Too Late Smart

Dealing with cancer is a daunting task.  If it weren’t for glitches and side effects, it would be more manageable.  I learned that again this past week.  I was fastening a bird feeding tray to an old locust post in the backyard bird feeding area.  I was using screws and a cordless drill with a phillips-head screw driver bit in the chuck.  Holding the tray with one hand, careful to keep my thumb away from the screw, I began driving the screw into the post.  Now an old locust post is a deceptive trickster.  The outside of post looked old and weathered, but at the core was a good two inches of hardwood.  That screw hit the hardwood and started in, only to send the phillips bit out of the screw and into the end of my thumb, artfully peeling back a healthy slice of skin.

Yeeow, it hurt!  I quickly pushed my thumb into the crook of my bent index finger next too it.  I set the cordless drill down and began walking to the house.  Thoughts raced through my head…  “Way to go, Paul!  That was just brilliant!  You’re on Coumidan no less!”  This wasn’t going to be pretty.  I let up the pressure and watched blood ooze from under the torn skin.  I let it bleed.  If you’ve ever followed a blood trail when deer hunting, you get the picture.  I ran water over the end of my thumb, blotted it dry and put antibiotic cream on it followed by a band aid. I plopped down into the recliner with my aching thumb poised skyward and mused about the incident.

One of life’s most discouraging events is to foresee an accident, avoid it and have it happen anyway!  Had my thumb been a quarter inch farther from the screw, I wouldn’t be writing about this.  I would be tallying it with all the other “what ifs” of my life and thanking God for sparing me from injury.  Do you know how slick a spinning phillips head screw bit can peel back a slab of skin?

I’m grateful that I anticipated the possibility of danger even if I encroached into the danger zone a quarter of an inch.  There’s an old Pennsylvania Dutch expression, “Too soon old, too late smart.”  For what happened to me, it should be, “Too soon older, not quite smart enough yet.”

I’m still going to thank God for sparing me worse injury.  Don’t even think about what would have happened had my thumb been another quarter of an inch closer to the screw!

Getting Smarter,
Paul