Before I had to report for duty at Warren AFB, in Cheyenne, Wyoming, I had two weeks of leave. I was at home, doing my best to be a kid once more before I had to pick-up the mantle of adulthood on a permanent basis.

My day had been spent working in the yard with both Mom and Dad. I had mowed both the front and backyards and helped pull weeds from the flower beds as well.

It was late afternoon when we knocked off for the day in order to have dinner. Afterwards all the kids in the neighborhood had planned to gather for a large game of hide-and-go-seek and I was looking forward to the fun.

While I don’t recall who was it at the time, I do remember I took off running towards the northwest corner of the house. I had planned to crawl under the house in order to hide.

However, I never made it that far. Instead I found a nasty surprise laying in the yard jus’ a couple feet from the corner of the house.

It was a hoe, and I had stepped on its upright blade. The handle shot upward and slammed into the right-side of my face.

This caused a chain-reaction as I found myself angling at a full-sprint into the corner of the building with the left-side of my face. From there I careened headlong into one of the redwood fence posts that ran along the side of our home.

While I don’t fully remember hitting the post face first, I do recall waking up with a jolt after laying in the fresh-cut grass for about a minute. By this time, everyone was standing around me wondering if I was dead or a live.

Suddenly, I didn’t feel much like playing anymore. Instead, Mom spent the next hour and a half pulling redwood slivers from my forehead and by the next morning, both my eyes were blackened.

It’s what I get for leaving the hoe laying in the grass.

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