Hard Headed

After he told me my ankle was broken, one of the first questions the doctor asked me was, “So. Are you going to be able to stay off your feet and keep your leg propped up and do all the good things that will help you to heal faster?”

And I said, “Oh, yes sir. For sure.”

And then I said, “Can I still go to the James Taylor concert?”

And “Can I still go to the State / Alabama game?”

And “I’m supposed to go to West Monroe this Sunday; can I still do that?”

He told me that I needed to use my best judgment – and then he gave me some parameters that I needed to follow.

The bottom line, I think, was that the very best thing I could do was to sit my behind at the house. But I’d made a couple of commitments and I really wanted to go to the game and also I am stubborn and sometimes a little stupid and etc.

So Wednesday night, I went to see James Taylor with my friends. It was wonderful. HE was wonderful. Our seats weren’t the greatest, but right after the show started, one of the ushers walked by to make sure we could see okay – and when she realized that there was a big ole camera in the way of most of our seats, she offered to move everybody. It was the sweetest thing. By that point I was a little reluctant to move because I had sort of made friends with the ticket checker assigned to our section (in the middle of “Song For You Far Away,” she looked at me and said, “YOU KNOW, IT’S REALLY COLD IN HERE,” but I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I haven’t been cold indoors since approximately 2007 and then, when Elise and Tracey started moving to their new seats, she said, “WHERE ARE YOUR FRIENDS GOING?” – almost like she was afraid they’d decided that they didn’t like being with me anymore).

I ended up moving with Leah and Heather to some seats on the floor. The last few rows on one side were mostly empty, and I was able to prop up my foot / boot for the duration of the concert, which was ever so delightful. James Taylor is totally inspiring, and I love how he just STAYS WITH IT. He could have gotten jaded about singing “Fire and Rain” three nights a week and turned super cynical about having to sing “You’ve Got a Friend” ONE MORE TIME, but there appears to be some deep-down contentment in that man.

In my opinion, of course.

Please keep in mind that I do not know him even a little bit.

So I’m pretty much basing all of my assumptions on a lot of my personal feelings.

ANYWAY, my ankle was in fine shape on Friday morning, and I felt good about traveling to Tuscaloosa the next day. I might not have been quite so FULL-O-HOPE if I’d known how the first half of the game was going to go, but Sister, Alex, and I were excited about seeing the ‘Dogs play at Bryant-Denny. I ended up walking a little (LOT) more than I’d planned, and towards the end of a significant trek across campus – just as we were about to cross over to a side street for Dawg Walk – I officially hit my limit with crowds and tree roots and the F bomb (SERIOUSLY, COLLEGE STUDENTS OF AMERICA – LET’S PICK ANOTHER WORD) and the smell of bourbon and Coke. I promise I’m not being judge-y – heaven knows I’ve been to more than my share of SEC football games, so I am all caught up on the social culture. I’m just saying that the addition of the boot to my game day experience did not really do anything to increase my patience.

It did not help that my left hip was very angry from all the lopsided walking.

I even told Sister that I was tempted to pull some Icy Hot out of my purse and slather it on right there next to the stadium.

Thankfully, though, our experience inside the stadium was better. Our seats were on the end of a row (thank you, Lord) and next to the entrance for our section. We were right in the middle of the State fans, and some really sweet guys sat in front of us and high-fived Alex whenever anything remotely positive happened for the Bulldogs. There was a halftime incident where someone who had overserved himself caused a commotion with a couple of State fans and was removed from the game by a policeman, so Alex got his first up-close and personal lesson in Here Are Some Ways That Whiskey Will Betray You. I’m not sure that it’s a lesson I would’ve chosen, but every once in a while you just have to seize a teachable moment, I reckon.

The game didn’t end like we hoped, but we were proud that there’s no quit in our ‘Dogs. In fact, when we scored our final touchdown with just a few seconds on the clock, I gave Alex an impromptu pep talk about character and loyalty and perseverance that would have made Matt Foley look like a timid wallflower. Sister chimed in, too, and while I don’t know if A. actually remembers a word we said, I feel like we made some valid points. So if nothing else, I reckon, we left the stadium on an upbeat note.

Unfortunately, that upbeat note became a sad trombone when we walked the sixteen miles back to our car.

It was way later than I expected when we finally got home Saturday night, and Sunday morning I left fairly early for West Monroe, where Melanie and I were speaking. I decided on the way there that I was as tired as I’d ever been (ALL. MY. FAULT., by the way), but as soon as I saw Melanie and met the women in the church, I pepped up. We had such a good time and laughed a whole bunch and talked about a whole host of topics, so that made for a pretty awesome way to spend a Sunday evening.

So. Now I’m home. And I am determined – DETERMINED, I TELL YOU – to really rest this week and take good care of my ankle and not go to any concerts and maybe (?) stay out of football stadiums and keep my leg propped up at work and basically do all those things that will help me heal a little faster. I pushed way too hard last week, and while I’m mighty glad that I was able to do the stuff I’d planned to do, the theme of my life for the next two weeks is going to be STAY AT HOME, EUNICE. David has already offered to cook everything for Thanksgiving if I’ll sit nearby and offer advice / instruction, and while the part of me that LOVES to plan and prepare all that food hates to miss out of making the big list and going to the store and figuring out when to cook what, I think that even my inner control freak realizes that three days of standing up in the kitchen probably wouldn’t be the smartest move.

