12:59:50 am on
Friday 13 Dec 2019

Granny Takes a Tumble
AJ Robinson

While on our vacation in Georgia, we took several outings and had quite a great deal of fun. Returning from a trip to a nearby apple orchard, it got a little dicey. Brian was driving his car; I was with him, along with Damian, my foster son, Rachel, his foster daughter, and Millie, grandmother of Brian.


Steepest laneway, anywhere.

We arrived at the bottom of the driveway up to our cabin. That’s where events started to develop. You see, when I say bottom, I mean bottom, as in the very bottom of the driveway that was extremely steep. If I had to guess, I’d say the angle was 50-to-60 degrees.

Yes, that’s quite a slope, especially for a bunch of people from Florida, where much of the land is almost flat. Not many of Floridians have experience in driving up such a steep driveway. Who does, I suppose, unless you live in the mountains.

Brian asked if I would hop out and guide him through the transition from the main road to our drive. A little choke point was tough to navigate; the main road was going down and then the driveway went up. Brian was worried about scraping the bottom of his car or even slamming his front bumper into the drive as it rose before him.

It was no problem for me. Brian stopped near the drive, I got out, helped him line up on the drive before he tried to get up it. Unfortunately, he didn’t gun the engine quite right, the wheels lost traction and he had to back down to the start to avoid damaging the vehicle.

As for me, I decided to walk up the drive in the grass, which ran along its edge, as it was a short distance and I didn’t want him to stop for me. I was already at the top when Brian eased the car back down to the bottom to try again. At that point, Rachel and Damian decided they want to walk, too.

Granny Millie hopped out to let Rachel and Damian out of the back seat, as I stood, watching from the top. I turned away for a second; when I looked back, I was surprised to see Millie had disappeared. I thought maybe she’d gotten back in the car, but then I caught sight of two feet sticking up from the ground next to the car; Brian was in the process of practically diving out of the driver’s door.

Millie had lost her footing on the steep slope and tumbled over. For any elderly person, a mere fall is bad enough. That wasn’t the only issue Millie faced.


The sight was almost comical.

I dashed on down the hill. Rachel did the same, in front of me. I almost laughed to see her go.

It was clear Rachel wasn’t used to running such a steep slope. Instead of leaning back to keep her balance, she was bent forward, and was about to do a face plant. My concern was that she was going to land on Millie.

Fortunately, Rachel had the presence of mind to jump over Millie. Unfortunately, Rachel landed in the gravel. Fortunately, she wasn’t injured.

The same was not true for poor Millie. In falling backwards, she’d cut the back of her head on a square wooden signpost and was bleeding. Brian and I got to her, checked her over; he yanked off his t-shirt to cover her wound.

Stopping the blood flow was complete. Now we had to get Millie to the cabin. Easing her into a backseat, Brian asked me to drive the car as I had more experience dealing with steep slopes.

I wasn’t used to his car, but I didn’t want to delay Millie getting proper attention. Getting behind the wheel, I backed up, revved the engine and shot up the drive. Even so, I did slip back at one point and had to gun the car some more, but we finally made it.

We then helped Millie inside and checked her over. Although the cut initially bled a great deal, it didn’t appear large or deep. We cleaned the cut, kept a pressure bandage on her head, kept her hydrated and waited for my wife, Jo Ann, and the others to return from shopping.

Jo Ann has a medical background; we deferred to her on what to do next. She used an old trick in dealing with a small head cut. She tied the hairs on either side of the wound together, essentially creating a makeshift suture.

After that, we only had to watch Millie for the next day or so. If more bleeding occurred or she showed signs of a concussion, then we’d know it was serious and to get her to a doctor. If not, the gash would heal, with time, and she’d have to wait for the hair to grow out to deal with the knots.


All’s well that ends well.

Fortunately, everything turned out fine. Our vacation continued. Millie was great and we had quite the story to tell and re-tell over the course of our stay.

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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