No escaping ‘Once a klutz, always a klutz’ label

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I was looking for a little change in my life when I reached retirement age. Now that I’ve been in that era for over 10 years, I am discovering longevity is no guarantee that change will occur.  
Oh sure, there have been some changes, but a change I wanted to take place never happened. I am resigned to face the fact  that “once a klutz – always a klutz.”
My clumsiness has been a part of my character since youth and I have the battle scars to prove it. It all began when at the age of 3 I fell in a printer’s ink bucket at my dad’s newspaper shop while wearing a brand new sailor suit. Eight stitches to the head came three years later when a car trunk lid release was bumped causing the lid to conk me on the head. Gravel was picked from my knees, elbows, hips and chin in a two-hour doctor’s visit after I stuck my foot in the spokes of a bicycle while riding on the handlebars as a friend and I tried to go down a two-block hill without using the bike’s brakes.
I took a little break during the high school years, but still managed to have “klutzy situations” I would rather not mention.
Getting married and reaching maturity as a family man still found my life in a klutzy mode. Little “dumb moves” continued as I tried to squeeze in a few home chores during the noon hour before going back to work. Hedge trimming when I nearly lost a thumb was one that caused a noontime visit to the doctor’s office emergency room. A few years later I appeared at the doctor’s office again, this time with a towel wrapped around my wrist after slicing it when tightening a mower blade. That noontime visit resulted in 13 stitches and a lecture from Drs. Murphy and Larson. I was told they would appreciate it if I would stay away from any power tools during the noon hour because I was interrupting their noon hour as well.
Retirement finally came and that meant I would not always be in a hurry and would work under the supervision of the betterhalf. There has been an occasional minor miscue, but presently my klutziness has not resulted in serious blood loss.
What has occurred are just plain stupid moves despite my trying to slow down and work using common sense. Recently a minor deck repair project at home has been a prime example of my new klutziness    
Repairing the lattice to prevent leaves from blowing in under the deck seemed a quick and easy fix. It wasn’t. As I nailed the final piece of lattice in place I found the grandson’s 105 pound dog had crawled under the deck to observe and was now a prisoner of my work. Off came the lattice and out came the dog.
A day later I coated the deck with waterseal . . .  some of which I had left over from a previous year. The betterhalf and I noticed the seal was not going on smoothly and seemed to be extra oily. Halfway through the job, I discovered I forgot to stir the coating. Oh well, not everyone has a deck as water resistant as ours and even has a sheen.
By now it is quite evident that “once a klutz, always a klutz” will be with me forever. But hopefully I might have a few years left to challenge my klutzy image if I don’t screw it up.
RL Furse  is publisher emeritus of the News-Register

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