Regarding A Pobble, and Toes

A Pobble Has Toes, As Everyone Knows

bare feet

Hi there.  Sorry I’m late again!  Any idea what a Pobble is?  On a whim, with faint remembrances of a childhood rhyme, I Googled Pobble.  Yahoo answered.  Doesn’t that sound deliciously credible? Yes,  Yahoo answered my Pobble Google (via a contributor named Ray G, who’s been augmenting Yahoo’s credibility since 2008 and has more than 114,000 points, making him a level 7, whatever that means.).

And here it is, by popular Yahoo user vote, the Best Answer to” What is A Pobble Or is it a Made Up Word”:

Primarily, it’s  the name for the fantasy creature in Edward Lear’s “The Pobble Who Has No Toes”.  But there are a few rare archaic and/or non-English uses.

 –an archaic/dialect spelling for pebbles (OED, and see Anne Beale’s “Simplicity and Fascination”)

–an Irish name for a tract of land (as in Pobble O’Keefe)

–the word for “people” in various Celtic languages such as Cornish and Manx

–the word for “apple” in Romany  (Ray G, courtesy of Yahoo).

Too yummy.  I am thinking of Edward Lear’s Pobble,  who lost his toes despite his Aunt Jobiska’s sage toe-keeping advice (tie red flannel round your nose, she said).  Which advice might have been the beginning of a groovy DIY series, if she’d been a blogger: “The Many Homey and Rustic Uses for Red Flannel”.  But I digress.  (Which is ok; it’s one of the things I’m good at).

Spring should be a time of beautiful beginnings: declarations of love, gardens, fresh paint, new curtains.  Baby chicks, little lambs eating ivies… puppies!  And it is.  It is a time of beginnings (wonderful beginnings! my garden is ready for Mother’s Day planting, and there is, realio trulio, a puppy on the premises!).  But the shadow that lies split round my current cup of Springtime:  I am a Pobble.

2007 07 01 0017

Here is my own definition of Pobble:

One who loses or  mangles one or more of his or her toes.  Ordinary People, if you will, with klutzy feet (ah, feet of clay! which could almost be interpeted as pebbles, see Yahoo for relevance).  People prone to damaging their nethermost parts.

My husband is a Pobble too.

Frank squints into the middle distance

In our house, Frank is the original Pobble. Some of the kids have vied for Original status, but I think he has it clinched. His Pobble tendencies first manifested themselves with a nail gun, when we framed our last house together. Nail right through his pinky, a crazy result of nail gun recoil between two studs.  The gun kept firing as it ricocheted between 2 X 4’s, and one nail of the many found its mark in Frank’s free hand. Before he could drop the gun with his other.  Later, setting up irrigation at the same house, he accidentally cut off the tip of his index finger with a pipe cutter.

Frank finally graduated to full-fledged Pobbleness  two months ago, while Spring was just hatching. A little groggy early one morning, he lost his footing in the pantry and kicked a bucket (yes I have buckets in my pantry…we are a largish family and operate on bulk quantities).  He dislodged…no, completely dislocated his toenail.  It is no longer with us. Toenail, gone.  Giving “kicking the bucket” new meaning.

And then I joined the Pobblish ranks.

Who knew that something so simple as closing a door at bedtime could take me to the outer limits of my pain threshold? Battening down the house during Frank’s absence this week (business travel),  I noticed the back door ajar, the garage light on, and the big garage door wide open.  Full darkness outside, crickets chirping eerily.  Seriously?  Which kid….?  Didn’t matter.  Tired and a little put out, I flipped switches, pushed a button, and closed the heavy back door…sweeping it clean over my big toe, with not enough clearance, as it turned out.   While my toenail is still with us, it is disturbingly compromised.  And to match Frank, it was my left big toe. We’re like a coordinated Ken and Barbie…except not so svelte. And a little damaged.

bright spots: beau again

Why am I posting such grisly toe stories on a blog meant to bloom?

Well, aside from my son telling me that  I really ought to blog about it (as he regarded my toe’s remains and listened to me whine about writer’s block),  in the end,  my toe (and Frank’s) has been much on my mind.  Courtesy of the microcosmic effects of pain.  I am a little ashamed at how complacent I was in my comfort before my injury, taking limbs and digits and general painlessness for granted (even though I’d witnessed and sympathized with my own dear husband’s suffering).  I value, more than ever, the beauty of the intact pieces and parts of me.  And find great hope in healing.

I already miss my morning walk/runs.  I can’t wait to put running shoes on again, but I’ll have to. Sandal season is upon us; I’m scheming about how to camouflage my disfigured toe so that I can wear sandals without frightening people.


Frank and I went on a date tonight (Iron Man 3, my favorite of the trilogy and a nice exception to the sequel cliche).  Favoring anonymity and the cover of darkness, we quickly limped into the local theater minutes before the show began, wearing flip flops (even though Frank is back in sneakers again, he’d opted out of a taxi on his business trip and was footsore).  Shared popcorn, mused about how Guy Pearce looks a lot like Val Kilmer (reference: Val Kilmer as “The Saint”…whatever happened to him, I wonder?), laughed at the witty little ironies (pun intended) sprinkled throughout the script, and waited til the very very end, after all the credits, for one of the best parts.  You can do that, even if you’re a Pobble.

Vulnerability; Legs Bared

And it’s still Spring.  With beautiful beginnings everywhere.  And regeneration.  Hooray.

Ezra darling, I dedicate this post to you.  May you be disinherited of any Pobbleness, if at all possible.

my son's eyes, bright spot

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  • nancy Wilson May 14, 2013, 11:25 pm

    Poor pobble’s. Do not bring you hereitary antics to our house….it must be distant relatives that started this “gene” on its road to fame…..maybe Ezra it skips a generation….but what a curse to give your future family…..and to have it coming from both sides…you double their chances….but alas I forgot your Papa nearly cut his hand in two. I am sure there are no such genes in my family… your Mother!

  • sara May 11, 2013, 7:25 am

    Loved this post. You have such a clever way with words. Justin and I loved Iron Man 3.