We were deep in the Alaskan wilderness. The sun beat down on our backs as we scaled the rocky mountain, a vertical face of hard gray shale and scraggly shrub. The kids did well climbing up, and at the top, the view was breathtaking.
It was the journey down when terror struck.
“Bear!” my son screamed.
The hulking grizzly was clomping down the mountain, heading straight for the kids! I raced toward them just as the bear was getting closer. And that was when my foot slipped out from under me. I fell hard on my wrist. Crack! Bone burst through the skin, blood spurting out. But I couldn’t pass out now. I had to save the children!
Still down on the ground, I managed to wrangle the loaded pistol from my back pocket. I only had one arm to steady the gun, and one shot to make it count. Just as the bear was about to devour the children, I took aim and fired. Bam! The bullet landed straight between the bears eyes. (They don’t call me ringer for nothin’.) The bear crashed to the ground, all but dropping right on the kids. I saved the children, but I lost an arm. It was a worthy sacrifice- one I would never hesitate to do again.
OK, fine. I know you all are calling my bluff. While the grizzly story was full of danger and valor, the real story is its opposite.
Last week my family and I took a vacation to visit an old friend and her family in Alaska. One day, we decided to go to a park. Up in Haines, Alaska, you might not be able to go to a movie theater or a bowling alley, but you can partake in death-defying activities such as riding around town on Onewheels and hoverboards. This particular family happened to own both. First, I tried out the new Onewheel. Hey! Not so bad! Now I thought I’d give it a go on the hover board. Such a sad, bad idea.
I got on. I got going. The hover board didn’t love going on the bark dust, so I moved over to some very short grass bordering a gravel parking lot. Being the newb that I was, I wasn’t able to steer the hoverboard at all, so it ended up taking me on a little ride into the gravel parking lot. According to the 10-year-old who owned it, I struck a rock and the thing flew out right from under my feet. My hand flew back, and I fell, injuring not just my pride, but also my wrist. It only took a few minutes before I realized something was really wrong. Turns out it was a fracture. I’m still not sure (even a week later) exactly what kind since it has yet to be properly x-rayed and casted, but it is broken. I know that much.
Before setting off for Haines Alaska, I told my spouse, I told all my friends, I told the world, that I only wanted one thing while I was there: To sit in a café and write. My first attempt to get up early and go was thwarted when my child ended up throwing up all night. So I planned to do it the next day. And that’s when tragedy struck.
I can’t do this blog post any justice though if I say it was a shattered dream. Because I did end up going to that coffee shop, and it was really epic. And I found that with my one good hand, it was all I needed to hit the backspace button to edit The Emerald of Viridian. Yeah, that one that had 126,000 words. I’m now down to 123,000. Apparently, Providence saw it fit that I only needed one good finger.