Where has the Gweeds been? Well, you could have guessed. She (the Grams) did it again, and in spectacular fashion. It was the end of April and I had the bright idea that I’d take some photos of the water fowl over in the wetlands between our pied a terre and the university. Grams and Big Guy thought that this was a swell idea too.
I grabbed the camera, put on my helmet and hopped in the basket of Grams’ bike. You might remember that some time back I asked Big Guy to put a bungee chord across the basket, this was to keep me from flying out of the basket whenever Grams’ crashed (something she does with annoying frequency). I do feel much safer now with my little bungee. Grams and Big Guy, however, weren’t wearing helmets. It’s a not so long story, but has to do with Big Guy refusing to wear one and Grams saying, “If you’re not, then I’m not either, so there!” I never said that these 2 were the brightest bulbs . . .
So, off we went. It was a brilliant day in Santa Tourista. We rode through campus and went down by the wee excuse for an airport just beyond. We rested there and watched the little private planes take off. There were lots of people enjoying the day.
As we got back on our bikes (well, me in my basket), Grams said, “let’s go up the bike trail on the left side of the street, then when we turn to go into the wetlands I won’t have to worry about the traffic to my right.”
[I will stop here to explain that Grams has a wonky right eye. She calls it amblyopic, I call it blind. So, she tends to hug the left side of roads and doesn’t care to turn left into oncoming traffic.]
So, there we were going up the left side of the street when we got to a small cross street. Grams and I saw the car coming from the left and turning right. The driver didn’t see us. He was looking to left, turning right and never stopped. I yelled, HEY!” Grams yelled, “Oh, @#$%, my glasses!” and then someone screamed (that turned out to be the passenger in the car).
This time I didn’t go flying out of the basket, thanks to my bungee. My camera and I were safe. I can’t say the same for Grams. She hit to hood (bonnet) of the car (leaving a Wile E. Coyote-type impression) and then flew halfway out into the traffic of the main street.
Fortunately, a limo was just coming along, and the driver stopped and blocked the oncoming traffic, so Grams didn’t get whacked a second time. Then, a retired EMT who happened to be passing stopped to give assistance. An ambulance was called and the police too. It was all very exciting.
In the meantime, Grams kept saying, “I’m okay, really I am.” The fellow who hit her was all shook up. They were both assuring one another that they were fine. Grams was relived that she didn’t break her glasses this time. Pretty soon the ambulance came and I jumped in with Grams while Big Guy stayed behind to give the police a report of what happened.
In the ambulance, I watched as the EMT put a shunt in Gram’s arm just in case she needed a transfusion when she got to the Emergency Room (Casualty). After I came to, we were on the freeway. Grams said, “What age did the EMT guess that I was, Gweeds?” “Between 45 and 52,” I replied. She smiled. That made her day. Her head was starting to look like a bruised melon, but I didn’t tell her. I didn’t have to, she could feel it. “If you had been wearing your helmet,” I started to say. But she was having none of it, “I know, I know, please not now.”
At the hospital, I had to wait while she got a CAT scan. It was determined that in spite of going out without a helmet, there was a brain in there. Big Guy got there about a ½ hour later. After about 3 hours, they let her go home. I must say, they all did give her grief about not wearing a helmet.
She was really banged up. She had abrasions everywhere and her right eye closed up entirely. “At least it’s not my ‘good’ eye,” she laughed. The bike got the worst of it and at the start of the week we went off to get her a new one. But before that, I insisted they both come with me to get new helmets. Big Guy got a shiny blue one and Grams got a shiny red one. Now, they never get on their bikes without having their helmets on.
So, where have I been? Taking care of the Grams, again. The woman will drive me crazy! But, I’m very glad she wasn't hurt worse than she was. When I told her that she said, “Oh, Gweeds, I’m made of sterner stuff than that! You can’t get rid of me that easily!” I took the photo a week after the accident. She looks better now.
And, of course