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Last night after work I stopped at the bank of mailboxes near the entrance to my housing development. Twenty minutes later I was still there trying to help a blind lady pick up her dropped keys while her dog contemplated ripping my throat out.

The human brain is very interesting. As I was calmly and patiently telling the woman, “Step to your left; now inch your right foot forward — no, your other right foot …” I was also contemplating how my obituary might read, “Dog Mauls Teacher as She Helps Blind Woman,” and at the same time ….

….wondering why I hadn’t already gotten in my car and driven away;

….wondering why I (a perfectly normal person) always find myself in sitcom situations;

….wondering if I would ever be left alone, old and helpless, to depend upon the charity of some stranger.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. CB, I often wonder about the “sitcom” situations in my life, but NEVER try to kid myself that I’m a “perfectly normal person”!

    And I can’t do much about the ‘old’ or the ‘helpless’, but when you get that way, you won’t be ‘alone’ as long as I’m alive.

  2. I wondered if anybody would fall for the “perfectly normal” line. Trust a family member to be the first one by here.

    And — last time I checked you were 10 years older than I am. When I am old and decrepit who will be taking care of you, while you are taking care of me?

  3. This is proof that women can multi-task. A man would have but a single thought. Such thought would have been connected with the possibility of being mauled by the dog, but the ripped out throat would have been the least of his concerns.

  4. Dont neither of you be a worrying a bit…….I will care for you all…and your children too!!! Love ya, C

  5. Sister Jackie just told me to stop being anonymous and showed me how to use my own name and since I am the one that follows instructions ..voile

  6. Quill’s got family……..if any of my family ever commented on my blog, I am sure I would fall off my stool. haha

    Quill, that is funny….you had me laughing, but on the serious side of it, not sure how I would handle that. If her dog was ready to chew your body parts off, I think she would have to fend for herself. Moral here is, if you want help when you get old, make sure your dog is friendly.

    I have the old age figured out, Nick is going to stay home and take care of me, he told me that just the other day. So I am being real nice to him…….haha

  7. My main conern, QD, would be to protect my dignity (such as I have any) from a mauling by dog or a helpless lady (if that latter expression isn’t an oxymoron). My dignity, I say!

  8. Why is it my mother thinks I’m going to be taking care of her and all of her siblings in their old age? Am I going to be destined to run a small nursing home in my house just for them? What a thought! I told you years ago, mom, I’m putting you in adult day care when you need it! lol

  9. Bless you for helping that woman. As a legally blind person, people are always saying to me, “It’s over there” which does not help me at all. But I am surprised the woman did not know her rights and lefts because I depend on it so much.

    I think the headline will read, “Town’s favorite teacher dies peacefully in her sleep after receiving the ‘Good Samaritan’ Award at the age of 101.

  10. “Perfectly Normal”? Has a nice ring to it! I couldn’t pull it off if my whole life depended on it… but you go ahead and try! I find that often times “life” is funnier than the sitcoms … and I’m frequently a key player! I suspect as much is true with you! 😉

  11. Quill, I had to comment back….you are right because I always freeze and stop in my tracks when I do not know what is going on because the more I move, the more confused I get. She should try to train the dog to get her keys! (easier said than done).

  12. You can’t be perfect and normal.

    And when you are old, I think you will be bossing the rest of us around.

  13. I have a blind lady who rides my bus quite frequently. She’s not only blind but she’s just about stone deaf as well. It makes for some interesting rides. The other day she sat down in a seat and for about 10 minutes was not aware that someone else was in the seat right next to her. I yelled back to find out where she wanted to go but she couldn’t hear me of course, so the lady in the seat beside her voiced my request. Ella turned toward the lady and at about half an inch from her face, shouted,”Hello there!” Roxy jumped backwards and everyone laughed. Fortunately, Ella has a great sense of humor and laughed with us.

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