Blogger Peak Experience as Death-Defying Feat


In the long and illustrious history of this-could-only-happen-to-me, this weekend took near-death-experience to a whole new, blog-related level.

Believe it or not, last Sunday seemed the most extreme example of the very-best and very-worst all happening at once that I have ever experienced.  And, as many of you know, I’ve lived quite a few extreme-experiences—a mafia childhood, an adult battle with bipolar disorder, a year living in Vietnam, another in post-earthquake Haiti.

Since my partner Sara and I have returned to the US, I’ve been, in addition to writing a memoir about growing up in an organized crime family (to read chapter 1, click here), trying to meet many of my fellow WordPress bloggers.  Meeting the writers who grace my blogroll didn’t begin as a goal, exactly.  Rather this blog-related objective has evolved, as last summer I met both Emily (Hey from Japan) and  Lisa (Woman Wielding Words) within a month of one another.  Both experiences were so positive and post-inspiring—we laughed so much with both bloggers and their families—Sara and I decided more would literally be merrier.

Bloggers Kathy (left) and Emily (right)

Bloggers Lisa and Kathy at Third Street Stuff (August 2011)

Tori and Kathy–as always with Tori, what she shared was pee-your-pants hilarious.

Then two months ago we traveled to Nashville for our friend Tori‘s (The Ramblings)  “Very Bloggy Wedding.”  My role as WordPress wedding correspondent inspired me to pursue even more blog-related get-togethers and to invite Miranda (scatteringmoments) and her husband Jim to visit Sara and me in  Kentucky, where we would explore the Bourbon Trail together—visiting distilleries across the state.

Kathy, Miranda, and Jim

Miranda’s encounter with the Bluegrass (the race-horse region of Kentucky in which we live) started off mildly and innocently enough—with visits to the Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark distilleries—and discoveries of the uncanny qualities we have in common.

Bourbon barrel storage–

Jim Beam Distillery, Shepherdsville, Kentucky

The foreboding and infernal heat, however, should have warned us of the accident ahead.  But 105 degrees Fahrenheit, Kentucky’s worst heat in half a century, did little to prepare me.

We went out to dinner Saturday night.  Sara and Jim enjoyed bourbon-tasting together.  Miranda and I chatted and laughed until heat and fun-induced exhaustion ensued.  We went to bed.  All was well.

Or so it seemed.

The next day, just after a hot and hazy sunrise, I decided a cup of coffee was in order, but rather than making my way slowly and safely down to the kitchen, I stumbled at the top of stairs, adding a tumbling exercise to my morning routine, and sailing, head first, down a flight of sixteen wooden steps.

Alarmed that I articulated no cursing on the way down and sprawled a silent heap below, head cock-eyed in the corner, Sara screamed for Jim to help, fearing from above, that I might be dead at the bottom of the stairs.  After the second or two it took them to get to me, I tried to assure everyone I was okay, but my slurred speech suggested otherwise.  Alive and able to move, I couldn’t make the words come out right.  A head injury was obvious.

I’ve long perfected my aptitude for clumsy, stairs having always been an issue, but mostly I trip going up the steps, ending up with bruised knees and broken toes on a semi-annual, you-can-mark-it-on-the-calendar basis.

But this was different.  This entire weekend was different, an exercise in firsts—the first time we had virtual strangers stay at our house, steal the heart of our dog, and even sleep in our bed (but that’s another story, entirely).  It’s the first time Kentucky had seen such infernal heat in fifty years, and last but not least—the first time this blogger turned Amelia Earhart has crash-landed, having felt flying after coffee was called for.

Needless to say, I was taken to the emergency room, where x-rays and CAT scans verified I’d been broken but would live.

To know me is to know I love bracelets–only not this kind!

My residual bruising–

Good for us, however, my injuries spared Miranda and me the ordeal of another day out in the insufferable heat and even more (dare I say) boring, bourbon tours.  Sara and Jim set out alone, literally, in hot pursuit of whiskey trivia, while Miranda and I stayed home.  Yes, I was in pain, but Miranda and I were comfortably cool.  We beaded and blog-talked the afternoon away.

It’s strange to bond so deeply with another blogger in such a short period of time, but Miranda is dear, and smart, and oh-so-funny.  It seems to me, impossible not to love her.

Miranda has a soul that’s old and deep, rich in insight and rare in Appalachian roots that reach from her current home in northern Ohio south to this WordPress peak experience—namely, my opportunity to see the beauty to be had in the heart of another blogger.

