Think Before You Step & Other Stories

Think before you step is a mantra I have to keep repeating to myself. Over and over and over again. Because I tend to act before I think.

You may recall that I had two days recently when I cooked homemade meals. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. It was pure bliss.

It was so wonderful I guess I got a bit careless.

I wasn’t hurting so I took off the walking boot and put on my sneakers.

Then when there was no pain, I began to walk “through” instead of taking a step with one foot and meeting it with the other.

A Step Too Far:

One thing just led to another and before I knew it, the pain was back. Sharp flashes of pain in my outer ankle region.

I somehow stepped on one of the invisible landmines that determine which step is going to be the step too far. The one with after-effects and lasting consequences.

“Go back to the walking boot,” Greg said yesterday. “No through steps.”

The walking boot that he had not told me to take off in the first place.

By the time I’d cooked two meals pain-free, I’d forgotten what stage of walking I was supposed to be engaged in. I’d skipped stages, which I’m oft to do.

I guess I got intoxicated by taking those wondrous and wonderful steps and got careless.

Step, step. Think, think. Step, think. Think, step.

This is what I do all day every single day. My brain may tell me to take a step, but my body pushes the panic button and adds a comma.

As in, uh-oh, you’ve gone astray. You’ve veered off the path. You’re now knee-deep in the grass. Hit reverse.

I can’t let myself get depressed over it. Because I have far too much in life to be thankful for.

Other than writing this blog, I live the life of a retiree. I have a home and a family. A wonderful friend next door whose been my lifeline since ankle surgery 4 months ago.


Two times now I have actually gone out on what I’ll call excursions. This means I walk sideways to the car and ride along with Steve while he runs errands.

I sit in the SUV and enjoy the weather. And people watch. I get all kinds of stories cooked up in my head as I people-watch.

Yesterday while parked at the library, I watched a man walk on the roof of a nearby two-story house. He was walking with confidence, as though he had no fear of falling.

That was interesting to watch.

The Crash:

Then I heard a loud crash.

A woman attempting to park had driven her car over two sign poles and knocked them down. She came to a stop on the grass close to the wall of the library.

The woman, a senior, got out and looked around as if wondering how on earth she had managed to do such a thing. Then a man came out and looked the situation over. A crowd began to gather.

She must have hit the gas instead of the brake.

Well, the damage was done.

I watched as she gathered up her books and walked into the library. I guess she thought she might as well take care of business. Her car wasn’t going anywhere or anything.

I recalled having watched her drive along the lane to the library parking lot. She was driving a newish small car. At that point, I couldn’t see if it was a man or a woman as the car neared the parking lot.

A Random Intuition:

I remember having this news flash of sorts. Something isn’t quite right, my brain told me. Or rather, something wasn’t going to be quite right.

She was just driving along, not meandering all over the road or anything.

Maybe when you’re cooped up for months your brain begins to intuit things. Perhaps have a perception beyond the five senses.

It wasn’t until I figured out the crash had occurred behind me did I see that it was in fact that very same car. The one that sent a lightning flash to my brain that said something was about to happen.

And it did indeed happen. I don’t know what to make of that.

Anyway, on the outings, while Steve runs his errands, I sit in the car and enjoy the weather. Then we typically pick up food from some restaurant to bring home.

Big Al’s:

We recently discovered a restaurant called “Big Al’s.” I found it while searching for local take-out vegetarian food on the internet.

The name “Big Al’s” sounds like a place that would probably serve big thick sandwiches with lots of meat. It’s been around forever.

However, it is now owned by two women who added a vegetarian section to the menu.

I gave Steve my credit card and he went in and got a menu for me to choose from. Then he went back in and ordered the food.

He does the driving and takes me along for the ride. So the least I can do is buy his meal.

We’ve now gotten food from there twice and both times it was delicious. I had a vegetarian wrap yesterday.

Steve & The Stories:

I can’t recall what he ordered. But every time he goes in someplace, he comes back out with more than food. He comes back to the car with stories.

He’s one of those people who strangers just naturally talk to.

He’s funny and engaging and people gravitate to him. I’ve watched it happen.

So when he comes back to the car, he regales me with what perfect strangers have said to him.

He almost always has a new story to tell me every place he goes.

On To Merritt’s Bakery For Sweets:

My favorite bakery was just a few blocks away. So while he was inside getting our meal, my mind wandered over to Merritt’s bakery.

When Steve came back to the car, I asked if he’d drive over there.

He drove to the parking lot and I once again handed him my credit card.

