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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Clean Sweep

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.


Anonymous said...

Oh dear, poor Sr. St. Aloysius. Hopefully, it is not too far in the future that she can laugh about the picture that has been portrayed here, and that she recovers and can resume use of her arm as the injury heals well.

Feisty Irish Wench said...

Oh my! Such challenging adventures for everyone. Did anyone tell the officer that the lady was throwing a broom at a dog trying to get him to stop running amok?

Anonymous said...

We will pray for sister! How horrible!

I once had to take a young boy to the hospital who had broken his arm/compound fracture and it was quite upsetting. Because I didn't realize that "white thing" was his bone at first and when I did, it was all I could do not to faint. I am glad he screamed the whole way because that kept me from freaking out more!

JACK said...

Proving, yet again, that "No good deed goes unpunished."

Sister will have my prayers today. I've been there.

Bethany said...

Oh my, what a day!
Honestly, I wouldn't let you sop up blood with my embroidered towels either. Even if it were my own blood. Especially if it were my own blood!

I hope Sister is feeling better soon, and the little rug rats and the dog all made her get well cards!

Anonymous said...

Sister, you really do need something more creative and less to do with your free time.
Healing prayers for Sr. St.Aloysius.

TheSeeker said...

Oh my goodness!!
Poor Sister Aloysius...that's really horrible. I love that she yelled about which towel. I'm like that when I'm hurt--so freaked that I'm the only one thinking about technical things. I hope she gets better quickly and with as little pain as possible.
And that's awful that she had the cops called on her...I wonder what they must've thought when they found a nun in the gutter with a broken arm from a dog!

Claudia said...

I know that very wild eyed, mad dog look. I am amazed that Sr. Aloysius managed to hold on to the wild beast with her arm hurting and bleeding so. I sincerely hope she does not an infection. There are a lot of bad bugs out there.

Anonymous said...

My little daughter is demanding to know how I can laugh at the story of a nun breaking her arm. Expecially when the story is written by another nun!

I guess I'll have to do penance for that :)

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! Sister St. Aloysius is going on the beads today. Bless her dog-catching heart.

Janelle said...

I hope Sr. St. Aloysius has a speedy recovery!

Unknown said...

And Harpo and Zeppo were where??? :>)

Neuropoet said...

Oh poor Sr. St. Aloysius -- I hope her arms heals well...

Prayers for her,

Tienne said...

Oh my! I'll keep Sr. St. Aloysius in my prayers. What a story!

Laura said...

Sister, I just wanted to give an update to the question I posted a few weeks ago. I'm the clandestinely married lady who was expecting. Our beautiful (and cranky!) son, Dominic Joseph, was born Jan. 20. Five days later we brought him to Sunday Mass and our pastor said that we would be permitted to ask for baptism! Thank God! I suppose my question is moot at this point, so you can cross it off your ever-growing list of combox questions.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me Sister, I wonder if you had an opinion in the fact the word "nun" has been removed from the oxford junior dictionary. Sign of things to come? Or just a reflection of the fact these young people have far too many fan-dangled new words and no room in the dictionary for the old ones?
Thanks, Sarah
(p.s. here's a couple of links in case you have no idea what I'm on about!)


Shannon said...

You are all in our hearts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sister Mary Martha. Your blog is fantastic! I recently went on my first convent visit and reading your posts really calmed my nerves by giving me some insight into the lifestyle before I got there. I've also been sharing your blog with my family as a way to get the idea of religious life into daily conversation. They freak out when the focus is on me becoming a nun, but when the focus is shifted to someone else, it isn't as frightening. They're slowly coming around. Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks!

Anonymous said...

Dear Sister Mary Martha,
Genesis chapter 9 verse 5 say that "I will demand an account from every beast and from man. I will demand an account of every man's life from his fellow men". I am Catholic and know that the Catechism says animals do not go to Heaven. If they do not go to Heaven, why do they need to give an account?

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, poor
Sister St. Aloysius! I do hope she's feeling better and on the mend. I could hear her voice, well, hear the voice of the nun it brought to mind, in my head. :) Amazing what still lurks in memory.

I have been reading your blog Sister Mary Martha for just under a month now, and enjoy reading it very much.

BTW, how is your broken toe? As a fellow sufferer (my tendency is to walk about barefoot in my house, if I get up in the middle of the night, or early in the morning, without turning the lights on). I've broken mostly my smaller toes on numerous occasions. I will have to admit defeat and force myself to put my slippers on.

Mary Lou