I grew up on what is now called a cul-de-sac. (We called them courts when I was a kid). When you got to a certain age (still in elementary school but not sure how old I was in Elem), you were allowed to ride your bike out of the court and around the block. As neighborhood kids go, we usually traveled clockwise around the block. It was two houses to the end of the block, make a right where it was eight more houses along a “straight away” (that had a slight curve to it), followed by a sharp right and five houses to the next corner and you were half way around. Two more houses and you came upon another court. The court had nine houses whose driveways poured into the court. As far as any of us knew, there were no children in this court. After this court there was nine more houses, a right turn, one more house and then you were back in the court (At this time I would like to thank google maps for their help in this description.)
One summertime joy was to race around the block. I had this sweet banana seat bike that I was able to go pretty fast on and was able to rival most of the other kids in my court. (Oh, I should mention it was blue.) So any day, I was up to the challenge of a race around the block. On this particular day, I was raising Melissa, who was probably 5 years younger than me. I was winning just fine, despite my asthma. However, when we got to the half way mark, Melissa started to pull ahead. I stepped it up a notch to compensate and was leading again when we made it to the second court. In between the fourth and fifth house someone had put down some fresh gravel. I was leaning into the curve of the court when I hit that gravel patch. The wheels of both tires went out from under me and I slid to the ground and slid along the gravel, arm first and then with my face.
Melissa jumped into the street with her bike and passed by me. I didn’t care that she was going to win this one. I was now struck with my bike on top of me. I laid there for what felt like a long time. Suddenly I heard a familiar voice. My brother had come for me.
Chad came and wrestled the bike off of me. He helped me up and helped half carry me home. When we got home, mom was waiting for me and my brother helped carry me into the bathroom where I was put on the closed toilet seat. My mother took her nursing skills and went to work on me. My brother left me and went out to work on my bike. (Which is amazing in and of it’s self as Chad is not all that mechanically inclined.)
I still have a scar on my left elbow from that day – the day Chad came and rescued me.
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