The Farm on Oak Creek


It was bound to happen. In all truth, I’ve been living on borrowed time.  I mean, in the last few years I’ve fallen off the walls, tumbled down the hillsides (missed the cactus, thank goodness!), tripped over some serious rocks causing me to somersault, smashed the post driver down on my thigh, and gotten one mean splinter in my foot.  It was five inches long and had been driven all the way under my skin.  I had to wait a month for my body to expel it.

But none of those even slowed me up much.  Thursday evening, my luck hit its expiration date.  I tore my plantar fascia.

I wasn’t doing anything even close to dangerous, just walking across flat ground, carrying Miss Piggy’s evening meal.  The toe of my shoe caught where the grass meets the concrete in front of the barn and my foot came straight upright, kind of like a ballerina on point. I heard the fascia rip.   That was followed by a wave of nausea.  I grabbed the top of the (immensely heavy) rock saw that was on its way into the dumpster–I’ve been cleaning the barn again–to hold myself upright, just in case stars and unconsciousness followed.  They didn’t, a fact for which I’m eternally grateful, but it was instantly clear what had just happened wasn’t a good thing, or anything a bandage and will power were going to affect.

You know what the worst of it was?  That darn thing was almost healed.  I’d gotten to the point where I could walk barefoot without any pain. The only time my foot hurt over the last few weeks was when I spent more than three hours standing up without taking a break.  What the heck?!

Unfortunately, I was alone when it happened and it was feeding time.  There was no help for it.  I found a makeshift crutch and finished my chores, then got it assessed.  My foot is presently held together with fancy tape, which is theoretically helping the two ends of the fascia meld, and I have to use crutches to walk. That’s my interpretation.  The actual edict was that I should completely stay off my foot for six weeks.

Yeah, like that’s going to happen.  But I am dedicated to giving it my best shot, even though this means giving up my gardens for the better part of the growing season.  Poop!

Then again, this may be a blessing in disguise.  If I can’t walk, then I have nothing else to do but put my bee-hind into the chair and finish book #18. That’d certainly be nice. The greater blessing is in the number of my family, friends and neighbors who have offered their help!  Thanks to all of you and special thanks to my neighbors Al and Elana.  They’ve parked their ranger over here for the duration, so when I do have to make a trip down to the back barn it’s mostly an easy ride.

And, even after I tally up all that goodness, there’s still more, yet another silver lining.  It seems that after the fascia tears and heals, it heals at the right length to prevent future bouts of fasciitis.  Six weeks at the computer, finishing a book I desperately need to finish, in trade for a lifetime guarantee of a pain-free right foot? Now that’s a good deal.  I accept.

mom and piglets mudbathing

The other two are smearing up my crutches as I take this.

After all, the novelist in me reminds me that I could torn it while walking down the steep narrow stairway near the pump house, knocking myself silly in the process, then fallen into the ditch while unconscious and drowned.  If that makes me sound a little dark and twisted to you, you should know that most garden-variety novelists, especially mystery writers, are afflicted by this sort of weirdness.  It’s part of the routine chit-chat in our minds.  For what it’s worth, it terrifies me to imagine the sort of thoughts that slip through Stephen King’s mind on a daily basis.

So now that I’ve told all of you that I’m not superwoman (who knew?), I can move onto my piglet update.  Hoky smokes, Bullwinkle! Those little things get cuter every day…and bigger!  My crutches have muddy smears all over their bottom six inches because the piglets are fascinated with them.  A couple are getting pretty bold about coming right up to me, but there’s still no touching. Better still, every day Miss Piggy gets more and more comfortable with people being around them (not so the dogs or sheep–she comes at them fast, with her mouth open). So the payment my helpers are getting is a chance to go into the orchard and get tiny, muddy snout prints on the hems of their jeans.  So far, everyone’s saying that this is a pretty good trade.

© Denise Domning, 2023