Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What a Winter!

First, let me complain that we have had WAY too much snow this winter! We live in Upper East Tennessee and in the eighteen winters I have spent here, this is the worst...snow, ice and very cold...I am over it. Winter temperatures are usually around 40 or so, with colder temps at night, but not this year! Twenty-five years ago, we lived in Eastern Washington State, where it snowed on Thanksgiving day and the snow hung around until March...I was grateful to leave that weather behind.

The worst thing about this winter is that I had an accident last week on the ice and broke my leg.  Yes, I said broke my leg. I still have a hard time saying that, as these kinds of things have always happened to other people, not me.

So, last Wednesday, about 3:00 in the afternoon, the little boys were sleeping and I had put the dog in the back yard. Our yard is shaped like a bowl and putting him out means going out the garage door, crossing the driveway and walking precariously down a walkway that slopes like the Bristol Speedway, built of small concrete slabs from the garden center. On a good day, it is not an easy walk. But that day, it was snowing and on top of having rained like cats and dogs the night before, creating an icy underlayer, it was windy and cold. The snow had drifted up about 8-10 inches down by the gate. I made it there with a few slips, let the dog out to run to the garage, turned to go back and my right leg slid out from under me. That meant my left leg tried to slide too, but it ran into the concrete block edge and stayed there...while my body flopped face down in the snow...breaking the left fibula, near the ankle.

It's amazing what kind of thoughts go through your mind at a  moment like that. I have fallen down there before and had no injury, other than a bruised pride, I suppose. Deep down, I knew this was bad, the ankle was immediately numb. I asked myself if I was nauseous, because I knew people who said they were at the instant of a broken bone. No nausea. I tried to get up and walk...no way. The ankle felt like rubber. I felt like I was in a disaster movie, where the characters have to do superhuman things to get out of danger. I knew I couldn't lay there and yell for help, no one is usually home around us. My knees were okay, so I began to crawl. I crawled up the slope and across the driveway, still carrying the mail that I had retrieved from the mailbox moments earlier. The dog was waiting at the garage door, panting and slobbering over me as I tried to raise the door. We got inside and I sat on the floor for a minute, catching my breath and beginning to shake with the stress.

I called for Big D, who was upstairs watching a movie. He came down to help me. Not wanting to scare him, I sent him for an ice bag and my cell phone and crawled into my sewing room to think of what to do next. My husband K was on his way home from Canada that day and I couldn't reach him. He wouldn't be home until 10:30 at night, IF his plane could land. After all, it had snowed all day and who knew what the airport was like? Well, to make a long story short, I called my friend PJ. I didn't know if she would be able to come and help, but I knew she would be a good resource, because I was beginning to panic a little. To stay calm while waiting for rescue, I had Big D read the story of Jesus calming the storm from the Jesus Storybook Bible...a great children's Bible, with stories that all point to Jesus and God's plan for salvation. It was so helpful to focus on Him for a few minutes.

I've decided that while God allows things like this to happen, He also provides everything to solve the situation, if we trust Him. PJ and her husband, Victor, were able to come right away in his four wheel drive. She had the presence of mind to bring her dinner and shared it with my family. Victor took me to to ER, while PJ stayed with the boys. I was also able to reach my son, the boys' daddy, and he came and helped PJ. In the ER, the x-ray technician was a young lady from church, it was so nice to see a friendly face! K was able to get through Atlanta and landed at our airport on time. (He called from Atlanta and I had to tell him that I had broken my leg. He was incredulous...things like this don't happen to me.) My son stayed with me until we knew K was on his way home from the airport. Our friends have provided food every day so that K doesn't have to cook. God is very good to us!