Heads Will Roll

I did not handle it well when I saw Joe Theisman’s head roll on the ground and settle under my car. I was reminded of the Redskin’s game back in 1985 where Joe had his career-ending injury. As Bob has always been a Redskin fan, I was subjected to watching them play whenever they were televised. (I’m not sure if he worked that into our vows, but I was okay with it.) I wish I had gone out for a walk that day. I vividly remember seeing the bone break in Joe’s leg. It was horrific. Lawrence Taylor, who tackled him, was the first on his feet to vehemently jester for help. I’ve never seen a player as distraught as LT.

But this isn’t about the human Joe Theisman; it’s about my Hallmark ornament Joe Theisman.

It all began on a rare Monday full of motivation to get a few things done around the house – specifically, window washing. The end of Hurricane season was nearing but all eyes remained on the tropics as Hurricane Nicole was eying Florida. The skies were cloudy, so Bob and I adjusted our plans from working in the yard (probably a waste of time with a storm approaching) to the windows. I was inside and he was outside. Side note: I love him being retired!

We started out together but his job takes longer, moving the hose around and such. When I finished I kept on going to my mom’s bedroom and deep-cleaned it. Shoving furniture around and wiping baseboards, vacuuming as far underneath things as I could reach, and finishing up with damp mopping the floor. As I wandered through the house fetching the things I needed, I could hear the water running outside as Bob was finishing up. I went into the laundry room and noticed the floor was wet. “Oh, Bob,” I muttered to myself, figuring he had blasted the door with the hose in an effort to clean it. I threw a towel down and went into the garage, which was also wet. At that point I found Bob and told him we had a problem. He was in the middle of something and would be with me in a minute.

I went back down the hall to the laundry room, which by then had a small current of water flowing in it. I ran and told Bob he needed to shut off the water NOW, all the while not remembering that I know how to shut off the water. That’s how used to Bob taking care of things that I am. Anyway, I walked through the puddle of the guest bathroom into the adjoining bedroom, which was very wet, and into the walk-in closet which had become a lake. Of course, lakes in Florida are not like lakes up north. A big puddle might be referred to as a lake down here. Whatever we chose to call it, there was a lot of water to deal with.

The clean-up effort began just as I was ready to stop doing chores and put my feet up. I will forever be leery of motivation to clean! As it turned out, we had a leak under our slab so we spent a lot of time with our plumber that week.

All that being said, it was the clean-up process that led to the trickle-down effect of putting up our Christmas tree two weeks before Thanksgiving. The tree was in a box standing in our garage in an area that was now a small pond. I moved it away and laid it on its side to dry out. It hadn’t been in water long, but when it was time to put things back in their rightful place, we had the decision to stand it back up and wonder if it was completely dry or put it up in our living room, thus giving the box adequate time to really dry out. So, there you go – I began decorating the tree as Hurricane Nicole made landfall on our poor East Coast. Weirdest hurricane watch ever!

As per usual, Bob climbed the ladder and handed down the boxes full of decorations which are stored on a high shelf in our garage. I guess he thought he had a good grip on one as he dangled it from the ladder for me to retrieve. The only problem was I wasn’t there and his grip was waning. The box came crashing down and popped open spilling some of the contents onto the floor, including Joe Theisman, who was at one beheaded.

I’d like to tell you that I was gracious to Bob, but that would be a lie. I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say that Joe wasn’t the only one who was in trouble that day. The irony of my anger while decorating for the celebration of the birth of The Prince of Peace did not escape me. The pettiness of it was humbling. I’m thankful for forgiveness.

I was able to pop Joe’s head back on and once again he has a special place on our Christmas tree. Plus, Bob and I moved past the beheading and happily went about our day a little more aware of how fragile life can be – in more ways than one.

Be on the lookout for those things that can rob you of your joy during this time where Joy to the World is practically the theme song! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas! I’ll be back in 2023.

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