leaving on a jet plane – returning with a rough landing

Ok – who put that bird on my head?

Our good friends Nekki (with monkey on shoulder) and Francie contacted Randy at Travel Unlimited who made the arrangements for Pretty and me to celebrate not only our birthdays but also our vaccinated selves with a little rest and relaxation in the Dominican Republic which is adjacent to Haiti on the island of Hispaniola – in case anyone is interested in geography.

In July, 2014 Pretty and I flew from South Carolina to Puerto Vallarta in Mexico. The trip was a mixed bag of fun and frustration for me for several reasons: tropical heat with few air conditioners for very spoiled gringos, hills within the city that seemed higher to climb every day, the realization that my knees were beginning to rebel as I tried to keep up with Pretty who is one of the world’s foremost explorers in foreign lands – and is fourteen years younger than I am. We met wonderful people, though, and brought home a new game for us called Mexican Train that we both loved. Thankfully, it’s played with dominoes and can be played while seated.

What neither Pretty nor I realized at the time was we wouldn’t be taking another trip that required jet planes until May, 2021. This past week we visited Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, yet another tropical climate more than 1,300 miles from our home in South Carolina, a place where the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea meet. My laptop didn’t make the trip with me, the weather was perfect and, although I didn’t try parasailing, I was entertained by those who did.

breakfast, beach, discussing lunch, margaritas, lunch,

pool, discussing dinner, Presidente cerveza and margaritas,

dinner, wine, sequence, spades —- repeat the next day

Pretty made friends with margaritas again –

as Nekki supervised pool recreation

I was amazed at the warmth, the genuine friendliness, the kindness of the people we met at the all-inclusive resort. I, too, was cynical and skeptical of their care for us at first as being more concerned with our American dollars than for our having a memorable visit to their country. I know that tourism is very important to the Dominican economy. Yet, I felt the culture’s respect for their elders – my white hair was treated with a dignity I don’t receive here at home where senior citizens may be ignored or considered a liability while youth is celebrated with a fervent passion.

When we came home to South Carolina this week, the news stories were very much as we left them with the exception of the Republican Party’s removal of a woman who had served as Chair of the House Republican Conference in the 116th. Congress.  Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) was removed for her unwillingness to participate in the “war against the Constitution…and the unraveling of democracy” which took place when the Party refused to accept the 2020 election results.  I have never been a fan of anyone whose last name is Cheney, but I admire her for her truth telling which has come with a remarkably high price.

As one of the vicissitudes of life that my daddy claimed would intervene in the best laid plans of mice and men, I had traveled in a jet plane without incident to another country only to have a rough landing on the asphalt of a road near our home as I walked my dog Charly on Friday, the 14th.  Not even the 13th.

As I bent to be a good neighbor to retrieve Charly’s deposit onto the grass of a very pristine yard we walked pass every day, Charly noticed a car passing by and jerked the leash from my hands which, in turn, jerked me to the pavement. High drama ensued, but two Good Samaritan women in separate cars stopped to rescue me. They called 911, an EMS vehicle picked me up and took me to the ER of our Lexington County Hospital. One of the women took Charly, who was horrified by my inability to get up and continue our walk, home. The other woman sat down next to me on the grass of the pristine yard. We had a lovely chat.

All’s well that ends well, right? The cat scan in the hospital revealed no fractures or bleeding, released me on my own recognizance with a list of instructions for the elderly in how to prevent falls. I have now read the instructions and find no mention of being careful when retrieving dog poop. 

My face resembles Rocky’s face after a boxing match, my bionic knees are now blue with a tinge of black, but my good spirits refreshed by my vacation remain. And the concern of my granddaughter for my “boo-boo?” moved me to tears. I am the luckiest Nana today.

Stay safe, stay sane, get vaccinated and please stay tuned.

P.S. One of the women who rescued me stopped by our home that night of my accident and brought us a lovely plant in a gorgeous pot. I was touched twice by her kindness that day.