“Get us something decadent,” I said to him.

He came out with two slices of Italian cream cake.

How did I start out this post about “steps” and end up with Italian cake?

Well, that tends to happen to me sometimes.


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  1. I guess most of us with limitations in standing or walking, face some of the same you are…it is hard to realize we may never be able to regain 100%…we have to be satisfied with less. Work smarter instead of harder. So it seems. So glad Steve is so helpful to you!! No doubt helping you gives his life enrichment as well. Seems you moved to that apt in the nick of time!!

  2. Brenda, I do the same kind of thing you did with your walking with my gardening. I love being out there digging and planting and weeding so much that I just keep at it sometimes ’til I am ready to drop over and have forgotten to eat as well! Then I am so tired I can barely stand up. I am getting a little better since I’m not as well or limber as I used to be, but, like you with the cooking, I sometimes just get out of control. Then I have to take a day off. It’s sort of like our bodies can’t keep up with our minds anymore! Hard to get used to. But you are back on the right track again, now, and probably won’t get ahead of yourself again for a while.

    So great to have a neighbor and friend like Steve. So glad you live in the place you do instead of the old isolated place. Just think what this past year would have been like if you hadn’t moved. Ugh! Happy Weekend!

  3. So you got a little carried away with your walking – I would be that person too:) A small setback but the optimism is important to keep too. It will be fine and now you know your limits, at least for now. The errands w Steve sound fun – you are lucky you were not in the way of the wayward car at the library! I am glad no one was hurt. Your friend Steve is such a blessing and I am sure he feels the same way about you. I was a bit worried in the beginning of today’s post but smiling by the time I got to the end:) You have a lovely way with words:)

  4. Despite the setback on pain, you’ve enumerated some good things in life to balance out the bad. I love your friendship with Steve.
    Years ago, I accompanied an older friend to a charming area of antique and gift shops. She was at the top of a wooden staircase, ready to leave a store. I experienced a clear message in my brain: “she’s going to fall.” Not a single contributing factor existed. No floppy shoes, wobbling rail, alcoholic impairment. Nothing. She wasn’t injured, but she did fall. I’ll never forget that.

  5. That senior who crashed her car may lose her license because of insurance rates. It’s stunning how many seniors crash into structures or store fronts. I’m a 70+ senior myself, and I just developed a “wandering eye.” I had complained to my doctor of double vision upon waking from naps. The doctor said my left eye was drifting towards my nose. Nothing could be done to fix my situation, he explained. Well, I ordered an eye patch from Amazon. It helps. I’m not going down without a fight.

  6. Nothing like a good friend to chat and ride with to break up a ride.
    And you both have a nice meal together to enjoy so life is good. Yes you are going to have to think before you step so training your brain instead of just moving on, will be different for you. I Thank the good lord every day for living in our wonderful land of plenty and for ways to help others less fortunate so life is enriched in many ways. Our food choices here are endless.

  7. Any outing that ends in Italian Cream Cake is a good one! Wish my favorite bakery was close to where I live now. I loved their version of this delicious cake.

    Glad you are getting out of the house. More “scope for the imagination” as Anne of Green Gables would say! 🙂

  8. I’m glad you’re feeling better to be able to go places while Steve runs his errands. Have a fantastic weekend Brenda and everyone else that reads this blog!

  9. Boy when I read the caption i feared the worst. I know it’s hard on you, especially being such a get up and go lady. When I had any back fusion surgery vanity got
    the best of me and i gave up the walker for a cane. I wound up favoring one side so bad I couldn’t sleep on that side for months!

    I think I’ve had the Italian ice cream cake and oh my there are just no words to describe it! It’s great Steve takes you along with him.

  10. Small steps Brenda. I know want to walk and be without pain and you are getting there. Glad you are getting out and able to get as far as your car. I am a homebody also but it does do a person good to get out once in awhile. I’d rather have takeout than sit in a restaurant. Glad you got a decadent dessert! I think of carrot cake and a cup of hot tea for fall and enjoyed one this week. Thanks for the links to help with the recliner pillow. My Dad is 90 he takes care of himself but we take him to his appointments and since Covid I do all his shopping. He is amazing! Have a good day!

  11. Continue to wear your boot until Greg says it’s ok to remove it. You got a little sassy with yourself and that very understandable.
    Going on excursions with Steve has to be incredibly wonderful for both of you. You get to enjoy the outdoors and new scenery and he has company while running errands. Perfect!!!
    Enjoy your Fri-YAY, Brenda!

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