Thank you, Miranda, for your honesty, for sharing that is raw and rare and stubbornly lovely.  Thank you for yourself.  You are the grace that has grown from my silly, stupid fall.

Thanks for turning  my death-defying “feat” into a poster’s peak experience–for witnessing the weekend blogging went to my head, in the most literal and accidental way.

What epic accidents have you experienced?  Have you ever met or aspired to meet another blogger?

(Note:  If you would like to read Miranda’s recent article about bullying in the Christian Science Monitor, click here.)

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97 thoughts on “Blogger Peak Experience as Death-Defying Feat

  1. GEEZ LOUISE!!!!!! I bet there is a part of you that admires a couple of those shades of purple though.

    I’m glad you will be okay. I love your openness and willingness to meet people you find so endearing in your blog world. I usually get warnings from people about my blogging, and the “people” out there. Funny thing is, I have no recollections of unkind words or not being ‘accepted’ by the people who enjoy reading and sharing life experiences. I think your world (and Sara’s, and Emily’s, and Lisa’s, and Tori’s, and Miranda and Jim’s…) seems like a better kind of world than what we usually read about in the traditional reporting modes.

    You bring color (now in another manner!) to our world. Thank you. :)

    • How funny!!!!! Yes, guess you could say that, couldn’t you? You could also say blogging has gone to my head.

      Have to say, we have had nothing but positive experiences from meeting fellow bloggers, but I know about the warnings. We’ve gotten them, as well.

      So much for the color I bring, right? LOL Great to hear from you today!

  2. Wow Kathy! I am so glad you are alright. How incredibly scary! I once fell down our stairs (but only six of them) when I was younger and sprained my ankle but to think of 16 wooden stairs is scary. I bet the heat played a role in making you dizzy as I feel that way once it gets above 100 too. On a brighter note, how wonderful you and Sara have met so many new friends through blogging and have met them in person! Someday I sure hope to meet you too! Glad you are ok. :) I was wondering….

    • You could be right about the heat. It’s been awful. I was thankful, especially, not to break any bones. I suspect my level of fitness may have helped with that. Great to hear from you today, Nicole. Hope you had a wonderful 4th.

      • We did have a great 4th especially since we are on our annual week vacation at the lakes in northern MN! It has been steamy hot in Minneapolis….100 all week, yet here it is awesome. Only highs of 90s with gentle lake breeze. Perfect swimming weather! Glad you are ok….wow, what a fall!

    • Given the fact that you’ve made me realize Italy is an imperative, I can’t imagine going to Europe and missing it. And I can’t imagine going to Italy without somehow connecting with you. When? God only knows. Soon, I hope.

  3. Kathryn, I’ve been waiting to hear from you about all of this! Oh my gosh, girl, the pics made me gasp! That’s a shade of purple one ever wants to see on their body! Word of your slurred speech caused me panic…I’m so happy to hear that you will be okay. Thanks for sharing your friends/fellow bloggers with the rest of us. I have already joined their sites now! And YES…I’ve wanted to meet a fellow blogger…..YOU (and Miss Sara!)!!!! Take good care, my friend, and please…..slow down just a tad, okay? May God bless you and those you love! xoxo Julia

    • We would LOVE to meet you Julia. Where do you live? Are you in the US?

      I know the bruises look bad, but you should know they’re only looking worse. Sara talked me into going out today, and I was worried about how bad I look. However, I feel much, much better than I did! That’s what counts, right? Bruising tends to intensify before it fades.

      Happy Thursday, my friend! Hugs to you——————

      • I’m so happy to hear you’re mending, Kathryn, and that Sara’s not letting you loaf. ha ha!
        I live in Southgate, Michigan….just a road trip away! Well, and a budget that needs a bit of expanding….I will give you all a shout-out sometime in the future when I’m ready to hit the open road and visit some friends and we’ll see what ya’ll are up to! Take care and love to you both! xoxo Julia

      • Ha, did you see her blip then? No, I’m not loafing, exactly. LOL

        We’re like you when it comes to budget, but if you do decide to take a road trip one of these days, let us know. We would love to meet you!

  4. Dearest Kathy, I am glad you really are okay after that nasty tumble. You have taken “any excuse to avoid the heat” to a whole new (scary) level! That bruise is going to be quite colorful in another day or two isn’t it. OUCH. Good to have you back writing about your adventure. Stay cool and heal fast!