About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is a personal historian, essayist with humorist tendencies, lesbian activist, truth seeker and speaker in the tradition of other female Texas storytellers including her paternal grandmother. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike, Charly and Carl. She is also Naynay to her two granddaughters Ella and Molly James who light up her life for real. Born in rural Grimes County, Texas in 1946 her Texas roots still run wide and deep.
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16 Responses to leaving on a jet plane – returning with a rough landing

  1. Wayside Artist says:

    Oh my goodness, Sheila!! Never a dull moment. You went from dazzling bright blue skies to literally flat on your face. I hope this week lessens the inevitable aches and pains a bad fall brings. I had a trip to the ER 3 weeks ago when twine from a hay bale reached out, grabbed my ankle, and flipped me on my back. No fractures, but everyone is suddenly treating me like an old lady!! What???
    Thank heavens for good Samaritans. Take care!!! Stay upright. 💞

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Ann, you always bring a smile to my face, but I totally get the hay bale devil…thank goodness we both survived our falls…and you are a LONG way from old, my friend! Onward we go. Together.


  2. Susanne says:

    Pretty may be the world’s foremost international explorer but you’re both pretty damn brave traveling in a Covid world. Bravo and thank you for the vicarious travel experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Susanne, I am so happy to hear from you! Glad you enjoyed the vicarious traveling tale – we had to take Covid test before we could come home. Thankfully, everyone in our group was negative that day and 99.9% of airplane passengers were still masked. I wanted to speak a word to the .1% that wasn’t masked, but Pretty luckily intervened.
      Hope you and your family are all well and that you are enjoying your blogging freedom. I miss your voice, though.


      • Susanne says:

        We are coping, Sheila. We all have our first shots and will have our 2nd in August. Canada is doing the delayed 2nd shot strategy like the UK though unlike the UK we do not make any vaccine which is why we wait for supply to arrive. I feel like a f—ing third world country. I hope this wakes up the dingbats in authority that we need to make our own vaccine. Oh. There’s my cranky voice! Still in lockdown until June 2nd. Grateful I love my husband and the 2/3 of adult children who live with us. We recently subscribed to Crave and Amazon Prime because we’ve exhausted the Netflix catalogue. My library card is also superheated. Looking forward to seeing real live people one day soon. Hugs to you and Pretty and your granddaughter.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Gosh, Susanne, I haven’t been kept up to speed on Canada’s vaccine situation. Lockdown was the entire year of 2020 for us so you have my sympathy. Honestly, Amazon Prime is my go to after Netflix. Crave? I need to research…yes, by all means manufacture your own vaccines. You can’t count on us friends evidently.
        Bitter, party of one.
        Hugs to you, your husband and the next 2/3 of your daughters


      • rebroxanna says:

        Oh no! (Re your your high drama)Liz Cheney is my new heroine. Thank you for recognizing her in the midst of your good and bad adventures. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes. I find it incredibly sad that our heroines are the people who tell the truth, but that’s how I felt about her speech. I find it so hard to understand how we in America can turn our backs on democracy. Thank you for the Oh no, too!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Barbara Garrison says:

    So sorry for your fall but glad nothing was broken or fractured.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. rebroxanna says:

    “Yes. I find it incredibly sad that our heroines are the people who tell the truth, but that’s how I felt about her speech. I find it so hard to understand how we in America can turn our backs on democracy.”
    It’s not just that she told the truth. People tell the truth every day. It’s the context, as you rightly point out.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, the first bit sounds like it was a blast. Not so pleased to hear about the fall 😦 Poor old Charlie! Doing what comes naturally can be dangerous. Hope you heal quickly!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love that you managed to go on vacation. The photo of you with the bird on your head gave me a chuckle. I’m sorry to read about your fall but it warmed me to hear about your good samaritans. There are lots more good people than bad, we don’t always talk about them because bad news sells better but these little acts of kindness are good to read. Hope you are on the mend soon.
    Best wishes

    Liked by 1 person

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