Wednesday, February 11, 2009
You may be aware that we've had El Nino rains lately. Knowing the rains were coming, we decided to do a little spring cleaning. Sister St. Aloysuis was especially keen on cleaning the front of the house and the driveway. It's a good idea to sweep the front of the house before the rains come, because otherwise puddles form and you end up just sweeping muddy leaves around. So out she went to sweep up the dust and leaves and sticks and left over bread the birds have missed.
I focused on the floors back inside the house. I would wash down one area and then dump the water out back. I change the water a lot when I'm cleaning because I can't stand the idea of washing with dirt. You should see me rinse the dishes before I do them. My dishes will not be washed in a sink full of garbage hunks.
What we had here was a failure to communicate.
The water I was dumping out the back was running down the side of the house and out to the front. If Sister St. Aloysius was having a problem with that, perhaps she was offering up her suffering over my mindless, endless water dumping for the Poor Souls in Purgatory and getting all ten of her St. Therese sacrifice beads counted and out of the way for the day.
The floors were looking good.
Then there was some barking.
Then there was some shouting.
Then there was some barking and shouting.
Our neighbor's grandchildren were playing in the yard next door and one of the kids left the gate open and the goofy-floppy eared dog that lives there trotted out to the sidewalk.
I think if no one had chased the dog maybe she would have just trotted around the front yard and trotted back in again. But once someone tried to grab the dog, she was ready to have a great game of chase.
The shouting and grabbing and chasing had brought me out to the front just in time to see the dog, appropriately named "Dingo", running up and down the block. She had already run past Sister St. Aloysius twice, I'm told, and as I arrived on the scene Sister had used her best school teacher voice to yell, "stop!" at the dog. She threw her broom to distract Dingo from the street.
But I saw that look. The glimmer inthe dog's eye. The "not only am I not going to stop, I'm going to make a beeline for the street! In fact, I'm going to run even faster!"
Sister St. Aloysius managed to get her hands on the dog, but alas, her feet were in my floor water and down she went.
The next thing we knew, there she sat in the gutter with one arm firmly around the dog, and the other....the other just did not look right. Not right at all. She told me later that for a moment there, sitting in the mud in shock with dog breath in her face, she thought the bone sticking out of her arm was rick rack. That's what sewing too much will do for you.
I ran back into the house to get something to stop the bleeding and grabbed a kitchen towel, the nearest thing, and ran back out. By now the whole neighborhood had gathered, the dog was corralled. Sister St. Aloysius saw me coming.
"Not that towel!" she screamed. I had grabbed a decorative kitchen towel my mother had embroidered for her. The kind you make from those Aunt Martha's transfers. It has a rabbit baking a pie on it. Maybe it's a chicken. One of those days of the week things that some animal is always baking on Saturday and doing laundry on Monday and ironing on Tuesday, etc.
Back in the house, searching frantically for an undecorated towel, I heard sirens. Someone had called an ambulance. I was a little relieved about that because I think if I had had to drive Sister St. Aloysius to the hospital myself I might have fainted behind the wheel.
Yes, there was the ambulance. And a squad car. "How nice," I thought, "that the police would stop to make sure a woman sitting in the mud in the gutter is alright."
The policeman was looking for the woman who was "yelling and throwing brooms at children."
Note to self: throwing brooms at children is not an option in this neighborhood.
That's how it happened. Sister St. Aloysius had to spend two days in the hospital because the water she fell in was so dirty, she had to stay under observation for risk of infection.
Thank goodness I dumped it out so frequently. No wonder the floors sparkle.