This feels like a very level-headed decision that is full of grown-upness and also maturity.

In other words: NOT MY NORM.

Hope y’all are having a great week!

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  1. I got to see James Taylor at an outdoor concert several years ago. We were right up front, sitting on the ground (it was an open-seating, picnic style venue). It began to rain just as the opening chords of my favorite song, Sweet Baby James, began. Others ran for cover, I pulled the blanket above my head, we made direct eye contact, he smiled AND WE SANG IT TOGETHER!! True story. He never looked away, grinning as he sang, and then winked at me when it was over. I think I actually swooned. The man is pure class.

  2. This line took me a good three mins to quit laughing:
    “I even told Sister that I was tempted to pull some Icy Hot out of my purse and slather it on right there next to the stadium.”
    Also, I for one felt a little bit guilty for leaving you next to GLADYS but, I got over it pretty quickly ;/ Glad your Sunday in WM went well, I was praying for you what with all the monsoons and all – love you BOO!

  3. Rest … prop … repeat!

  4. Laughed so hard at “Here are some ways that whiskey will betray you”! Prayed for you as you drove to WM on Sunday. We followed you down 280 as you left.
    I’m so glad my beloved T-town taught Alex some life lessons…

  5. Sophie, I have had the broken ankle (left, as if it matters :) and the boot….you will be healed and as good as new in no time. Wishing your sweet family a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  6. Did ya miss my comment about getting a shoe for the other foot that is as high as your boot? I told my husband about 3 days after I got the boot on that I was going to need hip surgery if I didn’t get a higher shoe for my other leg. I ended up getting 2 pairs of booties and they saved my hip and my life! : ) Take care Sophie and when Dec. 3rd rolls around, I will join your boot fun, having surgery and will once again wear the blessed thing!

  7. Perfect description of the smell of southern football games. It’s a wonder we all don’t get contact drunk. ;)

  8. Kim from GA says:

    So sorry about State’s loss. This Gator fan was pulling for you all the entire way. Hope that you do get the rest you need for your foot because there’s nothing worse than having to continue to hobble around during the winter months. How is Hazel reacting to the boot? Bet she’s loving the fact you’re having to sit down more often and she’s able to cuddle up alongside you. Thanks, as always, for such a wonderful recap of your adventures.

  9. So much of this made me laugh, but none more than, “I haven’t been cold indoors since approximately 2007”. Amen, Sister! We yelled Hail State and Go Dogs to no avail, but at least the Go Dawgs yelling worked like a charm! Poor War Eagle/Plainsmen/Tiger people…

  10. Thank you so much for making the trek to West Monroe! I was one of the blessed ones in the audience….love reading your blog and your books! And your words Sunday night resonated with me as we approach this holiday season and everyday life! Now go prop your foot up and maybe enjoy a dip or two :)

  11. Oh, I wish we could talk more football.

    Melanie didn’t so much as mention football, either, and I SO want to talk about football because…..WOOOOOO PIG SOOIE!

    It has been a Log Time, my friends.

    A Very Long Time.

    A very long lonely, lonely, lonely time.

    But did I mention…..WOOOOOOO Pig Sooie ?!

  12. I love your blog! I read it all the time!

    Speaking from experience, make sure you wear a shoe of equal height to the boot. I wore flip-flops when I broke my foot and walked lopsided for so long the cartilage in my hip was destroyed. Next think I knew, I was having a hip replacement. Take care of yourself!

  13. Robin in Meridian says:

    Sophie, I’m thinking since you’re an INVALID, you should just bring yourself on over to Meridian and let your family COOK , AND take care of you while you let yourself heal!!!! I’m SURE they won’t mind…….

  14. I went to my first James Taylor concert at the age of 12 and I have loved him ever since. And every concert is exactly the same as the last one, and I like it that way. Yes and amen.

  15. We were hoping you didn’t have to make the drive home that late on Sunday night. It was nasty out! We enjoyed y’all so much. Thanks for persevering and coming to hang out and give us a laugh. If you ever come back through Vicksburg let us know!

  16. been waiting on your football story. sorry about the whiskey smell but I was at the Georgia game and people had been tailgating for HOURS. I don’t believe I have ever seen so many little airline whiskey bottles and coats and gloves and pillows?? left in a stadium before. It was cold and the overhead camera was just creepy. Even with that I thought about you but I’m still a Roll Tide Roll girl.

  17. This sentence: “This feels like a very level-headed decision that is full of grown-upness and also maturity…” is PERFECTION.

    And we were pullin’ for your DAWGS from here in Arkansas. So sorry!

    Praying for you this next week. What a sweet hubbie you must have! :) So very THANKFUL that I found your blog several years ago…which led to me reading your book. Your writing encourages and inspires me daily. Can’t wait for the new book!

  18. I just saw James Taylor about a week ago in Nashville. It was fabulous! I have seen him twice before, but that has been over 15 years ago and this time was just as lovely. I totally agree…he doesn’t seem jaded or annoyed at singing the same songs over and over…he seems to enjoy it and seems to be such a pleasant person!

  19. You make me laugh so hard! Thanks for the much needed pick-me-up today. (PS I’m 24 and I just think you’re the best and I loved your book!)

  20. Oh my actual goodness! I loved this retelling of your weekend. I’m ever so sorry you broke your ankle, Sophie. My little bit broke hers this past week (on a trampoline at a friend’s house), and it is a task and a half getting her bathed! I’m praying that your foot heals lickety split!