Yes, now that I have a broken ankle and other ailments due to my very recent unfortunate cross-country ski accident, I have noticed that there are some kind people in our area. But I’ve also noticed those who are not so kind—those who look at me limping, stumbling about perhaps ladened with grocery or any other kind of whatever bags I have in hand, or just staring at me gingerly stepping over our recent icy landscapes, and not even offering to help. They either just look or just ignore. Well, this is not the first time I have noted this. Indeed, ever since I grew “older,” maybe something like 70-plus, I have noticed this.

And so, as the ghosts who tend to totally ignore me and as I stare back and wonder where compassion in our society has gone, I think to the recent event that brought this sadness back to my mind.

 Standing still on my cross-country skis on the beautiful Quigley trail going out to the “dam”,” I gracefully face-planted and spread-eagled my legs, i.e. the splits. Ouch! Painful and shocking indeed and like someone had pushed me over. Weird. (P.S. and for those who have had psychic experiences, this day was my 61st anniversary of my ex-marriage---1.31.58. I should have known, right? Sigh.) To extricate myself from this dance position I had to break my ankle and tear my groin ligament as well as to ruin once again my scoliated back and totally detached/torn rotary cuff right shoulder.

 Not having a lock heal device, cross-country skis can be the devil when you unfortunately take a fall.

 Anyway, there I am, finally standing up, in tears and pain, and this youngish man with an orange parka comes skiing behind me. I could see that he had no intention of stopping so I did the hand halt sign, He stopped—annoyed. He looked at me—one ski on, one ski off—and said, “Are you hurt?” I said, “Yes, I think that I am and I don’t have my phone with me.” So he said “I don’t either” and off he went yelling back, “I’ll see you on my way back.”

As I struggled to get back to my car--I think more than 3k back--he sped by me without even stopping.

 Well, I am a little old lady now. So, what think you if I had been a tall, lanky, gorgeous blond gal or dude?

And so I ask, et tu?


Margot Van Horn is a resident of Ketchum.

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