Lakeside visitor


lake edge

The summer renter hardly missed a day, and today was no exception. Her long white hair blowing in the wind never bothered her. She always took the same route and made her way along the gravely trail and down onto the lake-edge strewn with rocks.

Jean, on her back deck, watched the old gal take step-after-careful step, using her cane for stability when necessary. Moving slow, she made her way to the water’s edge. And now, something seemed very wrong. Periodic gusts made her long dress balloon around her, and she had stopped walking. She looked locked in position, totally bent over. One hand went to a hip, her hind end moved from left to right, and nothing else happened.

Jean dropped a clothes basket, sprinted around a sleeping dog, and ran through a stand of wild flowers and untended grass toward the old woman on the rocky lakefront.

“Are you okay? Just a minute, I’m coming.”

The old woman heard Jean’s scream, bent her knees, and wiggled her backside once more. Still, nothing happened. All she could get out was a very loud “Damn.”

Jean’s two boys heard the commotion and ran to catch up to their mom. When all three arrived elder side, Jean bent over and looked directly into the old woman’s face. “What happened? Are you okay?”

“Hello dear. How do you do. I’m Lavinia. The kids rented the big place on the hill, and asked me to spend the summer with them. Are these your boys?”

“Hi. I’m Jean and yes, these are my boys. Bruce is nine, and Brian is eleven. I noticed you weren’t moving, and you’re all bent over.”

“Very observant, my dear. Yup. When I least expect it, my back locks up. I was doing pretty well navigating the rocks, until my cane got stuck between a couple. I skooched down to free it. That’s when my back froze up. It’s nothing serious. There’s an easy way for me to get it unlocked.”

“Okay then, don’t let us stop you. Go right ahead. Unlock your back.”

“I can’t. I need something to sit on. If I could sit on something, I could raise my legs. When I raise my legs, I turn both feet out, and just like a combination safe, my back unlocks.”

Jean turned to her boys, “Brian, you and Bruce go to the storage shed and get a six-foot plank. Also, grab the two stepladders, and bring them back here pronto.”

The boys took off in the direction of the shed. Jean looked into the woman’s eyes again, “Any pain?”

“I’m a pain in the ass, I know. Sorry dear, I know it seems crazy but no, I’m in no pain. I simply can’t move, that all.”

“Can I get you something to drink?”

“You don’t happen to have a bottle of Scotch handy, do you?”
“No. But I have some back at the house.”

“Well then, halleluiah Jean. Let’s get me unlocked, and we’ll scramble back to your place and have us a tipple. That’s the best medicine.”

“Right you are, Lavinia. Here come the boys with the plank.”

The old lady squinted from a gust of lake air, “Just align that plank under my back side boys, and feed an end over a step in each ladder. Tell me when you’re all set.”

“Go ahead, boys.” Jean directed, “first one end, and okay Bruce, now the other.”

She turned to Lavinia, “Can you feel that? Is your butt on the plank?”

“Hang on, dear. Let me ease down and, ahhhhhhhhhh. Yep. That’s it. Good. Now, I’ll rock back and straighten my legs. Watch this.”

Lavinia’s body moved backward, slightly. And both her legs began to rise. When her ankles were six-inches above the rocks she twisted one foot to the left and the other to the right, simultaneously. And everybody heard a muted “pop.”

“OH GLORY BE.” Lavinia shouted, and both boys reared back. “That’s it my dears, I’m free. I’m unlocked. Thank you ever so much.”

The old lady sprang to an upright position and extended her arm toward Jean. “C’mon Jean. Let’s have our tipple now, before I lock up again.”

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