  5. Wow. That is scary! I’m relieved to hear you’re alright, though. My one and hopefully last horrific fall was on rollerblades at the end of an inline skating marathon. On hard pavement. Never want to get back on those again!

    • I imagine a rollerblading accident could be bad, especially given the speed involved. I once had a bad biking accident as a young adult. NOT fun! Thanks for reading.

      By the way, as a want-a-be artist who has a studio and two dogs who snore LOUDLY, I have to chuckly every time I read the title of your blog. I’m so in love with it. What a fun premise.

  6. I am so glad that you are okay!!! Good golly that would have scared the bejeebers out of me! Sounds like you had a wonderful time other than the fall and hospital visit and isn’t it amazing how many wonderful people there are in our blogging world? Checking out Miranda’s article after I finish this comment! Oh…and I am a super klutz. I once fell off a brightly yellow painted curb in Mexico…..our boys still warn me about curbs 15 years later….

  7. You certainly found a way to escape going on another bourbon tour in the worst way! What a nasty bruise! Looking at it hurts. Glad Miranda was there to keep an eye on you. Sometimes I hang out with a local blogger bud, Natasia, over at Hot Femme in the City. Thus far whenever we’ve gotten together we’ve both managed to stay firmly on our feet. Those stairs look scary.

  8. Holy cow! Those bruises look nasty! Thank goodness you survived to tell the tale!
    Do take good care of yourself now. And I’m glad you got the opportunity to stay indoors and bond with Miranda :) Anything to stay out of the heat!

    • Yeah, the bruising is bad, but it might look worse than it is. I don’t know. It’s looking worse now but feeling better, but then that’s the way it is with bruises. Hope you stay cool, as well, my friend! Great to hear from you today!

  9. That is SO scary, Kathryn, and I am SO happy you are okay. Those stairs look treacherous — and I can only imagine the panic that Sara felt seeing you at the bottom. Miranda sounds like an amazing person — and I love the way you can find the silver lining in any cloud — VERY uplifting, sweet friend!!

    • You’re right. The stairs DO look treacherous, but I didn’t even appreciate how bad they look till I took the photo. They’re steep–not to mention hard on the head! Happy Thursday, dear Betty!

  10. I think it is great you get to meet other bloggers!

    I can’t believe you fell down those stairs. How scary and painful. I bet on the way down you had time to contemplate how very bad it could turn out. Glad you are doing okay now.

    • No, I didn’t break anything, and foolishly refused the “good stuff.” The next day I wish I had had it! I just hate to take drugs like that, if I can avoid it. Next time I’ll know better. Thanks for reading, dear Jamie!

  11. Oh WOW WOW OWIE OW!!!

    Dear Amelia,

    I realize that your last adventure didn’t go so well. (Terrible navigator; crash landing; death on a deserted isle, etc. etc. However, that is no excuse for attacking random bloggers in their own homes and forcing them into unexpected flight. I think you own Kathryn an apology, and possibly reimbursement of her co-payment.

    Sincerely,
    A fan.

  12. What a spill, Kathy! I’m so glad you’re okay. That will teach you a lesson to get up for a cup of coffee. :)

    The blogging buddies I would love to meet are you and Sara! Wouldn’t that be fun? Maybe sometime when I’m in Tenn we can meet in the middle. :)

  13. Kathy, I can’t believe you are blogging after such an accident. It isn’t necessary to have such mishaps to avoid the Bourbon Trail. :) Seriously, I am glad to hear you’re okay. A tumble of that magnitude certainly could’ve killed you.

    I was almost killed as an infant, when I put the car in gear and rolled it down a hill. I was hit head on by a truck.

    Whenever I travel to a known blogger friend’s locale, I always try to meet them. Electronic communication is great, but it doesn’t beat real, live interaction. I’ve met friends in NYC, London and Arizona so far.

    • God, isn’t that the truth! Surely, I could have thought of a less painful way to avoid the heat! At any rate, it was a hell of a fall–one I don’t want to do again any time soon! Thanks for your concern, my friend!

  14. YIKES, Kathy! The things you go through to avoid another day on the Bourbon Trail… ;)

    Seriously, though– I’m so glad (and a bit amazed) that you’re okay after that fall! Those stairs look terribly steep (and hard!), so I’m very glad you’re well enough after the tumble to visit, blog, and carry on as normal. Hopefully you don’t have a concussion or any lingering head injury issues?

