Recently I was thinking about a story from my own childhood that perfectly illustrates my accident-prone nature; what’s now become known as a part of my “I-Love-Lucy-tendencies”.
Flash back to the late seventies. My mom, dad and I were visiting relatives in the Seattle area including two female cousins, around my age. At this point in time, roller skating outdoors is particularly popular. The cousins and I throw on our skates and start skating around their large cul-de-sac. The older of my two cousins tells me one of her favorite things to do is skate down the hill that starts at the top of the cul-de-sac and slopes down steeply toward their house. She demonstrates to me how this is done; she starts at the top and swiftly zig-zags back and forth so as not to pick up too much speed. I try next. I start out at the top of the hill, manage a zig and part of a zag when I panic that I’m unable to do this move and start to head straight down. I begin to pick up some serious speed as I head down this step hill. At this point in time all I’m thinking about is how I just need to get to the bottom and eventually stop myself because I’m pretty sure the sparks now flying off the back of my metal wheels would be a fire hazzard if not for being in very green Washington state. From off to the side I can make out my oldest cousin yelling something about how I need to zig-zag and I think my younger cousin was probably watching in horror. What I didn’t know at the time, were that the rest of the relatives sitting upstairs at the kitchen table watching out the window. They saw this whole thing unfold and were wondering where on earth I was going to stop.
So, I’m zooming towards the house and my plan at this point is to simply get to a stable place where I can stop myself. To this day I don’t know how I managed to do this, but I stepped up onto the curb, still going at lightning speed and then stepped up onto the raised walkway towards the front door. I made it to the door thinking surely I would simply be able to put my arms out and finally stop. I went straight through. If this were a cartoon there would have been a cut-out shape of me left in the door. As is was, I tore the door off the hinges and landed on top of it in their entryway as my horrified family members came running from the kitchen asking if I was okay. I remember exactly what I said at that moment; in my stunned state all I could mutter; “I’m ok, but your door isn’t.” I don’t know how I made it through this incident in one piece. I had some aches and pains, some bruises and a little dent in the middle of my thigh that still exists today, but I was for the most part “okay”.