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BOWEN COLUMN: Jus’ when you thought you’d seen it all

Through the years, we’ve shared together a good helping of ‘jus’ when you thought you’d seen it all’ columns. I think one of the first ones we ever wrote was when I saw mascots shoot hotdogs up into the stands out of a cannon at a football game on Monday Night Football a long time ago. I still smile at that.

What you’re about to read fits into this category, for sure, and — for me – it crosses over into a “Jus’ when you think you’ve done it all.” I’m still shaking my head that I actually did what you’re about to read. Better enter at your own risk.

Our back patio has been having a little issue of letting water get through the back door lately – actually ever since we laid that brick patio out there last summer. (Yes, gutters would help, I know. But hang on.) The leaking issue through the door is only an issue when one of those rains come that wash all the dogs out from under the house, as they say down South. The dogs must’ve been flying out of there the other night because we could do nothing to shield the downpour from making its way into the back study. So, I jumped up early morning and figured the only thing I could do was get my empty 55-gallon recycling can and let the water roll off the roof into it. It did work for a while, but it wasn’t thirty minutes until that can was full and running over. I still hadn’t gotten dressed for the day, so I went out the front door still barefooted (due to the soaked yard, you see) to the back so I could empty the can.

So you’ll know, some friends and I figured it out, and a full garbage can of water weighs right at five-hundred pounds. You can do the math. When I got to it, my first idea was to tilt it as normal and roll it off the patio. I’m still shaking my head now that I even thought of tilting it a quarter-of-a-ton of water. Fortunately, I couldn’t tilt it; so, I slid it carefully to the edge of the patio. But my next thought — and I really am using that word ‘thought’ loosely here — was that I didn’t want to dump the water there when I could pull it out into the yard to water some of the plants, as if any plant within a hundred miles needed watering. I thought, too, that the good three-inch drop off the patio might chip the brick. So, I got in front of the quarter-of-a-ton Mack-truck of a garbage can and tilted it so that it would ease off the patio.

Naturally, you can’t control such an object on level ground, much less going downhill, so the moment it leaned off the patio it did the very thing you knew it would do: It came right on top of me before I could even think. The only salvation in the realm of physics was that it dumped half the water all over me as it turned over; but that still leaves a couple hundred pounds coming down on me.

It fell over on me head-on, and — I would learn later — it hit my left thigh first before it landed on my right foot. I remember hearing the amazin’ blonde, standing helplessly at the door, holler “Are you all right?” which is the equivalent of hollering “Are you hurt?” when a tree falls on you — except, that, I think I actually was all right. At least, I was able to jump up and examine a pretty good mark on the left side of my bare foot.

I immediately knew, though, that I should not be jumping up from getting hit by that. I went on in the house, took a shower, got dressed — including putting a shoe on that right foot — and just kind of marveled that I walked away from that with little more than a bruised pride and bruised foot. My foot did get really sore that evening, and I almost went to the emergency room but decided to wait until the morning. In the morning, my foot was barely sore. My right wrist tightened up pretty badly that night, too, but it was better the next morning, too.

Looking back, this is all I can figure. Sometimes the Lord really can amaze us out of the blue. I guess some folks are free to think what they want, but I’m of the mind that the Lord just smiles down on you sometimes for no apparent reason except that He must think you’re all right. That’s the best I can figure.

And there’s a ‘the rest of the story,’ too, which supplies a touch of irony to go along with the rest.

The gutter people were the last people we were using on our recent remodeling, and they had come by three times that morning waiting to install our gutters but could not because the rain wouldn’t stop. So, it seems to me, the Lord was saying, “No, you guys come back later. I’ve got a little miracle I need to do before ya’ll hang those things.”

And, when you stop and think, that puts a whole different twist on our “jus’ when you thought you’d seen it all” thought, doesn’t it!