    It sounds like your visit with Miranda went really well, despite all of this drama. I really hope to start meeting other bloggers at some point, but I guess a lot of it depends on my travel plans. So far, there’s not a whole lot of bloggers rushing to visit Victoria (even though it’s so pretty and scenic!) Maybe Canada is just considered a little *too* far?

    • I don’t think I had a consussion, but I don’t know what the difference is between that and what I had. I suppose though that the slurred speech suggested some kind of brain trauma, but it’s not lasting. I’m as crazy as ever!

      Your part of Canada is a place Sara has actually wanted to take me pretty badly. She’s been and LOVED it. We had hoped to do it in Oct of 2010 when we were in the Seattle area, but we ran out of time. Would love to meet you and Marty!

  15. That was certainly a scary morning. Reflecting back, Jim was frightened to move you in case you broke something. All we could do was stare down at you and feel helpless. I am SOOOOO thankful that you are okay. I do truly believe that’s why Lucy was so mellow on Sunday, she was scared barkless that morning!……….Your words about me are so sweet and I can’t express enough how much Jim and I enjoyed our time and how much we look forward to maintaining a close friendship. You truly must come and stay with us in Ohio. But, like we shouldn’t visit in summer, avoid December through March here unless you enjoy snow up to your butts!

    • I think it’s pretty amazing I didn’t break anything. And it cracks me up that Sara screamed for Jim. Thank God, for her sake, you all were here. You may be right about Lucy being mellow. She’s a little less mellow now. But then you might have guessed that. Gotta find a better way to scare her barkless! That was the only good thing about the fall, right? LOL

      We would LOVE to visit. But I have to confess, I LOVE snow, but Sara doesn’t. Talk to you soon, dear Sista!

  16. Oh, dear Kathy, I am actually crying a little bit imagining what happened to you–dear you–as you fell down those stairs. So happy that you are OK! So happy that Sara is OK, after what happened. Glad to hear you’re mending nicely. Oh my. Oh triple my. Happy to hear that Miranda is such an old beautiful soul…

    • Oh, Kathy, thanks so much for reading. It was a scary fall, for sure. Just glad it’s over. I guess I scared the crap out of Sara. I don’t know why, but she thought I was dead. In fact, I was far from it. My speech was slurred for a short while, but I’m defintely fine now. Happy Thursday, my friend!

  17. Oh my gosh, Kathy. That must have been a terrible ordeal and so, so painful. Take good care of yourself so that you can mend quickly. Wishing you a restful weekend. :)

    • It was VERY painful for the first few days, but much better now. However, I think Day 2 may have been the worst. Thanks for the warm wishes. Hope you have a peaceful weekend, as well.

  18. Kathy, I feel bad about hitting the “like” button on this post, because in my mind it implies that I like the fact that you fell down the stairs, which, by the way, look very ominous in the photo. But, I’m so glad you’re okay, bruises and all. (And, may I say that my bruises were twice as bad, and three times as ugly, as a result of encountering a rat in my garage, so hopefully, knowing this should make you feel better.) Glad you’re having a good time with Miranda!

    • Yikes! Rat in your garage! That would freak me, as well. However, the rat I discovered in our bathroom one night in Hanoi was the worst–and HUGE! I’m not a huge rodent fan.

      Great to hear from you, my friend. Have a wonderful weekend. And get that puppy!

    • I am, too. It was scary. How does one get into adulthood without falling down the stairs–or is that just normal for most people–and I’m just a massive klutz? Better not answer that. I fear I know the answer. LOL

  19. Gosh Kathy! I’d like to come visit sometime, but now I would worry about you climbing up and falling off the roof!! You need to buy and wear one of those big blow-up cushioned sumo-wrestling outfits to wear when people visit…..that way, when you take a tumble, you at least will bounce your way down the stairs and won’t get hurt! :)

  20. Harrowing. So glad you don’t have any permanent damage. I think you should seriously consider The Idiot’s suggestion. He would know about these things.

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  22. Holy moses! So glad you’re okay, Kathy. The next time you want to show off for guests, maybe think about a way of doing it that doesn’t involve getting from the second floor to the first without touching any of the steps!!

    • LOL–In other words, avoid flying–right? I’m doing quite well by now–so I think I survive. When I woke up this morning the buises looked better, rather than worse. Yippee!
      Glad you first week back on the job went well.

