Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lifesaving 101

The hubby asked me to accompany him for a fence-fixing adventure. My job? To rescue him if he was swept away in the current of the Rattlesnake Creek.

I was probably not the best candidate for the job.

Yes, as a child, I took American Red Cross swimming lessons at the Pratt Municipal Swimming Pool. My mom carpooled with other farm moms and transported us to summer swimming lessons for a couple of weeks each summer.

However, going to swimming lessons does not a swimmer make. More than once, I did not collect my little billfold-sized card and lapel pin denoting another Red Cross swimming level had been achieved.

I tried. I really did. But I just wasn't all that good at it.

If I recall correctly, I was a repeat customer in Level 4 Stroke Improvement and Level 5 Stroke Refinement. I'm not sure I ever made it to Level 6 Swimming and Skill Proficiency.

I think part of the problem was the lack of additional practice time. We sometimes got to go to the swimming pool just for fun. But summertime is busy on the farm, and it's not like we could ride our bikes to town.

On our way to the pasture yesterday morning, I asked for a little clarification about my role.

"Are you really expecting me to rescue you? I didn't make it as far as the lifesaving courses," I told my hubby.

And he replied: "No, you can just call for help."

Well, that really inspired tons of confidence. Number 1, the cell phone reception is not that dependable in the boonies. And second, even if I could describe where we were to potential rescuers, it would take way too long for help to arrive.

The fence needed to be rebuilt because high water levels had wiped it out. In the photo below, you can see the debris caught on the wire fence. The debris had pulled the wire under the surface of the water.

If cattle don't see a fence, it just invites them to explore other regions. It doesn't matter that the pasture on the other side of the bridge looks just like the one they are supposed to live in. I guess it's just the curiosity. Curiosity isn't exclusive to cats. It is alive and well in cattle, too.

So far, so good. It wasn't looking too deep. So, instead of figuring out how I was going to get down the steep incline to save Randy, I started seeing all the great light and shadows. That's a side effect of taking me anywhere: I start seeing photos in everything.

At this juncture, Randy tells me that he may be just about ready to step in a hole. The water line was creeping upwards on his jeans. So I was considering where I could gently lay my camera for safekeeping in case a water rescue was eminent. But ... then again, just look at those sparkles on the water.

OK, OK ... I'm paying attention. I really am.

As it turns out, my services were not required - at least when it came to lifesaving. I guess I was a lifesaver in a way because I delivered the wire cutters and a piece of wire, saving my farmer several steps.

And, as usual, I was stellar company. If I do say so myself.


  1. Thanks for keeping him safe!!

  2. You make me laugh!! A tad bit attention deficit disorder?! We are such kindred spirits!

    PS. My girls asked Grandpa why he was always building fence, "Do they just walk away or something?" Farmer's daughters, they aren't?!