Well after I retired from air force life, I found myself “grounded” in many more ways than one could imagine.
Let me tell you about the time I was trying to retrieve a Christmas tree for the family and found myself frozen into the pond instead.
The farm at RR# 1 Vespra was a beautiful place full of maple trees, meadows, and beaver dams. One of the traditions that our family maintained was asking me to take my snowmobile out onto the back 40, finding the “perfect” pine tree, chopping it down and bringing it home. My family would support me 100% – especially in good weather.
This one particular Christmas was quite mild – in fact one may call the weather schizophrenic; it was warm one day and mild the next.
I was commissioned to do the annual trek to the back to find the perfect tree.
My family waited at home.
And they waited.
What they didn’t know what that I had found the tree – but the tree happened to be on the other side of the frog pond.
Was the pond frozen – or not? It looked frozen. And the tree was there calling to me. A frozen pond and a perfect tree called me to respond. And there I was – half in the pond and half on the ice. I was determined to not lose my snowmobile to the ice – and so I got off the machine and began trying to pull it out of the ice. I pulled. I pulled. And I ended up with soakers. The soakers began to freeze. And so did my feet.
By the time I got home with no machine and no ice – my feet were frozen. Literally frozen.
Paula was panicked. She pulled out her medical journal for advice – ran a tub of hot water and decided that was not the trick – instead she wrapped my feet in towels and rubbed them until they warmed. This saved not only my feet but also my life. Had the cold blood from my feet hit my heart – I would have gone into shock and perhaps suffered grave consequences.
My feet were fine in the long run – the snowmobile was stolen – but we all enjoyed a Christmas with a tree that was harvested from a closer field.