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Friday the 13th dawned bright and beautiful, with caroling songbirds and flitting butterflies rejoicing in the sunshine after days of rain. Light of heart (but not so light of foot!) I put the flat of flowers on the porch and headed for the shed to get some gardening tools. Jasper pranced along beside me, eager to join in the fun.

I must digress here, and explain about Jasper. He is a little mini-Pincher that son Andy and wife Jennifer acquired back in the winter. We babysat (dogsat?) him and his sidekick Ruff during the day while the weather was cold, as they both worked and the children were in school. Ruff is a Jack Russell terrier, a half brother to our Minnie. He has a Jack Russell body but a hound-dog head and is extremely affectionate.

Naturally, they both bonded to me and came early for hot biscuits, baked by Criss. They had to have creamery butter too—no margarine for them. They would turn up their noses at such an insult. They couldn't believe it was butter! But back to the fine day in May . . .

There we were, Jasper and I, walking beside the garden, when I heard an agonized barking and looked to see Jasper writhing on the ground, his teeth clenched tightly on the lower strand of the electric fence surrounding the garden. I panicked, and tried to pull him loose. Of course, the electric current went through me, and I turned to run and unplug the fence. I knew it would kill him as we found a barn owl one morning last year fried to a crisp by the fence.
I tried to run, took about three leaps and my head got ahead of my body. I fell hard full length, plowing a " furry" with my nose. I will digress here again, and explain "furry."

In the emergency room, I told one of the attendants that I had plowed a furry with my nose, and he was puzzled. When I explained that furry was merely a dialect word for "furrow," he still didn't know what I was talking about. Evidently, he hadn't plowed any furrows in the spring.

I heard this word used in a different way a few years ago. We were in revival, and the evangelist and his wife stayed with us that week. They brought an older brother with them from the deep South.

One day that week I baked a special cake for them, which for some reason turned contrary and ran over in the oven. I had to leave the burned batter and dirty oven to run back up to church, planning to clean up the mess when I got back. To my surprise, there was a sparkling oven and clean stove. (Dear Sis. Clark had cleaned up the mess.)

I asked Bro. Goodson who had done the good deed. And he replied "A good furry did it for you." Then I remember his earlier testimony about "Murry and Marthie." Such sweet "furries!"

Well, back to the original story—Criss was trying to pick me up, and I was screaming for him to unplug the fence and rescue the dog. Jasper disappeared, and Criss helped me to the house to examine my injuries. I really had jammed my face in the ground for my eyeglasses were bent and dirt rimmed my forehead. It was evident that my arms were hurt as a knot formed on one wrist and both arms were beginning to swell.

The most painful was a broken rib which is slowly healing and the casts on my arms are awkward. I have had lots of broken bones but this time my wings have been clipped. Can you imagine not being able to wash your own face?
I hate to admit that animals (mostly dogs) have been my downfall. The first break I had involved a rabbit-- a marshmallow-soft, lop-eared bunny that Matthew owned before he was married. It was in a pen under a porch on the back side of the house. A three feet high stone wall, with a concrete walk below it, ran below the bank.

After I fed the rabbit and was coming down the bank, I caught my toe on a gas pipe and plunged over the wall onto the concrete. My knee cap was moved over to the side of my knee, and of course I couldn't get up. The doctor said it was crushed like a cookie, and so it was removed completely.

A few years ago our Border collie, Tudor, streaked across the yard on his way to the farm tractor and knocked me down and broke my leg. He never looked back. I have a plate and screws in my ankle as a souvenir.

This episode was not Minnie's fault. A couple of years ago, our grandson Joseph came to visit. He is big as a barn door, and at 6' 5" and 280 lbs. of muscle, not fat, he would frighten anyone. Minnie was leery of him, and stayed at my heels. I made an unexpected turn and fell over her onto the hardwood floor. Well, I have a rod and a pin in my hip as a memento of that fall.

The other knee cap was my own fault. I stubbed my toe on the threshold and fell onto the same hardwood floor, smashing my other kneecap. This time the doctor painstakingly put the crushed pieces back together with tiny pins and it is doing great.
I won't bore you with details of my broken ribs—broke two while cleaning the chest type deep freezer, fell into the dirty clothes hamper while cleaning the toilet, was hugged too tightly by husband—and there are other times I am sure.
Through it all, the Lord has been with me. In spite of my bumbling and stupid accidents, He has healed my broken bones over and over. There have been blessings all along the way. When I think of the precious friends I have met, and the love and prayers that have been poured out for me, I can only say, "Thank you, Lord."

Words are inadequate to express my gratitude to my friends for their response to my accident. Such love has been expressed through cards, e-mails, and telephone calls—and especially your prayers. God truly is good.

THE THINGS I PRIZE
These are the things I prize
And hold of dearest worth:

Light of the sapphire skies,

Peace of the silent hills,

Shelter of the forests, comfort of the grass,

Music of birds, murmur of little rills,

Shadows of cloud that swiftly pass,
And after the showers,

The smell of flowers

And of the good brown earth—

And best of all, along the way, friendship and mirth.

by Henry Van Dyke


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