Oh My Toe!

By Jacqueline Robison | Jan 28, 2014
Jacqueline Robison

The Seattle’s World’s Fair was over. I had been working as a portrait artist for the International Artist’s Bazaar during the fair. My husband, David, was at work at Boeing, and I was home with our children, David and Cindy, in the “haunted house” (but that’s another story) on Queen Anne Hill.

We lived up some winding, rickety stairs in a strange, second-floor, furnished apartment (a flattering name for the rooms, furniture and the multi-slanting floors).

Our furniture contained a dilapidated couch. If you sat on it, you sank almost to the floor. There was a rickety folding table in the “kitchen” and an old iron bed with a thin, worn-out mattress that was concealed behind a drape at one end of the “living room.” There were a couple of bucket chairs with spindly iron legs that stuck out at an angle. People were constantly tripping on the legs.

One morning, I was hurrying barefoot into the kitchen when I caught my baby toe on one of the spindly legs. It tore my toe straight backwards, out of joint. The pain was constant and excruciating.

I went to a doctor who explained to me it was pinching a nerve, and he put the toe back in place, but any time I bumped my toe after that it went out of joint. When I went to the doctor the last time, he suggested cutting my toe off. I said “No, thank you.” After that I learned to trick the toe back myself by putting on a pair of high heels and walking in them, gingerly, until the toe popped back.

I haven’t walked anywhere since without shoes on. Sadly, I was never able to wear flip-flops during all the years I lived in Hawaii. The accident hadn’t happened for several years, until right before Christmas. I came upstairs from the laundry with a large bundle of clothes in my arms when I tripped and fell over the vacuum sweeper someone left in the narrow hall.

I wasn’t hurt, but was a little peeved. I went in my room to get dressed, and as I was pulling on a pair of heavy cotton socks, a string inside of the sock caught between my toes. Without thinking, I yanked on the sock and to my painful astonishment I yanked my baby toe backwards out of joint. Oh my toe!

I was walking in pain for a couple of days using a cane as I don’t have the necessary high heels anymore to pop the toe back.

I was being careful so to not feel pain when I discovered my little Chihuahua, Mitsy, had gotten out of the back yard. I panicked and screamed for her a couple of times at the backdoor and then, without thinking about the pain, I ran back upstairs to the front door. That pressure popped my toe back in place.

I opened the door, and little Mitsy was standing there wagging her tail. I have to thank Mitsy for causing me to run upstairs or I probably would still be limping around, babying my toe.

In one of my next columns, I’ll tell you all about how we came to be living on the upper floor of that strange house on Queen Anne Hill in 1962.

Jacqueline Robison has lived an exciting life. She lived in many places, including Hawaii, and met many important people. In addition to writing, she is also a portrait artist and a recording artist. She recorded an LP record with Gene Autry Studios, and has worked at Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm.

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