Return to Normal

If you regularly visit this blog, you’ve noticed I’ve been absent for a few weeks. The reasons are somewhat unusual:

  1. Our youngest son’s 19-year-old best friend was killed in a motorcycle accident in South Dakota. We stopped what we were doing and traveled to the funeral.

  2. On the way home from South Dakota, we stopped by some property we own in the Midwest and made improvements.

  3. After arriving home, I had an accident and planted my face on the pavement a block from our home.

Would you believe the post I had planned (before the accident) was going to be called “Just About Normal”? However, in light of the chaotic atmosphere in our land right now, I’ve changed it to “Return to Normal.”

Focusing on bad things gives us all a headache. We would like to return to the normal we knew before the pandemic, before national riots.

I would like to focus this time on some kind-hearted neighbors whom I never met before they came to my aid, in response to what could have been a life-altering event.

It was a quiet Saturday evening, May 30th, when I took our little dog for a walk. On the return loop, I was running to cross the street about a block from my home when I lost my footing and fell. I hit the pavement full force, on my face. It knocked me out for a few seconds.

A neighbor whom I have never met, saw me lying in the street and came over to help. I was dazed when the kind-hearted woman asked me if I wanted to sit on the curb instead of in the street. Fortunately, it’s a rather quiet street and doesn’t get a lot of traffic.

Blood was pouring from my nose and a huge goose egg began sprouting on my forehead.

The neighbor’s dad who lived across the street, came out of his house and offered me a wet paper towel to staunch the flow of blood. My dog had disappeared, so he went looking for him and brought him back.

Thanks to the quick thinking of this unknown neighbor, an ambulance appeared and whisked me off to the hospital for treatment. There were no broken bones and no need of stitches, though an unsightly gash on the side of my forehead still is a reminder of the face-planting incident.

The point is this: While there is a lot of evil around us, it’s profitable to stop and notice the good. My kind neighbor could have turned her back and looked the other way as I lay on the street bleeding. She didn’t have to call an ambulance. Her dad didn’t have to go after my dog. She didn’t have to take the time to return the dog to my daughter after I entered the ambulance.

Return to normal. Remember when it was normal to feel somewhat responsible for those around you? We didn’t feel it warranted an article in the newspaper to celebrate delivering a meal to a neighbor with a broken leg or a cancer diagnosis. We just did it.

It was normal—and very kind—for our neighbors across the road to finish harvesting my dad’s crops the year he had heart surgery. It was normal when we lived in the Midwest, for our neighbors to can their relative’s produce the summer she broke her leg.

Let’s look around and think a little more often about the good that occurs amid the chaos. I am grateful to the people around the corner from my house, who went out of their way to aid someone they didn’t even know. If you look for it, you may encounter some around you, too. Just don’t follow my lead and do a face plant on the street.

The world's largest goose egg over my left eye, after returning from the emergency room.

Any comments on "normal?" Feel free to use the box below.