It Has Been A Dangerous Summer For My Friends And Family


After several years spent indoors (or at least away from people), Americans have finally gotten back to all the activities that define summer — biking, swimming, camping, traveling. But we don’t know how to handle it. We’re out of practice! That’s why everyone I know has been in the emergency room this summer.

My grandson literally kicked things off by scoring a near-impossible goal in a soccer game — a goal that resulted in him falling onto his wrist and breaking it quite badly. He didn’t care — he thought it was worth it.

News of this incident had barely made the rounds of the family when my flight attendant sister reported that everyone is flying this summer — a report that was quickly followed by an attack from a snack cart in the aisle, resulting in a hairline fracture of her hip.

My husband Mark spent two months in the sunshine, blissfully working on his new boat, when he slipped off a step, landed the wrong way and broke his heel. Now on crutches, he’ll be out of commission for weeks.

Once summer was in full bloom, my son-in-law decided to take the family camping, but they had to abandon the trip on day two and get him to urgent care with the worst case of poison ivy I’ve ever seen.

Everything was growing, whether we wanted it to or not. The parking lot around my store was beginning to look overgrown, so I hired a neighborhood kid to do the weed-eating. Twenty bucks, but he never saw the money. He had to cancel when he fell off his bike and broke his arm — again.

Things were a bit calmer inside the shop, until one of my clerks asked a customer to dial 9-1-1 as she sank to the floor. This was the result of throwing herself into an outdoor project the previous day. She was diagnosed with dehydration and 15 tick bites. Closer to home, my yard-beautifying sister-in-law was chased down and surrounded by angry bees. The end result was not beautiful at all — not for the yard, not for her.

Even my elderly mother, who hadn’t been outside much at all, had to go to the hospital because she was feeling “off.” As I rushed north to see her, I smashed up my car and broke my hand. I had to finish the trip via airline and, yes, the cabin was packed.

My friend was driving back from the same airport at 1:30 a.m. when she was rear-ended by a drunk driver. His car landed on its nose while hers vaulted into the air and did two complete flips before landing right-side-up. “The only part of that car not totally demolished was the driver’s seat,” she told me, still shaken.

What really scares me is that we are only halfway through summer! There are still six weeks to go, and I’m already on a first name basis with the bone and joint people.

When school starts and the Halloween decorations come out, I will begin to relax. School is good. Work is good. We need them both to save us from ourselves.