Safety first

There have been some unusual goings on around our house.

It’s not surprising after a move: no matter how sedentary you may be, the appearance of two tons of boxes containing items you were convinced you couldn’t live without will get you up and out of your chair. Particularly if you packed them, too. But I wonder whether moving might actually be hazardous to your health.

Two weeks prior to the move, a peek in a window would have revealed two (and sometimes three when my visiting son was pitching in) perpetual-motion machines. Lift, wrap, pack. Repeat. It started early and it continued until midnight or later. The threat of moving vans and disapproving movers who will not wait for another day will keep you moving. I lost weight. It was kind of great.


Moving day (and several days thereafter) continued the same drill in reverse. Lift, unwrap, position. Repeat. I have never slept so well.

But then things begin to get dangerous.

“That wire fence around the back is nasty. Let’s pull it out.”

I tried to avoid my son’s accusing glare as he slathered ointment on a truly impressive case of poison ivy the next day.

“The trees around the yard are out of control! We have to trim them back.”

I’m not stupid. I know I have no business touching a chain saw. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible for me to get hurt. I am gifted with a certain arrogance. I think I don’t want to admit there are things I can’t (or shouldn’t) do. I headed for the big branches hanging over the roof. I had already warned them they were toast after their leaves slapped my face one night in a rainstorm.

“Are you sure that’s not going to hit the house?”

“Absolutely,” I said with confidence. “It’s not going to be anywhere near it.”

Confident words spoken before the branch crashed down and rested gently against a front window that, blessedly, held.

Did you know it’s possible for a branch to actually ricochet into the air and come down right where you’ve been standing? Trust me. These things happen.