Break a Leg

By Georgie Bright Kunkel

No, don’t get me wrong. I am not going to write about my own leg. This time it is my daughter’s leg that she recently shattered bigtime. You do remember my reminiscing in my column from the position of one leg elevated. I was not excited about the statement, “Everything happens for a reason.” But maybe that isn’t such an impossible statement after all. There is much to be learned from such a bone shattering experience.

One’s hum-drum life becomes filled with changing the everyday routine to include lying with leg elevated and learning how to move about on a scooter or even in a wheelchair. People that you hadn’t contacted for a very long time loom larger in the address book that you now have time to look through with a virtual magnifying glass.

Then one notices the names of people who are no longer living and need crossing off. After calling my daughter to see how she was doing it became evident that she, too, was opening her eyes to a new way of viewing her world. Her travel business, managed in her own home, finally looked more inviting. Since she could no longer go out tutoring or ushering at the local theater she could try out new recipes with the help of her husband to reach the special spices on the higher shelves. They could share a time in the sun on the patio instead of rushing about fulfilling the usual daily routine.

Since my daughter is an expert at searching out special buys on the computer “yard sale” I can now ask her advice about putting some of my precious antiques (not 100 years old but old enough) out into the world. If I am going to stop at every yard sale in West Seattle I might as well take advantage of her suggestions on how much to charge if I want to sell my overflow. She is the one who helped me through the Seattle Antiques Roadshow line when my pottery was chosen to be filmed. Luckily I hadn’t considered my Pillin pottery overflow.

My daughter fortunately had already celebrated her birthday with family and friends after singing in a duet at church before that fateful day when she slipped on what is called a “manhole’ cover while walking on the sidewalk. Of course in my motherly fashion I reminded her of all the activities she could do even when restricted to a boot on one leg. I knew that she could accomplish a lot because I had managed a program at the Southwest Library when I was in my cast. I even gave a speech in front of a group while sitting in a chair with my leg in a cast resting up on a chair beside me. Certainly I didn’t stop writing this column even with my right leg hobbled. My mind wasn’t in a cast, right? Coping is something to be learned early in life. That old saying, “Focus on the positive” isn’t out of style.

Today when I was out at a dance and lunch I was asked, “What is your secret to a long life?” I replied, “Good genes.” From then on it is mind over matter. It is my belief that life is made up of the three F’s---food, family and fun. (Gotcha, you thought I was going to say something else, didn’t you?) A healthy mix of these three will be enough for anyone. And my extended family will be gathering on my birthday to
share family stories and update the family tree. We may even have time for our family game of pinochle. So let the games begin.

Georgie Bright Kunkel is a freelance writer who can be reached at gnkunkel@comcast.net or 206-935-8663.

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