First, for any close family, friends or followers, let me begin by saying that neither of us were hurt in this misadventure.
I am a New England girl and have lived in Pennsylvania for almost thirty-five years. I like snow. I don’t ski or sled or participate in any winter sports, but I like the look as the snow drapes trees, and hugs branches. The different types of snow, the crystal that glimmers in the snow at night, are picture perfect. In general, I am not afraid to drive in or walk on snow, and I would much prefer an accumulation of snow to any amount of freezing rain.
It is winter in Pennsylvania. A little over a month ago we had the largest snow accumulation in recent years, a whopping 31 inches in our yard. That snowfall has been followed by cold temperatures, freezing temperatures.
At first I worried that it would warm up fast and all that snow would melt and cause flooding. It did a little bit, but I needn’t have worried. While patches of grass have been visible, a good amount of December’s snow still lingers on the ground.
So, to the misadventure this morning. Sheba was supposed to have surgery and was to be at the Veterinary Hospital between 7:30 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. The hospital is about a 45 minute drive in good weather.
It started snowing here yesterday morning, and we are in a belt that was anticipated to get 8 to 12 inches of snow over a 3 day period, with the warning that in some locations it might snow 2 inches an hour. Because of the forecast, Roger suggested that I take the truck to take Sheba to the Vet.
His truck is an F-150, a good size truck and I have avoided driving it, in the almost three years he has owned it. But, when you are right, you are right, and planning to drive the truck was a sensible idea. He gave me a practice run yesterday and last minute instructions this morning, in case I needed to put it into Four Wheel Drive.
I took the key fob and confidently went outside to start cleaning off the truck. It had snowed about four inches during the night. I started with the passenger side and got as much snow from the door, roof, cab and front of the truck as I could, figuring that the snow laying on top of the bed cover would be okay.
I got the front of the truck, and cleaned off the headlights and the hood, and carefully moved to the driver’s side of the truck, I got started on that, maybe one quarter done and woops, ended up on my seat, on a bank of snow between our driveway and the neighbors.
Here, I should remind you that I am 70 and not the least bit agile or athletic. I had a hip replacement way back in 2004 and a knee replacement in 2017. The joints that haven’t been replaced yet, are not great.
Kneeling, much to my sorrow, hurts. I miss kneeling to pray before giving a sermon. The last time I tried kneeling next to my bed, getting off my knees. well it hurt like the mischief. In the last year I have begun having issues with both of my shoulders. So it is difficult, if not impossible, to get myself up from a fall.
But I had a plan. I could lift my body enough to reach the door handle on the truck. An F-150 ought to be strong enough to help me hoist myself, what the…. The door was not locked. So when I was almost on my feet, albeit at an angle, and the door opened in my hand, back down I slid.
I tried. I did. I tried positioning myself, to possibly get to my knees, but to no avail. I knew it would hurt, but if I could just move, but, no. I tried to use my feet to push my body back far enough that I could leverage something. Have you ever watched a dog slip and slide on a floor? That is all my feet did. Slip and slide. The more I tried to push myself back, or get a foot hold on a flat surface, I slipped down farther under the truck until I was half under the cab.
In that position, I tried to not think of worse case scenarios. Do you know what happens when you try not to do that? You think of them! I consoled myself that no one was in the truck with the engine running. I thought of this, as I glanced at the rear tires.
No one was on the other side of the truck, trying to be helpful by tipping it (Say goodbye life, hello God) I told myself.
Realizing that was getting me nowhere, I decided to lean as far to the right side as I could,and try to open the door all the way. My hope was that with the door open, and to my left, I could find something in the inside door or the floor or the seat, or something that I could hold onto to use to hoist myself up.
At this point, I was grateful that I have lost 45 pounds, knowing I would be that much lighter or easier for someone to help me to my feet.
Now, I normally have my cell phone with me everywhere. EVERYWHERE! But not this morning, I left it on the table in the dining room. But I remembered that I had the truck key, fob, that probably had a panic button.
Do you think I needed a panic button, or something to help me panic? I did not cry, I did not yell, or swear. Well, yelling might have been fruitful, but it was 6:30 a.m. and not a school day. I prayed too, of course. But I had a plan. Roger, I thought was in the living room, I do not know Morse Code, but I reasoned that if I hit the panic button, and let the horn beep several times and stop and repeat the process, he would realize that I was in trouble. It was a good plan
I felt guilty about the plan, he is recovering from COVID, which set his healing from his hip fracture and surgery way back. Could he help me and not get hurt? I hit the panic button, and even though he was inside, I still called him, “Roger, Roger! I need help!”
Did I say that it was snowing and that I was laying in a snow bank, half under the truck? My blue jeans rapidly turning white, and then wet? Finally the porch light came on. I kept calling. When I heard Roger’s voice answer me, I said those awful words, “I’ve fallen and I cant get up!” Being a conscientious writer, I did not say “Help, I’ve …” I did not want to be accused of plagiarism of a long running commercial.
He came out with his cane, thankfully and offered me a hand. Despite recovering from COVID and myriad side-effects, he is strong, and has really good biceps. I knew he could have pulled me up with one hand, but I did not have solid purchase on anything that was going to help me help him help me. So I demurred, and kept trying to reposition myself to make it easier. Finally, he pulled me from behind, he had his arms under mine and lifted and almost, almost, almost! Down we both went into the snow.
That scared me, but wise man that he is, he managed to fall on his back side and avoid his hip. People who don’t know him, would not know this. He is not only a wise man, he is also something from a smart aleck, so let me say, I was grateful when he offered me a hand, it was to try to lift me up, no applause were involved. They could have been, he hates turning down a good opportunity, but discretion was the better part of valor.
The saddest moment to me, came when unable to help me up after our fall, Roger called over to a school employee who was shoveling the walk at the corner. (The school was closed but not to staff). He called and asked for help, but the man apparently did not hear. Then I heard my husband say, “Can you help us, my wife has fallen?” But he did not hear him.
When Roger got up from the snow bank, he repositioned himself and with a good use of physics, I think, grabbed me under the arms once more and pulled. I was trying not to panic, was not sure if I could move, but it worked.
My jeans were soaked through, my fingers hurt, burned from the snow and the cold, but I was on my feet. Sheba did not get her surgery today, but we were able to take a cancellation for Thursday. I got into some dry clothes, took care of Sheba, a short walk and her regular breakfast, and coped with the morning trauma by taking a long winter’s nap.
Roger was my hero this morning, and many other days as well. I am so grateful that he did not get reinjured in any way, and that he was able to help me out of an embarrassing and frustrating position. I am happy that I was not hurt too.
Nothing but my pride.
Not holding back the tide,
Copyright 2021 Michele Somerville, The Beach Girl Chronicles and https://msomervillesite.WordPress.com
Linking up with Esme’s Senior Salon and Everyday Gyann’s #Monday Musings