspects of growing older suck…