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Bump In the Night (or wee hours of the a.m.)


Temps have dropped, fall colors finally arrived and it’s truly beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

It seems as if we went from mid 70’s to sub 30’s literally overnight. While I will not be one to complain about this development, I will admit to being caught a bit off guard. My wardrobe (and my kids) was not quite ready to accommodate such cold. Suddenly I found myself on-line ordering boots for my daughter, pants for my son and yes, a few new pair of boots for myself.

One pair actually arrived (for me) and were delivered to a wrong home. Not a neighbor as one might suspect, but to a person with the same house address but a different street name. Yes, a true spirit of Christmas moment, as I fretted over the FedEx notification that USPS had delivered said package to my home two days prior to me opening the notification. The recipient actually came to my home to let me know they had them and would this be an okay time to bring them to me.

Yes, there is good in this world.

Just as I began to get excited about my new wardrobe possibilities with my new boots, another boot found its way into our home. This one, however, did not come as a pair, but a solo. More of a block shoe than a boot, equipped with a stiff bottom, open toe and Velcro closure. Yes, I am the proud current owner of Buzzkill, the name I’ve given the left ‘shoe’ I must wear as I heal.

The ‘healing’ comes by way of stitches obtained at the top of my foot, starting between my toes and extending down two inches. This injury found me thanks to our family dog. In fairness to her, she was simply minding her business and trying to keep warm sleeping at the foot of our bed. In fairness to me, I was trying to get to the restroom and back as quickly as possible in the middle of the freezing night/early morning.

Willow, our dog, is a medium sized fluffy terrier, lovingly given the nickname Show Pony (for her excitement bounce) had unbeknownst to me elected a new spot for slumber. Sweetly tucked between the end of the bed and a bedside chair. As I moved ever so quickly to make the round trip, I did exactly that, I tripped over the log (AKA Show Pony dog) I could not see nor did I expect.

What felt like a foot scrape a la the jammed toe on piece of furniture feeling … ended up to be much worse. Blood, lots and lots of blood came rather quickly. Minutes later I found myself in the Oak Valley ER.

The upside of small town living came in aces, as I texted a girlfriend during my car ride.

“You working today?” I texted her, as my mom sped to the ER. She was, and in the midst of getting ready to head over to start her shift. Having an ER nurse as a friend is a great thing. While it did not ensure preferential treatment, nor would I want it to, it did make for some good giggles and more memory making between two friends.

She took great delight as she showed me Buzzkill, listening to my inappropriate expletives as I learned Buzzkill came with a guideline of no activity for 10 to 14 days. None. Nada. This meant no running, no yoga, no elliptical, nothing.

It’s the holidays, I like to eat … activity allows me to do that and now I would be benched. Awesome!

Sarcasm aside, the addition of Buzzkill to our family amidst the Holiday rush has been humbling and enlightening. I have learned that my kids can pack their own lunches. My mom is just as capable of juggling their schedule as I am and my guy really does mean we ‘come first’ when he says it.

Our family is no different than most, the mom is the hub of the wheel. What I’ve come to learn this Holiday season is that when the hub begins to slow, a little bit of grease helps the spokes continue to do the work. What a timely and welcome lesson.


Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.