Sunday, February 12, 2012

Debi Davis – Letter from a Friend




I have rowdy cousins. And there are, like, a zilllion of them. Breeders, we are. Rabbits. There are so many of us that we would have to rent a hockey arena for a family reunion.

The  title of rowdiest and rabbitiest cousins must go to the five Gough sisters. They are brilliant and gorgeous and outspoken, and yappy as summer days are long. They are like a flock of exotic, garrulous birds and I have admired and envied them my entire life. I'm sure they must be as dysfunctional as the rest of us, but what they do have is a sorority sisterhood of genuine and unbridled affection that makes mere mortals feel lucky to be in their presence. Like beautiful, confident women everywhere, they glow.

Debi is the oldest of the Gough sisters and she lives just up the road from me. She is whip-smart with a cracking-sharp sense of humour, a fervoured commitment to her family and her community (she was named 'Woman of the Year' a while back) and, I dunno, a deep-seated connection to her roots. I look at Debi and I see our beautiful mothers, Dorothy and my Auntie Ellen; I see our grandmother Hazel, and I even see Great Grandma Pratt. Our faces are cast from the same mold. I see her, and I see me. I see the women who came before us, and I see the faces of our children.

Honestly, though, it's a damned wonder we can see anything. Apparently we're all as blind as fecking bats.

Hello Cuz

We are all enjoying your letters from friends. Here's my addition to the project.

The cataract problems we have must be from our forefathers; you, Karen, Mom, Dot, Uncle Chaz and me; that's proof that either the Hooper or Pratt lineage is tainted. (Editor's Note: I always suspected it.)

I remember the first time my optometrist said, "You have cataracts growing in both eyes, and we'll have to watch them." 


I said, "Are you kidding me? I'm only 42!" 

"This is not uncommon" he said gently, "you probably won't need to worry until you're 60 or so." That sounded better and I forgot about it, really.

Then came the bungee cord incident.

You may or may not know, Cath, that we sisters, our daughters and our friends have been attending curling bonspiels for almost 30 years. We go to Minden and Acton (known locally as the armpit of the world), usually in March, and we take two or three teams. (It's a girl fest, really.)

Anyway, 5 or 6 years ago, we were going to Acton (because it's "worth the drive to Acton"). I had been asked to take a friend of a friend (never met the girl before and I have trouble remembering her name) and drop her off at the airport in Toronto along the way. No problem said I, we love to have company.

So I picked her up – let's call her Cindy – and we headed south. First stop was Barrie to pick up sister Jackie, then we would pick up friend Jane at the kiss and ride parking lot at Hwy 9 before we dropped Cindy at Pearson then on to Acton. (Whew, that's the set-up.)

So Cindy and I landed at Jackie's house in my beautiful white pickup truck. Cindy sat in the truck while Jackie and I started to load her things into the back. I had a huge Rubbermaid box in the back to keep things from flying out. It had two bungee cords holding it closed. You guessed it – when I attempted to remove the cords, one of them flew out of control and whacked me with the metal curved thingy across the nose, narrowly missing my eyes!

I was bleeding like a stuck pig, Cindy was totally unaware and Jackie was in the house getting more stuff to load. I held my hands to my face and ran into the house and held my face over the kitchen sink as the blood poured out. "What the F---?" said Jack. Then she handed me a towel full of ice and I clamped it over the wound.

So we loaded into the truck in front of an astonished Cindy and Jackie headed for the nearby Urgent Care Clinic. My right eye seemed fine but we had no idea if I had hit my left eye, we were afraid to look.

As we backed out of the driveway I had a glimpse of the street ahead. Jackie was watching over her shoulder. Good thing, because 4 or 5 doors down I saw a cat get hit by a car! 

"Don't look Jack, just drive." I said to Jackie the cat lover. 

"What the F----?" and the tears rain down her cheeks but on she drove. Cindy remained silent and aghast. Meanwhile Jane was waiting for us at Hwy 9 and the 400.

