One of my dad’s sayings when I was young (the first 18 years of my life) was “If you pull another stunt like that…” and some type of age appropriate (in his mind) consequence was named. The bad part was he often didn’t mention which stunt he was talking about. “Don’t look at me like you don’t know what I am talking about! Usually he was thinking of only one of the three or four potential stunts possible (I think).
Throughout my life, my risk/reward analysis system of decision making has been lopsided toward the reward side. I now have a grandson like that, I sigh and cringe while watching. The little guys hands and feet are quite a ways ahead of his thought process. May he live to see his grandkids, bless his crazy heart. I wrote about him in “Cold Cold Hands” possibly my best writing piece when I had less readers.
One would think I have learned to play on the safe side of life. NOoooo. Being side lined with a neck injury for a couple weeks made me looking for a crack in the door to get outside and go fishing. Never mind that it was -40 F for 4 nights in a row with minimal warming in the day. Never mind the wind chill factors that might freeze ones face off in less than a minute riding on an ATV from the shop to my fishing spot on the lake. Never mind all my equipment was sitting outside in my fishing sled and froze solid. I went fishing
When my life is replayed for me on judgement day I’ve asked the Lord if he couldn’t delete this part. I actually didn’t do anything wrong but everything went wrong. Murphy showed up. You have had those times right??
I dressed in my extreme cold weather gear. The ATV started. I hooked up the fishing sled. I made it to the fishing spot. All is well! It’s -25F with wind chill -50. I’m still warm, life is good on the lake. I drink in the frozen beauty through frosted eyelashes. I am 100% giddy . I should have gone home.
The ice auger started but the throttle was stuck on idle. I found the little lever that the throttle spring was suppose to control and put it forcibly on full throttle with a pliers I found in the ATV (amazed myself at being so prepared) and started the auger again. At full throttle the auger didn’t want to drill a hole anywhere, instead it wanted to drill everywhere and tried to catch my heavy coveralls on the sides. I had visions of the auger getting away from me and going down the lake on it’s side and taking out other peoples fish houses. I finally found the other handle with the hand that pulled on the starter rope and managed to contain my wild auger by drilling a hole in the ice. As I am drilling the thought occurred to me that I couldn’t slow down the auger as it punched a hole in the lake. My thought came to fruition as the powerful auger pulled the lake water up the hole and over my coveralls and boots. I lifted up the auger out of the hole bringing the water with it over knee high and started drilling another hole immediately while cradling the motor with one arm to free up a hand to hit the “off” button. Whew, close call. I am now only 75% giddy but ready to fish.
I pitched the ice fishing shelter, pulled out my propane tank and tried to hook up my heater, The coupler was froze, it wouldn’t turn so I took out a match and heated the brass with a match. a quarter turn and it was froze again. I tried and tried but it was a no-go fishing without heat situation. Something caught my eye as I was putting the heater away, the coupler O ring seal was broken. It would have leaked propane gas if I had connected it and upon lighting a match the fish house could have burst into flames and burned down. Whew…close one. I stowed my potential flame thrower in the sled. I am now 50 % giddy.
I fished for an hour in the fish house with no heat, no fish, the wind picking up and my ice fishing hole as well as my fishing line freezing up. I pack up to go home. The ATV grinds over but will not start. I try again and again. I pause and switch it on and off. It’s colder. Finally as the battery is dying and it’s on it’s last juices it actually starts and I can drive home. I arrive home with face frozen, parts of me cold and no fish. I am now 0% giddy.
I parked the ATV and sled in the shop and walked on our icy drive to the house. I spotted my wife bringing our dog around the bend from a short walk and decided to hunch low and take a couple of skips sideways to get a reaction out of the dog (you know, growl at me or something and then wag his tail in pure admiration). I had my new extreme boots on, which are not made or recommended for anything but walking or sitting in extreme weather, they caught on each other and I fell awkwardly. I landed wrong and cracked a rib. -25% on giddy-ness now. I wish it were not a familiar feeling. My wife knew where to look for the elastic band used for broken ribs.
So, here I sit looking out the window again drinking coffee and other hot beverages with the camera handy, lots of reading, thinking time in these much warmer drab days. There has not been much to shoot but the evening moons and a stray owl. I would laugh at my comedy of errors but it hurts to laugh.
No one one gets a stunt double in living out this physical life. Sometimes I sure could use one. I live mostly fearless even in these troubled times. Why? God has his finger on my life’s buttons, not a virus, not the governments decisions and not what’s not in the bank account. I realized in all my recent mishaps that I actually have a stunt double for my appropriate consequence with God, who is the central part of my life. All so I could know Him and have a relationship with Jesus Christ who died and then beat death, a stunt I know I cannot do. I have chosen to accept that stunt double in my place. 100% giddy over that!
Getting fishing again? A cautious 15% giddy and gaining. Meanwhile there’s moon watching and the owl poses nearby.
Lines cut from scenes:
“Am I in heaven?” “No, you are in whoville” OK wrong line in wrong movie.
Daughter: “You are too hurt to go fishing!” Me: “hold my coffee”