In Sickness and in Health, For Better Or…

In Sickness and in Health

If a spouse were to keep a book of petty gripes and minor grievances over the course of almost four decades, what interesting reading it would make. I have one such addition to my growing tome, see if you don’t agree it deserves an entry….

WHAM! A loud crack and simultaneous white flash of pain and terror shocked my brain like the blast wave of an explosion, so much more so because I was simply walking down the two steps from the dining room into the cold, dark front room lit only by the coals of the past night’s fire.

It was barely 4 a.m. I’m not sure I’d even had coffee.

What the H___ was that! My mind recoiled in fear and agony that had come upon me so unexpectedly. I waved my injured fingertip in the air as if to put out a fire.

“Sorry” she said meekly from her cereal bowl.

“You did WHAT!?” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

“I found it upstairs in the back room and didn’t know what to do with it, so I put it on the stair post where you’d see it last night.”

I hadn’t seen it, complete with a smear of peanut butter: a cocked mousetrap.

I rest my case.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. “Ummm, Sweetheart, if you’re not sure what to do, call me, OK?”

    Fred, at first, I thought it was a gunshot. I thought “Oh, God, what have I done?” Then I realized it was a boobytrap!

  2. Just stopping in to see what you’ve been up to. Yikes! Don’t scare us like that– I thought you’d had a stroke! (white flash…brain)

    The question remains. What, exactly, was she thinking? [grin]