K. D. McCrite

K.D. McCrite grew up on an Ozark Mountain farm along an old dirt road, just like April Grace Reilly in In Front of God and Everybody. She loves writing stories that make people laugh and think. For a while, she worked as a librarian, but these days she sits at her desk and makes up stories. Her second book to this series will release in December 2011. Visit her at http://kdmccrite.com/

K. D. McCrite

The Blessing of a Broken Leg

When I was four years old, my big brother (who was fourteen)  agreed to give me ride on his bicycle. This was not the first time I had ridden behind him, jostling down the ruts and rocks of the old dirt road that sliced through our farm. Although the ride was rough and bouncy, I loved those times with the sunshine and shade taking turns falling across us and wind blowing in our faces. It was fun to spend time with my brother.

One bright summer morning, our parents were at their jobs, otherwise one of them might have put a stop to what was about to happen.

“Just a short one, sis,” he said. “I’ve got chores to do.”

In our shady front yard, he got on the bike then helped me settle on the flat bar behind him. Off we went, across the grass toward the road rather than taking the driveway. Between us and the road was a ditch. It wasn’t too deep, but it would create a jolt as the bike passed over it.

“Hold on!” Brother shouted.

I tightened my arms around his waist, then to be doubly sure I wouldn’t fall off, I clung to the bike with my legs. In fact, I put my right leg right into the spokes of the turning wheel. The leg broke, all the way from ankle to knee.

I don’t remember the pain from that injury, but I do remember seeing blood from a scraped ankle. It was the sight of blood, not the actual broken bone, that set me to howling.

All summer my scrawny little leg was in a great big cast, and I had to be carried everywhere. The sanctuary of the church we attended was quite small. Someone brought in a small bed and fixed it for me along a wall near the platform. I lay there comfortably with my pillow, blanket, and doll during the services.

Feeling responsible for my broken leg, my brother did his best to entertain me during those days. My sister, who was seventeen years old, would have preferred to visit with her friends rather than passing those days as a nursemaid to an injured child. (To this day, she still bemoans the times she and her friend Clara took me with them to the drugstore soda fountain. One of them carried me, and the other bore the weight of the cast. I’m sure the three of us were a sight as we went down the sidewalk.) My sister’s caretaking gave her a summer of inconvenience, but she did it well and with much love.

A neighbor had sent news of my accident and injury to a newspaper in faraway Kansas City. Somehow that story found its way around the country. I received cards, letters, and gifts from so many people—people I did not know! Most of the gifts were small glass animals: tiny fawns, zebras, giraffes, cats, dogs, and birds of all kids. Those endearing trinkets, found in most “dime stores,” became precious to me. My mother cleared out the upper part of the china cabinet and allowed me to display my glass menagerie behind glass doors.

I suppose I could look back at the summer of my fourth year and complain that I’d been injured and remained helpless at a time when I yearned to run and play outside. But what good are unhappy memories? What I choose to remember most about that time was the uniqueness of those days, the concern and love of our friends and neighbors, and the outpouring of compassion from a multitude of strangers for an injured little girl in the Ozarks.

A new year begins. In the coming days, let us seek and find the good things in the events of our days. By doing this, we will have happy memories all our lives.


Cliques, Hicks, and Ugly Sticks