When we got to the Urgent Care Centre, I was triaged and asked to wait. Jackie called Jane who said "I'm on my way." The blood flow seemed to be stopped and the ice appeared to be slowing the swelling.

The handsome young doctor took one look at me and said, "You're lucky you did not lose an eye." Well no sh-- Sherlock. He did not even need to stitch the gash on the bridge of my nose. He gave me a band aid and a speech about the dangers of bungee cords and I headed for the lobby full of Jackie, the newly arrived Jane and poor unknown Cindy. Undaunted and not willing give up anymore time we headed to Pearson, Jane driving because we went back to Jackie's and switched my truck for Jane's Yukon.

I spent the weekend as the official drink handler and took many jibes about my raccoon eyes and "you're lucky you didn't lose an eye." We did not tell any husbands till we went home Sunday afternoon. As usual a good time was had by all.

That's a long way around to the cataract story but, you see, my left cataract became a rapidly growing one and had to be replaced last spring. Funny, when the optometrist and the ophthalmologist asked me if I had ever been hit in that eye, I totally forgot the bungee cord incident, until about 2 days after the surgery.


There is no moral to my story, just a recommendation: let the men use bungee cords.

Yours truly,

Cuzin Debi,

Hooterville ON


P.S. – love to that hunka hunka burnin' luv. 


21 comments:

  1. obviously a tough fun loving bunch of women...with lousy eyesight of course. For a moment there I thought they were going bungie jumping.

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    1. For a minute there I thought you wrote budgie jumping. *stupid eyes*

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  2. Um, what with the icicle and the bungee cord, maybe you should consider wearing goggles. Some pretty pink ones. Safety first!

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    1. Daisy, I think you're right. And pink, yes, of course. Can I please borrow yours?

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  3. I'm glad your cousin was all right! Feel really bad for the cat though.

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    1. (Why am I laughing over your cat comment? Daisy, don't look...)

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  4. Classic curling with the sisters! Always fun and chock full of immiment danger. And sadly, no more Jane, but there is word her daughter may join the fray this year! And Cathy, I've no doubt you would have some fun yourself! xo

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    1. You know, dear HIll, curling is something I have never, every tried. I know - how the hell can I call myself a Canadian???? Some day I shall remedy this. I shall. (Yes, Jane is very much missed.)

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    2. You can go and NOT curl! That's what so great!

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  5. I hate to laugh at another's misfortune, but I see that humour is something that runs in the blood. It's much better than cataracts. Cousin Debi sounds like a lot of fun (as long as the bungee cords are kept far, far away).

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    1. You would totally fit in, Laurita. Hey, can you get better radio signals with the new braces? :)

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    2. You know, because I would NEVER, EVER laugh at someone else's misfortune... bungee cords, flat cats, new braces...

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  6. Oh. Oh. Oh. What a family to belong to. You both sound like so much feisty fun.
    Bungee cords are called ockey or hockey straps here and yes, they are truly dangerous.

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    1. Oh indeed! EC, feisty is definitely the word!

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  7. Ha ha I thought a bungie cord was to do with jumping off a high cliff and I wonder where the story was going LOL A fun letter to read and what sounds like a great cousin to have !

    Enjoyed this very much Debbi - Hi from Oz ^___^

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  8. Your family sounds like my family. But, you guys are way wackier. Maybe it's a Canadian thing.

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  9. I just love the antics of your family. And I love how big your family is. I miss my family up in Canada, I miss our large family reunions.

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    1. Aww, sorry you miss 'em, Clarissa. You should head north and do some visiting!

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  10. Jackie has reminded me that the reason she was in the house was because we had sat a rubbermaid in dog crap on the driveway and that she was changing her crap covered pants. I also failed to mention that I did not allow my injury to be an excuse for Wendy's speeding ticket on our way to the curling club the next morning. So many details!

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    1. Dog crap... see? Right there is the reason Jackie loves cats!

      Thanks so much for the letter, Deb. oxoxo

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