Nature is commanded by obeying her.
You know it is going to be one of those days, when the sound of loud pounding rain bounces off your bedroom window. Loud enough, to wake you up from that dream you really wanted to finish. This may not seem like a big deal to some of you. But, it is winter here in Ontario Canada. That sound should really be silent. Snow is silent.
What a winter this has been. Unpredictable, from the day to day happenings which, with its rain, snow, freezing rain, thaw, freeze again, ice and mud seems to always have us guessing. Sitting here in my kitchen, cup of coffee in hand, with my fingers perched on the keyboard, I listen to the rain. It is hypnotic. I find myself soothed, drifting into a state of peace and tranquility. Beyond this rain-spotted window, the pounding suddenly turns more intense.
The sound, much like a drum set given to a child by a grandparent, to the dismay of the parents, quickly becomes something you wished came with a volume button, to turn it off. Now, with that peace and tranquility completely shattered, my thoughts question what is out there, beyond my window.
You see, this is important information for any farmer to know. There is no way you can just curl up, stay in bed and listen to the rain. No way that you can wait till the sun decides to return. There is stuff to do, always lots of stuff to do. There is much to consider, long before you even think about exiting your comfortable abode. For one thing, you need to think about what you will need to wear.
In my estimation, it is a fairly short sprint to the tractor, about 100/150 feet. Quick, but you can still get “soaked to the bone” during that sprint, at least on days like today. This is still doable. I am getting faster, unless there are some obstacles thrown in my way. Those lined coveralls do a good job of keeping you dry, for a little while. Well, let me clarify that. The lined part stays dry, if you sprint fast enough. The heater on the tractor on high will partially dry you fairly quickly, when you aim the vent down.
A ringing phone interrupts my thought. There is only one person who would phone this early in the morning. After all it is still dark out. It is My Hero, of course.
“Just to let you know, there are still big patches ice, be careful”. I know what that means. “OK, I will, don’t worry”. The rain on the window is so loud now I cannot hear the rest of his conversation so I tell him I will call him later. “Be careful wet ice is slippery” was all I heard. “OK, I will” I hung up the phone.
You see, that quick sprint which I do every day, twice a day, and sometimes three times a day, seems to have become routine. My auto pilot seems to have kicked in after a time. Sometimes you are in a hurry and never think that there may be an obstacle waiting, or should I say lurking, under that layer of fresh snow by the gate. Oh yes, I know you know where I am going with this.
It was my last day to do the chores because My Hero was off the next day. It was the weekend. This always makes me happy, a little time to do what I wanted. I pulled on my coveralls, my Pink Cadillac boots, a toque and gloves and went to do the last check before dark. My Hero would be home in an hour or so. It was snowing lightly and I remember thinking how pretty it was.
I sprinted through the snow and down the lane to the barnyard. DOWN would be the word. Just before the gate I found myself lying on the snow. It happened so quickly I was not sure what had happened. Then a shooting pain shot up my arm and into my neck and head. I lie there, wondering if I broke something. My right hand and arm were now useless. The ice beneath me I swear was laughing, as if to say “Got You”. I considered my options. Wait, or go do the check of the cows. I crawled towards the house. Guilt and concern filled my head. There was one cow very close to having a calf, so I had to go check. It would be dark soon. My Hero could never make it home in time. I turned myself back around.
Well, I pulled myself up with my left hand, slipped the chain off the gate. I pulled myself into the tractor all with my left hand. I have to tell you my left hand does not listen as well as my right hand. It took some convincing. I drove down to check the cows. Walked around them while holding my arm and they were all fine, thank goodness. Climbed back in the tractor and drove back to the house.
Somehow I made it past the spot where the snow looked like a moving ugly snow angel, where a girl had crawled towards the house then changed her mind. Into the house I went, slipped off the somewhat protective gear and headed up stairs.
My Hero walked into the door. My arm in a sling, an ice pack on my elbow and shoulder he knew what had happened right away. I decided to wait it out, over- night after all, I could move my arm.
Now you know why going outside now gives me pause, and more thought. With cleats on my boots and rain gear I will be heading out this morning. It is finally light out, but it is still pouring rain. That quick sprint to the tractor will now be more like a careful shuffle. My Chiropractor Dr. Scott was sympathetic but agreed that I should really be more careful. All is well and thankfully the only thing broken in that fall was my pride.