After I purchased the chosen items, I climbed on the bike with the grocery bag in one arm and headed for home. (I was clueless on what was about to happen. It was later known as "The Elm Street Incident".) But as far as I knew, all was well with the world.
I was an obedient child. Wasn't much trouble growing up. I had made my purchase for my mom. I didn't buy any candy for myself. I was feeling good. Soon I reached Elm Street and turned the corner. Elm Street was uphill on the way to the store. It was downhill on the way home. At the base of the hill was Sixth Street onto which Elm Street terminated.
Thanks to the law of gravity, I gained speed on the downhill. Instantly, it occurred to me (have you ever had something suddenly occur to you, causing your whole world to change?) I was filled with a sense of horror as I realized what I had done (you see, the only brakes on the bike were levers on the handlebars but only the RIGHT brake lever worked. The problem was, my RIGHT arm was already occupied with the bag of groceries.) By this time, I had reached a speed which made it impossible to switch the bag to my left arm. The racing bike was somewhere around 65 mph* now, beating a path straight to the unforgiving curb at the bottom of the hill.
I uttered a faint, but slightly audible, "oh no" as I resigned myself to the inevitable.
Sure enough, I hit that curb with a BANG!, sailed over the handlebars, and flipped in midair as, in slow motion, I watched apples and toothpaste and nutmeg and a bike and sundries, each traveling in their own flight patterns. We all landed on the front lawn of Mr. and Mrs. Hoey's house. I lay there for a moment. Surveyed my body. Surveyed the neighborhood for witnesses. No one saw me - good. My body was fine. My pride took a beating. I located the empty, tattered grocery bag, gathered the dazed items, picked up my bike, and slowly completed my trek homeward - the bike now in a rhythmic "Thump, Thump, Thump, Thump..." since the front rim now sported a nice, deep new dent.
I wasn't prepared for the downhill.
What is your "downhill"? Will you be ready for it?
* ministerially speaking