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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

Another Week Gone

I know it's only been just slightly over a week since I last wrote, but polka-ing at the town hall a week ago Saturday already seems like ages ago!

My best girlfriend (since we were 5 years old) arrived last Monday and left two days ago on Saturday. The main focus of the visit was planning and preparation for her and her fiance's wedding this spring. This was the last time she'll be here before THE BIG DAY (or, rather, the week before it, I guess)!
We got into the building where the reception will be held and spent lots of time high up on a shaky, old wooden ladder holding white Christmas lights this way and that to figure out lighting. We made the invitations and sent them out. We reserved round tables from local churches. We . . . (well, you get the idea!). It was a busy week!
I even squeezed two days of nanny-ing into that . . . during one of which my girlfriend stopped by to meet my charge and teach me how to perform infant CPR. Now, granted, I had set this up quite a while back - theory being that if I know how to do it, I won't ever have to! - but it was a bit . . . unnerving . . . learning the particular spot on the little one's chest where you compress to keep her heart beating and how to tip her little head back - just so - in case artificial breathing is needed. Hours after the lesson I felt good about the information I'd received, but, at the time, it sure did send home the frailty of these tiny bundles of love!
On Friday, with most of the week's wedding chores behind us, we three headed up to the 20 acres my friend owns - actually not too far from our Swamp River property. We'd (again, we three, since her fiance was already and still working in Germany) cleared a building site there last May and cut a trail to it. This time we snowshoed more of the property and down to the small little pond she's lucky enough to have. In the summer it dries up, and she said that, last August, she and her fiance found it full of tall prairie grasses blowing in the wind. Sounds like it's pretty any time of the year!
After tromping through their property, it was time to head further north to ours. She hadn't seen it since both the garage and house were nothing more than cement slabs. (When her dog peed on our house slab! I can't let her forget that one!) But, on the way, we had a truly horrible experience.
Now I don't want to go into all the minute details NOR do I want to make this a diatribe against snowmobilers, but . . . PLEASE, snowmobilers (for our friends and family who enjoy this sport), PLEASE do not ride on roads! And, PLEASE, if you MUST ride on roads, drive SLOWLY and EXTREMELY CAUTIOUSLY.
On the same damned blind hill where the snowmobiler ran into me last month, we had another incident on Friday. SAME EXACT PLACE! In brief, this is what happened: we were heading up the hill when two snowmobiles came flying over it towards us (it IS illegal for snowmobilers to drive on a maintained road). We were driving MAYBE 20 mph, and I instantly slammed on the brakes. I thought we'd take the first snowmobile right in the plow (we were not plowing at the time, and it - the plow - was raised), but he managed to make a 90 degree turn and kill the engine in the snowbank. The second snowmobile was fishtailing, struggling for control, then snapped to the side, and the driver (fortunately having let go of the machine so that it didn't go with her) was rolling - fast - and then - BANG! - under the truck.
THANK GOODNESS my girlfriend is an EMT.
We were all out of the truck in a flash. I was worried she'd gone all the way under the truck to the tire (I had been at a full stop). Long story short, she took the corner of the plow blade on an inside thigh. After being fully checked out by our wonderful medic-on-board, she took off her helmet, got up, and then sat down on her sled to collect herself. What a HORRIBLE experience for all of us - and what a fortunate ending to it all.
The first thing she said was, "We never drive this fast or carelessly!" It was about 4:00 in the afternoon, and, the sun getting ready to set, they were rushing to return to their motel - about 40 miles south of us as the crow flies. Isn't it true that accidents always happen when we're rushing? Then, tears (finally) coming to her eyes, she looked at her friend and asked, "What's the date?" It was February 10th, and her husband had died last year on March 10th. I wonder if she was an Army/Navy/Air Force/Marines widow - her husband a soldier in Iraq - because she was so young?
I asked the man if the signs were still up (that they'd passed) that read 'Trucks Hauling.' "Yeah . . . they were there," he said, more than a little embarrassed. They knew they were in the wrong, but that still wouldn't have eased anyone's anguish had she been critically injured.
Then, today, and this is why I'm truly not meaning to get down on snowmobilers, but . . . .
I was washing dishes when I heard snowmobiles go by. That's strange down here by the lake where there's not much (any, really) snow left on the road.
(Continued tomorrow.)

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