Journal of a Living Lady #338
Nancy White Kelly
The year of 2008 was a Leap Year. Buddy and I would like to have leaped past it as it didn’t turn out to be such a good one. Not that we aren’t grateful for obvious blessings.
We are thankful that both our sons have decent, steady jobs. Our daughter-in-law made it home from a tour in Iraq with all her limbs attached. Our four grandchildren are healthy and happy.
Economically, it was a hard year. Like many others, we became thriftier by necessity. The hike in Social Security would have been nicer if our health insurance premiums didn’t jump larger than the increase. That twenty percent rise in electrical rates was astronomical and hard to absorb. Then we all know about last year’s $4 a gallon gas prices.
Almost daily, near-desperate customers drop by our Ye Old Coin shop at Byers Creek and Southern in Young Harris. Both young and old spread out gold and silver coins, tokens and old paper money on the glass counter. Sometimes they bring bigger items too, but we explain that we are a coin shop, not a pawn shop. We recommend Southland Pawn in Hiawassee for shotguns and jewelry. The owner, Jerry Franks, has a great reputation for being fair and honest.
More than once we have provided food to our customers instead of the meager cash some collections would bring. Old doesn’t always mean valuable. Dealers must also consider rarity and condition.
Deal or no deal, Buddy and I are happy to be givers rather than the givees. Recently some friends who have a small herd of cattle unexpectedly gave us half of a cow. It wasn’t barley and fishes, but that beef has fed several families in at least three states.
The year 2008 went out with a whimper…literally. The Living Lady wasn’t about to let the New Year ring in without a crowning adventure. With a cancer port removal, a triple hernia repair, knee replacement surgery, and a heart attack all in the last quarter of 2008, you would think that I had sufficiently paid my medical dues for at least the eighth year of the new millennium.
But, alas, fluky accidents lurk when you least expect them. While several friends were anxiously anticipating a possum dropping from the sky, Buddy and I smugly lay in bed, quietly reading and relishing the fact we wouldn’t be encountering any revelers on the highways.
As I carefully cut out a couple of articles from an old hardback to share with my up-coming Sunday school class. Buddy flipped channels with the remote. That is his unspoken signal that he is ready to sleep. Tired from a long day too, I placed the straight-edge razor blade inside the book to hold my place for another session.
I sat up on my side of the bed looking for an uncluttered spot to place the book. Unbeknownst to me, that stealthy razor blade slid from inside the book into the bedroom carpet, lodging itself in a blade-up position. I sunk my foot and full weight into the vertical edge of the sharp steel. Dark blood saturated the rug.
Buddy darted toward me, instinctively grabbing two white socks from his dresser drawer to apply pressure. My crutches, which were used while recuperating from the knee surgery, leaned against the wall.
In one swell sweep, Buddy grabbed those crutches, my purse, our coats, and the house and car keys. Almost as an after-thought, he laid it all down briefly to replace his pajama pants.
Once inside the car, my attentive husband assumed a different personality. I assured Buddy that I was not having a baby and it was not necessary to drive 80 miles an hour with the flashers blinking. He pretended to not hear me.
For now, he was Walter Mitty, the ambulance driver, on a life and death mission. Two hours and a few stitches later, Buddy and I were back home in our supposedly safe bed.
Froggie may have went a’courtin’, but the Living Lady went a’ limping into 2009. To paraphrase Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Year, “I shan't think about Leap Year today. I'll think about it tomorrow…in 2012.”