Sticks and Stones: Part 2

Yes, this is Part 2 of my oxymoron, post-COVID vacation to North and South Carolina. I did travel to Aiken, SC, to see Annie and CB, her fiancé, where the landscaping was much more rolling. Aiken is horse country and has an expansive, time-trials track for such races as the Kentucky Derby. Many of the houses are antebellum; in fact, my eldest will be married on the lush grounds of the former governor’s mansion in October. After my short stay, we drove back to Wilmington for the 4th of July weekend.

The sticks: Friday night my friend was in charge of preparing the garlic bread and broiling it in the infamous stove oven from hell. I swear she had just placed it in the oven when the loaf caught on fire and sent smoke billowing through the house. Later, I tried to warm something in the microwave, which I had covered with a paper plate. The paper plate caught on fire and sent more smoke roaring through the house. (Did I mention I didn’t notice the paper plate had a metallic covering?)

The stones: Yes, they indeed break bones. First, I rolled my ankle on the concrete porch. I felt my stomach lurch; I swallowed hard. Whatever I was about to hurl retreated. Then my youngest stubbed her toe on the porch stoop. Her toe went off at a weird angle. Enter my eldest, Dr. Boss, to inspect our injuries. She demanded RICE! Rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Damn! There went our 4th of July plans to watch the fireworks from the USS North Carolina battleship on the Cape Fear River. Of course, we also missed a day at the beach and a shopping adventure.

I was outfitted with an brace to stabilize my badly swollen and bruised ankle; according to Urgent Care doc, I wasn’t broken, just bent. My youngest, on the other hand, was diagnosed with a broken toe, which was yanked back into alignment and taped to another toe. She further got one of those high-styling ortho shoes.

Needless to say, my first post-COVID adventure was memorable. However, I’d prefer the next one not include sticks and stones.

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