The past several days have been full of ups and downs, and I mean "down" in the most literal sense of the word.
I think it all started the afternoon I swallowed the bug, a rather large one I’m afraid. From that point on, if something stupid was going to happen, it was going to happen to me. What is it that Forrest's momma always said...stupid is as stupid does? Well, allow me to introduce myself.
This past Sunday, four of the youth from our church were to be baptised (this was a most definite high point in the week as my youngest great-nephew, Dylan, was one of the four), so a nice spot in a local creek, deep and wide, was chosen. We all met and followed each other, caravan style, traveling down a country lane and across the pasture of a friend’s farm to the appointed spot.
Two things became clear almost instantly...
1. No one had told the owner of the land that a terrified-of-snakes-diva would be attending, so he hadn’t mowed an area in the grass for her/me to park and walk. It was a little high for my taste. Then again, any grass higher than what you would find on a putting green or football field (made of artificial turf) tends to make me nervous and puts me on the lookout for snakes.
2. This farmer raised cattle - a lot of it. My nose told me so even before my eyes confirmed it. So, as we trooped through the slightly above ankle-high grass, warnings were issued from those up ahead, “Watch where you step!” Now, if you live in the country you know exactly what that meant. If not, just know that cows are not very discriminating poopers. I guess when you have four stomachs you can’t afford to be picky about when and where you go to do your business.
After a short walk I had finally made it to the tree line which separated the field from the creek bank. I had arrived safely. I was now out of the sun, had sighted no snakes, and thanks to using nearly a whole bottle of Deep Woods Off, was confident I could elude chiggers and mosquitoes.
The reprieve from the sun was much appreciated, too. I’m not kidding, people. It. Was. Hot!!! Of course, I knew it would be, so I dressed as cool as possible (yet still dignified enough for a church service) in a white peasant-like top and cream capris, and let me just say thank heavens for capris. Now, all that was left in our journey was to walk down a little embankment to the water and witness what is always a wonderful event.
My 78-year-old mother was in front of me, cautiously making her way along the path and telling me to follow her. That was my plan. But before I could, I took a step to the side giving her room to cross under a branch.
Again, cows are not discriminating poopers. On an incline, where water run-off makes for an already slippery slope, some cow had recently been a visitor and my left foot stepped in what had been left behind. Before my mother even got the words, “Tyla, don’t go that way” out of her mouth I was down. I’m not sure how far I slid, but it was far enough and hard enough and fast enough that my cream capris were not so creamy anymore. On second thought, I guess they were creamy - just not in color.
According to John, only a few people saw it and, thankfully, even fewer heard what came out of my mouth at the exact moment my bottom side made contact with the ground. In fairness to me, though, I did manage to cut it off mid-word, so it sounded more like what old women say when they are frustrated. John’s grandmother, an otherwise very proper southern lady, actually said it quite a lot, always in a series of three. I think leaving the i out makes it okay.
Thankfully, God is a loving Father and just as soon as one slips up (no pun intended) he is ready to forgive, and whatever a person’s transgression may be, becomes invisible to Him.