a birthday spankin' I'll never forget

Published on: 4/3/2014

The snowball effect, or how cutting an apple tree can affect an election.

I thought it a good idea when City Clerk Gina Kozlik encouraged all the city's chief inspector poll workers to train another to do their job "just in case." Even if I never needed to miss an election, just having another trained to do everything makes us a better team and is good insurance toward the accurate results.

It was just during the Feb. primary that we started the back up training. I knew I'd never miss an election, especially an important one like this, and never in my wildest nightmares did I imagine I'd miss this one due to illness.

I used to cut up a lot of dead trees for firewood in my youth up north in Mercer. It was hard work with a hand saw, axe and wheel barrow, but the best exercise ever. Using that same bucksaw Sunday I felled an apple tree that was too close to the vegetable garden. The tree wasn't the only thing falling. While manually pulling down the first of the five main trunks, after sawing through most of it, the branch I was grasping broke sending me backwards with force. 

I had plenty of time to think about warm weather home projects during the winter that just wouldn't end. We finally had nice weather Sunday and I was eager to do them all. I knew I'd pay for it in the morning, but really had no idea just how much. Landing on the edge of the board surrounding the garden, and one of the stakes keeping it in place, was momentarily painful, but not where it stopped me from cutting down the rest of the tree.

By five the next morning I'd already taken four Aleve! I was trying not to move too much while we decided what we were going to do next. Made several phone calls. To work, nurseline, on-call doctor, and later my family doctor. My wife was a big help in finding me the right help. Figuring nothing was broken, I wanted to avoid the ER when all I really needed were pain pills. If I couldn't get in on short notice to my own doctor, then we'd go to an urgent care clinic.

I'm blessed to have Dr. Gwendolyn Tanel with ProHealth Care as my family physician. She was able to see me shortly after they opened. Told her I wanted to spend my birthday with those who care for and about me. Getting in position for xrays was torture, but nothing, fortunately, was cracked or broken. My tailbone landed near the stake and ribcage on the board. Even though it felt like a broken rib, it fortunately was just bruised.

I realize this explanation has become quite lengthy and I still haven't talked about the election.

The accident was Sunday. The anniversary of my mother's labor was Monday, and the election was Tuesday. I didn't tell Gina I hurt myself because I felt good in the morning and had pain pills if I needed them. I get to Dist. 8 polling location and it looked like the doors were jimmied, but thought little of it while I went to set up the machines and tables. A few minutes later a fourth of the Waukesha police force shows up and that's when we learn there was a break in over night. Our machines and everything in them were secure and showed no sign of tampering, but in hindsight it looked like someone had entered the room while they were there.

As this is already lengthy and I have to go to work. . . I want to post something even though it's not complete. Will finish post tonight.

To be continued. . .