I take a short cut as I near the house crossing some huge stepping stones. I put my left foot on the lower edge of a flat stone which is at a 35 degree angle up and then step with my right foot. I am launched flat to the right as my right foot slips inward to the left knocking out my stable left foot. The fall is not dreamlike or in slow motion. There is no chance to " roll" into the fall.It is sudden and violent. I land simultaneously on my right hip - my right wrist - my right elbow. My right arm strains out of its shoulder socket. - Luckily I don't land on my neck and head. There is no sound. In one second I go from standing to lying on my right side on the hard cold moist mud and moss.
It happens so fast I don't think of looking around and being embarrassed. It actually hurts so much that I have a shocked feeling of weakness. I am instantly sweating in response. I gingerly test my body and surprisingly the various appendages have some limited mobility. Apparently no hip or wrist or elbow fracture. Can I get up? Not on the right side - maybe on the left. I get onto my left knee and then up all the way. I stand for a moment and take some deep breaths. I walk the 50 yards to the Lake House.
I take my coat off and blood is streaming down my right elbow. I take my shirts off and there is a v-shaped laceration on the end of the elbow. The blood stops with pressure and a small dressing. I begin to feel better as I realize how lucky I was. I make up a story that it is because I have been working out with a trainer for the last 17 years. Or maybe it was fate or luck or the sign of the moon.
I tell Jan, "I fell." She says, "Do you want to go Home?" I say, "No, I want to see what is going to happen next."
There are still surprises at age 81.