Friday, March 25, 2011

The Gate

We all have those little marks on our bodies that show we've been around. A cut on a finger, a skinned knee. Tell-tale scars that remind us of incidents and accidents that maybe we'd rather forget.

I have a tiny little scar on my upper lip. Most of the time I do not notice it but occasionally it suddenly pops out at me. The scar is in that place where you have that little "u"shape on your lips. It is about 1/4" long, if that.

It happened this way:

When I was 11 or so, I lived on a farm. Part of being a farm kid is riding around on tractors and opening gates.

My father had a trailer that he pulled behind the tractor. Its sides were wooden and covered with flaking paint. My brother and I would ride in the trailer, or we would walk behind or beside it while we picked up rocks and sticks.

One day, my father was heading somewhere with the tractor and trailer. I am thinking maybe we were going to our new homesite but my recollection is not sure. My parents built themselves a nice ranch in 1976, and it was way off the road and on the other end of the farm, so it is the right time frame.

An old lane that lead up that way required the opening of several gates in order to pass through.

I hopped off the trailer and trotted around the tractor and opened the gate. The gate, being made of wood, was heavy and hard to handle when you're a skinny little girl. It also tended to drag in the road. However, I had done this many times.

I pulled it open and stood behind it so my father could drive the tractor through. I would then close the gate behind him and jump back on the trailer. But either I didn't open the gate wide enough or he misjudged, for one minute I was watching the tractor go through the gate and the next I was on my back with blood all over me.

The trailer had hit the gate, and the wooden slates of the gate had splintered.

One of the slates hit me in the face, and a splinter of the wood pierced my lip. It went all the way through.

I know this because I could poke my tongue through it, or could until the doctor put a tiny little stitch in there.

I went to school with a swollen face - two black eyes and a fat lip. I remember telling everyone what had happened.

After that, I never opened a gate for a tractor again.


  1. Yep... it would make me leery of gates that bite too! I've never noticed the scar.


  2. I remember this very vividly!!! It was the gate at the big oak tree at the little pond field. Now on the left hand side of the driveway as you enter the woods in the curve. Sorry Sis,but I'm sitting here LMAO!!! I was scared for you then, but it sure is funny now!!
    But I LOVE YA!!!!!


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