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Hold The Handrail, Hannah!


Kathee and her Granddaughter, Hannah, age three came to Summit House for a visit at the beginning of summer.

We dined out at places Hannah’s mother, Kelly would remember, like Encinitas Café… and going to the playground at Cardiff School for an afternoon of fun and frolic on the slides and swings, just like her Mommy used to do.

We even took a trek up Birmingham to Edinburgh, where our “Piece of the Walk” is preserved in cement. Twenty years ago we were offered a section of sidewalk for $15.00 and could say anything we wished to be preserved for our family. I wish we’d said more, but this is how it reads, just “ The Pee Wee Family on Summit.” I took pictures of the slab of concrete, the street sign and Hannah sitting beside our square. Just something to save for posterity.

Hannah had never experienced our spiral staircase before, so Kathee was careful to teach her about the dangers of falling down the stair if she didn’t hold the handrail. If we heard it once, we probably heard it a hundred times…”Hold the handrail, Hannah!”

After four days of this, last night after putting Hannah to bed, Kathee fell down the stairs!

I had been working at the computer on stuff Kathee was teaching me about placing new stories on my website. When I felt I was comfortable with doing the routines, I went upstairs to see if Hannah was asleep so Kathee could come down and check out my work.

I hoarsely whispered, “Can you come down now? I think I’m ready!”

Neither Kathee nor I knew how it happened, but she jumped up from the chair in the living room, hurried over to the stairs and fell about half-way down the spiral…bumping on her fanny all the way. Then her knee hit the upright and slid through the space. She doesn't have a clue how she did it and I was ahead of her near the bottom when it happened so I didn’t see the fall. I only heard it. Bangety, bump, bump, bang!

I reached up from my position and felt her leg, “It isn’t broken is it? Wiggle your leg!” She pulled her leg back through the upright, and there was a small bruise mark on her knee.

“Let’s get you out into the Jacuzzi for moisture and heat…that will help take the soreness out.”

She hobbled out to the spa and got in letting the warmth of it sooth her. Then she did some rotations of her legs and arms to take the soreness out.

After she was finished, we checked out my work on the computer. I did okay.

It was then that I burst out laughing.

“What are you laughing about?” she asked.

“Well, all I could think of when you fell down the stairs was your instruction the last four days to “Hold the handrail, Hannah!” and you probably didn’t. You probably thought you, the Gramma Kat, didn’t need to!”

“I honestly don’t know how I did it!”

It was then that Grampa confided in us that he actually thought it was me falling down the stairs!

After all the admonitions to Hannah, she did fine! She was very obedient and well behaved the entire visit!

The house is quiet now since Kathee and Hannah went back to Arizona, but I’ll never forget the echo of Kathee’s words in my head…”Hold the handrail, Hannah!”

For sure, remembering Kathee’s fall, I will hold the handrail from now on!

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