Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

A Tale of What Not to Do on Spring Break

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

A Tale of What Not to Do on Spring Break

Article excerpt

Byline: Terry Dickson, Times-Union staff writer

Spring break is over, and I have to go back to work tomorrow.

But it was fun. Up to a point.

It started well. After an early Easter church service, Vonette and I had a good Sunday dinner with friends before packing up and striking out in the rain for the five-hour trip to Anderson, S.C., to visit our respective families. The dogwoods and yellow jasmine were blooming along the roadsides and looked brilliant in the gloomy weather. A good omen, I thought.

Things were going pretty well until Monday morning, when I stepped through my mother's ceiling. I had been in the attic to get access to a breezeway roof where I patched a hole in the trim.

So I was walking along in the attic, stepping from ceiling joist to ceiling joist, when the next thing I knew there was nothing under my feet but air, and thin air at that.

But I didn't go all the way through. The back of my left thigh came down on a joist and my right arm caught across another one. I was hanging there repeating words with a lot of vowels while Vonette was underneath, asking me if I was all right as she tried to push my feet back up through the ceiling.

Let me pause briefly to offer this advice: Don't try this at home. Don't try this at your mother's house, either. Don't do it at all. It hurts.

I climbed down into the house, where sheetrock and pink insulation was scattered on the floor, in an artificial flower and on a rocking chair that had belonged to my grandparents. That old oak chair is probably 90 years old. I don't know its exact age, but I know this: If you drop 182 pounds of Terry Dickson from a ceiling onto a rocking chair, neither chair nor Terry Dickson will come away without something broken.

After about an hour, my mother gave up on trying to get me to spend $800 on X-rays and turned her attention to finding somebody to fix the hole in her bedroom ceiling. …

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