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Michelle's column: Grace was never a strong suit

I have never been accused of being graceful.

I got up early Monday morning. Got myself all dressed up — skirt, blouse, blazer and my sassy red, patent leather, three-inch heels. It was a big day for me.

A couple of weeks ago I was installed as the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota Third District president for the 2014-15 year.

Well, a week ago I received an email from the president of the American Legion Auxiliary Dan Patch Unit 643. She asked me to come to their meeting this week and do the installation of officers.

I was thrilled. Of course I said yes.

So when I got up Monday, I dressed with the evening’s installation ceremony in mind. As I go on my journey this year, I represent American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington everywhere I go, so I wanted to make sure I looked the part for this first official act as president.

I should have known I was jinxing myself.

As I was getting ready to leave Monday night, I realized I’d left my camera’s flash at home. Not a big deal, but since I was going to ask someone else to take pictures for me, I thought it would be nice to have a flash, just in case the lighting was poor and they didn’t know how to run my camera.

Just a couple of minutes before I left, I noticed my old flash sitting on the corner of my desk. I grabbed it, looked it over. All looked good, but it needed batteries.

My mind was on the installation, and I forgot about the batteries as I drove through Farmington. I remembered as I turned onto Cedar Avenue, so I stopped at Cub to pick some up. And that’s when it happened.

I was walking through the parking lot when my sassy red, patent leather heel somehow got wedged into a tarred crack in the parking lot. I went down. Bam! Just like that.

A nice gal stopped her car. “Ma’am?” she asked. “Are you OK?”

To be honest, I think it hurt more that I’d been hit with the “Ma’am” bomb. But I assured her I was fine and she drove off.

I got into my car and pulled out my water bottle. I was able to wipe off the dirt and dust with the water and a blanket from the back seat, but the six-inch road rash down the front of my left leg didn’t go away so easily. Nor did the two scrapes on both knees.

I put my sassy red shoes on again and hobbled out of my car and into the pharmacy. Bought me a tube of triple antibiotic cream and hobbled back to my car. Put the cream on my wounds, started the car, and hoped the swelling would go down before I got to Savage.

It did not.

I was a little late getting to the Savage club, but the nice ladies of ALA Unit 643 understood my tardiness once they saw why I was late. They even offered to get me ice for the swelling that had begun in my left ankle.

The installation ceremony went off without a hitch, though, and I was happy to get to know the gals over there a little before I left. I’m excited to continue on this journey and meet more Third District members as I go on.

For the record, the sassy, red patent leather shoes are unharmed, and I do plan on wearing them again.

But here’s the real kicker to all of this: that camera flash I found that needed batteries? Well, it turns out the reason I was no longer using it is that it’s not compatible with the camera I currently have.


Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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