    • Tattoos–love it. Sara tried to get me to go out the other day and I nearly refused, as I thought I looked like I’d been beaten. But, when she suggested a bookstore visit, I was headed to our truck.

  23. Oh, Kathy, you poor thing! I’m so glad you weren’t home alone when you tumbled. I hope those bruises fade quickly! I have many epic accident tales, as I’m a classic klutz. My worst was a compound fracture of my right ankle. Not fun!
    It’s incredibly cool that you’ve met and made so many friends through blogging! Have a nice weekend! :)

    • Ouch–the ankel fracture sounds serious. Yikes. I think it’s a miracle I didn’t break anything. I should have broken multiple bones, so I’m thankful. Great to hear from you today. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  24. Oh man! I am sure glad you are ok but I’ll bet you are going to be colorful and sore for some time yet. So glad you had a wonderful visit with your new friend (and I will check out her blog, too). Take care my friend!

    PS I have never met any blogging friends …. yet … but would love to!

    Cheers & happy healing …
    MJ

    • Finally, the bruises are beginning to fade a bit, instead of getting darker. I’m grateful. I think I’m on the mend–thank God. It’s hard to believe now it’s been a week since I fell. Hope you’ve had a lovely weekend, my friend.

  25. Kathy- We just got back from Haiti and I was shocked and saddened to see your blog about your fall. I hope you’re healing nicely, that the likely headache is easing up, and that you’ve been pampered during your recovery! Be careful while painting those steps, please! I’m sure they’ll be beautiful though :)
    Dana

    • Oh, Dana, I hope things in Haiti went well. Don’t worry about me, however. I’m fine now–still a little bruised and sore, but fine. Glad to know you made it home okay. Great to hear from you!

  26. Opps late to the party ! Healing being sent to you! Glad you are ok, so to speak… did the test result in telling you anything?

    I think it is brave and courageous that you have been open to this experience to meet other bloggers. I recently met family of a friend of mine who read my blog and knew me from that space, now there is a different angle to come from!

    The heat here in NJ has been awful as well, getting out in the morning, than just hanging around the house, viewing art, reading, facebooking, etc…

    As I mentioned before when we first “met” via Kathy Drue’s blog, I met Kathy in NYC last year when she was visiting her daughter. It as a great experience, it was like we where old friends, just catching up!

    • Actually, all they seemed to say for sure was that there was no bleeding on my brain, which is what they were concerned about. I didn’t think to ask any other questions. I was too out of it.

      Sorry to hear you all have been having this god-awful heat, as well. Fortunately, things have cooled of here as of yesterday–thank God.

      I would love to meet Kathy Drue–and you, of course. Plus, I know a couple of other bloggers from the Big Apple, I’d love to meet.

      Stay cool, my friend!

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  28. Good grief!! I’m so glad to hear (read) you’re okay!! That bruising looks awful. The steps look dangerous (probably because I now know what happened there). I fall up stairs all the time, with the rare tumble down. Up is better than down, as you know.

    Other than your tumbling routine, it sounds like you had a great weekend. I can’t wait to get down your way and meet you and Sara. I’m waiting for cooler weather, though. :)

    I’ve met several of my blogmates, and it was always a great experience. As for epic falls, there was this metal staircase in a castle ruin in Scotland that tried to kill me…

    • Oh, that staircase in Scotland sounds bad. Poor you! I’m doing quite well now–a week later–thank God.

      And we can’t wait for you to come down our way. October is lovely here. Plus, the fall meet at Keenland (horse race track) is on then.

  29. My god, Kathy! What a scary accident! I’m so glad you came out of it alright. Your bruises are massive and I can’t imagine how stiff and sore you must still be.

  30. Kathy, you have no idea the relief I felt when I heard you had survived the fall with nothing more than a concussion and bruises. It could have been so much worse, so you really, really must take more care on those stairs in future!

    I’m sure Sara kept you updated with all of the blippers who were sending well wishes your way, (including me). When I read Sara’s account of what had happened I could hardly breath and my heart leaped into my mouth, so imagine how Sara felt!

    Take care, my friend. Miranda sounds like she was a God-send that weekend. :)

    • Yes, Miranda was definitely a blessing that weekend. Sara did tell me about the warm wishes you all sent. I know my fall scared the hell out of Sara, which, for me, was the worse part–seeing her so frightened. Thanks for reading, dear Joanne.

  31. Yikes. It’s scary to think how much worse that could have gone. I am so, so glad you are alright. I hope your recovery has come along nicely!

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