Posted by on April 30, 2020

My biceps were sore when I got up this Wednesday morning.  

That’s usually something I would report to my older daughter’s “Let’s Do This! Challenge” page on Facebook after a workout at the Modern Maturity Center’s fitness room.  But the Center, of course, is closed due to the virus, which means my biceps were sore for an entirely different reason.

Let me step back just a little.  I’m writing this on a Wednesday.  Normally I try to post to this site on Tuesdays, but yesterday, quite frankly, was way too packed to fit it in.  Now I’m beginning to think that God must have blocked my access to this site yesterday in order to let me tell you this story tonight.

Across the street from us lives a very elderly couple, Mr. and Mrs. H.  He’s somewhere in his 80’s.  Mrs. H. just told me yesterday that when Lincoln’s birthday rolls around next time, Feb. 12, 2021, she’ll be 90.  

Mr. H. has shown kindness to us since before we moved here to Delaware in 2012.  We bought our house several years before I retired.  We would try to visit on weekends or for vacation as often as possible.  Mr. H. would see to it that our trash bins were taken to the curb during the week.  He has never stopped doing that (our bin is on the curb as I write in anticipation of pick-up tomorrow, thanks to him).  As a small gesture of thanks, I take my string trimmer to the street sides of his yard to “spruce it up” a bit.

So it was that I had finished trimming and mowing yesterday afternoon and was making my last trip around the properties with my leaf blower to clear the storm troughs of grass clippings.  As I rounded the corner to the front of their house, I saw Mrs. H. waving to me from her front porch where she had been sitting most of the afternoon.  I waved back.  I walked a couple of steps.  Then it suddenly dawned on me: She shouldn’t be waving from down there!

I rushed to the porch, setting my leaf blower on the ground as I ran.  Sure enough, my neighbor lady was lying on the deck of her porch in front of the bench where she had been sitting!  She told me she had been there for three and a half hours (I’m not sure that it was quite that long, but it was probably a couple of hours anyway).  Mr. H. had been out mowing their lawn, and she tried to call to him.  “He was right there by that bush, but he didn’t hear me,” she said, pointing to a bush that was maybe 30 or 40 feet away.

“I can understand that, Mrs. H.,” I explained.  “When you’re that close to a mower, the noise blocks out just about everything else.”  (Besides, Mr. H.’s hearing is severely diminished as well.)

I asked her if she had hurt anything.  I didn’t want to move her if she thought she broke anything.  She said she hurt her knee, but nothing else.  So I positioned myself behind her with my arms under her shoulders and managed to pick her back up to where she could scooch back onto the bench.

“How did you end up on the porch?” I wanted to know.

“I was looking thru the [business] cards in my wallet, and the wind blew some out of my hand,” she explained.  “I didn’t want any of them to go through the cracks in the porch, so I leaned over to pick them up.  That’s when I slid off the bench and onto the porch.  I’ve been there for three and a half hours.”

Having done what I thought was necessary, and spending a few minutes with her to make sure she was securely sitting on the bench, I decided it was OK to leave.  It wasn’t until that night, lying in bed, that it occurred to me that I should have informed Mr. H. of what happened.  He was either still mowing the lawn on the other side of the house at the time, or had finished and was blissfully unaware inside.  Either way, I felt like an idiot.  

Once again, my “good deed” turned sour.  Oh, it was fine.  As far as it went.  It just didn’t go far enough.  I hope I never have the opportunity to remember to let Mr. H. know his wife is in trouble, but if it does happen that I’m in the right place at the right time, I hope I remember to finish the job.

And that’s why my biceps are sore today.

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