In a previous column I mentioned I would be spending a considerable amount of time in my basement workshop now that I’m retired.
I also mentioned somewhere along the line that my woodworking skills were at best "fledgling," about a notch above "inept" and three notches below "competent" on the proficiency scale.
I looked up the meaning of the word "fledgling" just to make sure I was using the right term. "A person that is immature, inexperienced or underdeveloped." All true, with one exception: "prone to bleeding" should have been added.
On the day I retired, someone gave me a spray can of whatever it is you spray on cuts that makes them stop bleeding since I was going to be around sharp objects a lot. Now, less than six months into my retirement I’m already on my third can.
Did you know blood reproduces at a rate of approximately one pint every 24 days? I know this not because I’m a science nerd, but rather because it may save my life one day.
For some inexplicable reason I tend to bleed. A lot, it turns out.
I’ve been gashed in the ankle by a door I was sanding, gouged in the shin by a dropped sledgehammer and slashed in the hand by a runaway screwdriver. I’m not sure how much blood I’ve lost, but I do know I subconsciously count the days between "incidents," hoping that the next one doesn’t occur until 24 days have elapsed from the previous one.
This is all new to me. I’ve never broken an arm or a leg, spent time in the emergency room for an injury and – outside of the time I had 12 stitches in my chin after a fall while running on the morning of the Florida-Georgia football game several years ago – had virtually been injury-free the first 63 years of my life. (The doctor who put in the 12 stitches said I could still go to the football game… as long as I didn’t open my mouth. Fat chance: the Gators won the game and I screamed like a banshee for three hours.)
There have been other cuts, scratches and scrapes, but they are too numerous to list here. But I will tell you about my latest:
I ran the other morning in the pouring rain. When I finished my run, I opened the garage door and stepped inside, right into a puddle of rainwater that had leaked under the door. Both legs slipped out from under me, and I landed flat on my tail. I felt the impact all the way up to the back of my neck. I sat on the wet floor in stunned silence until I could manage to crawl back inside the house.
My wife took one look at me asked what happened… and why was there blood on the back of my shirt.
I had no idea about the blood, but I knew it would be three weeks from Wednesday until my next 24 days were up.
Scott Ludwig lives, runs and writes in Senoia with his wife Cindy, three cats and never enough visits from his grandson Krischan. He can be reached at email@example.com