What I Did on My Summer Vacation

By Linda Scott Derosier

First of all, I spent most of the school year scrambling to keep up with my classes while fulfilling a contract to write an introduction to psychology text. I had a June one deadline for the Intro Psych text, followed by a June 15 deadline for the study guide/workbook to accompany it. After school ended, 5/12, I pretty much wrote round-the-clock Then the last week in May my “new” computer fried. Nothing saved but Compaq replaced all hardware and I was able to retrieve most of the basic 1000+ pages because I had been sending it to myself online to back up on both home and office computer. I managed to meet both deadlines so both books should be ready for fall semester.

Arthur and I left on 6/17 for Sister’s son’s engagement party in Kentucky, then went on to Cambridge for a friend’s wedding in Memorial Church on campus. Along the way we spent a few days on the Cape w/Arthur’s sister, Estelle and Joe.

On Wednesday 6/23, I went to bed around midnight. Not wanting to disturb Arthur, I had changed into my jammies, was holding my jeans and shirt in my left arm, opening the door with my right hand, and backing into our bedroom without benefit of light. I took the first step backwards down the basement stairs—fell backwards, head first. Yeah, yeah, damned nitwit chose the wrong door. After a wild ride with all bells and sirens, neck brace, et al, I spent 36 CAT scan, MRI, X-ray-filled hours in Falmouth Hospital and managed to limp back to Boston and Billings with a concussion, some very sore ribs, and a truly award-winning blue-purple-yellow Rorshach on my hind end!

We’ve been home for a couple of weeks now and I’ve repeatedly suggested to Arthur that since our generation missed the mooning craze, I think he should drive me around Billings so I could roll down the window and shoot a blue moon at a select few. I’m making a list. Bank on it.

In truth, over the course of my little hospital stay, no fewer than eight [8] physicians remarked “For a woman your age, it is amazing that you didn’t break a bone.” Apparently, I’m the poster girl for osteoporosis—pale-eyed, scrawny, and, oh yes, old.

Frankly, I’m finding the results of the concussion rather interesting—most of the time I’m okay, though considerably slower to process some things, then occasionally I’ll stagger a bit and fall into a full swoon. As a big ol’ healthy country woman, this is full unusual behavior. Can’t fuss, though, damn well shoulda broken my neck. I still have to do my taxes soon as I get my head together—like that’s gonna happen—then prep the memoir writing workshop I’m teaching at Hindman Settlement School in KY end of July, and get at least some of my trash packed and on the road to Bismarck. Have to be at the new post by mid-August.

For those of you who might find yourselves in Eastern Kentucky next week, I will be at Hindman Settlement School, and will do a reading there Tuesday evening. I’m including the whole schedule of readings because you might want to come another night and we could sit together and listen to some of the others.

I hope not to throw myself down any more stairs this trip. I swear I seem to have come through my little tumble with nothing more than a bad case of the sore rump. Having always been a real pain-in-the-butt, I guess it was just my time to experience it first hand, or so Arthur says. Actually, He, Estelle, and Joe were in worse shape than I was.

So that’s what I did on my summer vacation. Let’s see you top that one.

Hope to see you next week or some other day soon. n

Linda Scott DeRosier received the AWA Appalachian Book of the Year Nonfiction Award 2003 for Songs of Life and Grace, University of Kentucky Press.