~ The Family Leprechaun
Family Legend explains that whenever I am experiencing a lot of little bad lucks, it's because of a curse bestowed upon my great-great-great (times many) grandfather by an ornery leprechaun when my grandfather accidentally stepped on him during a walk across a glen in Ireland. The curse extended to all the generations after my grandfather and that little bugger of an elf has had his share of fun at our expense.
The week started fantastically when Jeff and I picked up our mountain bikes from the bike shop and hit the trails late Saturday afternoon after putting together nursery furniture. The first hiccup was more of a bummer than bad luck, but it side tracked us into further ill fate. Crawfordsville has an old rail road track that was converted to paved trails for recreational hiking and biking. The paved trail ends on the upper west side into some great off-road bike paths. Our original plan was take the bikes on the off-road part of the trail for a little extra fun; however, when we arrived, the trails had been gated and locked closed. So we turned our bikes around and headed in the southeast direction back along the paved route instead. After about half and hour into our sojourn, the family leprechaun decided to have some fun.
As we were passing by a lovely stretch of wood, the smell of honeysuckle filled the air and Jeff and I remarked on how wonderful it smelled and how it reminded us of our home back in Louisiana. With those endearing remarks, the leprechaun stifled a giggle, and we descended into a a layer of nests thick with bees. The bees came for my husband first. Yes, even magical little people make mistakes as the bees mostly avoided me. I got a few whacks on my hand that only resulted in small nubs and bruises from where I slammed my hand into my bike while swatting the insects away. Still, we managed to avoid catastrophe and continue the rest of the way with relative ease.
Still, our family leprechaun was undaunted and decided to keep quiet until the next evening on our second bike trip out. This time, he dared to mess with my depth perception. Now, I know you're saying "Kathy, since you lost your eye sight in your right eye, you have no depth perception." Yes, this is true to a point. Trying to thread needles is a challenge as well as trying to find the dangling light switch hanging from the ceiling fan. Nevertheless, I was able to manage not to knock people over while trying to pass them with the bike. Little did I know that it wouldn't be the people who'd jump out in front of me, but rather the bridges.
On the southern east side of the trail, there were a lot small narrow wooden bridges. The boards were spaced in such away that I couldn't tell where the side of the panels actually were. The sensation is much like looking at those magic pictures where first you think you're seeing arbitrary dots, and then suddenly a sailboat, excuse me, Schooner, appears out of nowhere. No sooner had I set tire on the bridge, than the railings appear to close in on me. I hit the railing at a decent speed trying desperately not to fall off. I swore I could hear laughter from the green elf somewhere as my bike seemed not to cooperate. Visions of me trying to explain to my Obstetrician over falling after I got the go ahead for biking riding under the express conditions to play it safe filled my head. That was a conversation I did not want to have. "But doctor, the railings came out of nowhere; I swear, they were even bearing their teeth!" I concentrated harder and was able to regain control.
Thwarted once again, the leprechaun retreated only to emerge a few days later in the form of bladder control. On the drive home, I was pushing the speed limited by about five miles per hour as I had to urinate fervently. Suddenly, a red SUV pulled out in front of me at the last minute. I barely avoided hitting it. The SUV barely accelerated and was traveling about fifteen miles under the speed limit. This allowed an opening for an eighteen wheeler carrying an extra long and wide load of cement tubing to pull out in front of us. The load was so large, that traffic had to be blocked in order to get the truck onto the road. It took the eighteen wheeler over ten minutes to right itself on the road. The pressure was building in my bladder. Finally, we were moving again, but at a much slower speed than before. Due to the nature of the load, no one could pass.
Finally, I could see the stretch of road that opened up into a four lane. I geared myself up to pass the truck and the red SUV. Just as the road opened up, the red SUV pulled into the left lane and would not pass the wide load. We remained that way for several miles after which the safety vehicles pulled into the left lane and stopped. The eighteen wheeler needed to make a left hand turn. By that point, Bump was playing kick ball with my bladder which made the next ten minutes excruciating. Finally, the truck cleared and I was also able to pass the red SUV as well. Once again, I can't describe the relief I felt when finally able to void my bladder. It was a very painful end to a week filled with little bits of bad luck. Still, it appears the family leprechaun has disappeared for now and for that I am very thankful.