This Date in History?…

January 14th, 2001 was a Sunday.  It was the last day of long weekend trip we took that year for our anniversary.  Being from northwestern Pennsylvania my dear hubby and I love being able to have some time in the snow.  We were married in a blizzard and we have this affinity towards the white stuff (me more than him).

While living in southern California, my dear hubby would try his best to get me to snow.  A couple of times we rented a cabin in the nearby mountains for our anniversary.  It was always a fun time for us.  In 2001, our youngest was a senior in high school, our oldest was in college.  We rented a cabin large enough that each person could bring a friend.  Our youngest brought along a good friend of hers, our oldest a young man she was hanging out with (you know, not a boyfriend, but someone she hung out with all the time never dating anyone else).  We invited a couple friend of ours who are dear friends of ours.

We left home on Friday and drove up to the mountains outside of Palm Springs, the San Jacinto mountains to the town of Idyllwild, CA.  It is a quaint little town and it’s altitude lends itself to snow, lots of it!

We arrived at the cabin, got dinner, got settled, had a fire and enjoyed being together.  The weekend was filled with going shopping and eating and playing in the snow, mostly for the kids.

Sunday morning came, we had breakfast and I put dinner in the oven.  The adults headed back into town to look around while the kids went in search of a place to sled.  The weather warmed a bit and in town the snow started to melt a bit.  We figured the kids most likely weren’t having luck finding a good mountain to sled on.  When I say sled, I really mean that we had one of those saucers, those round discs that have handles on it and the kids were sharing one for the four of them.  But, living in southern California, you really don’t have need for anything more in the sledding department.

The two couples arrived back at the cabin late afternoon.  The sun was setting and it was getting cold.  The snow that had started to melt in the afternoon was freezing over covering any snow with a thin layer of ice.  The four kids came in and our youngest and her friend wanted to go back out for just a few more runs.  Our oldest and her friend were in for the night.  So, I volunteered.  I love to sled ride, I was thrilled to go!

The kids had found a hill down the road.  They had spent the afternoon packing the path down and getting it just right.  I followed the two girls down the road and followed as they walked down a hill to get to the run.  It was getting slippery and I was nervous for the girls.  Our youngest has fibromyalgia and I didn’t want her to hurt herself or cause her to have even more sore muscles.  Her friend had a bad back and her mom had told me to watch out for her.  But, we were all determined to get a few runs in before I went back and finished getting supper together.

My daughter took the first turn down the hill.  It was fast and I watched as she flew down the hill.  There was a little jump at the bottom and she got some good air!  Her friend was next, I watched as she went down the hill.  She hit the little jump and her hat flew off.  She got up off of the saucer, grabbed her hat, laughed and came up the hill.

It was my turn!!  I was so excited.  I sat down, grabbed the handles and flew down the hill.  It was so fast!  I got to little jump, up in the air I went and up and smack into a big frozen bump.  My teeth rattled, my body landed and I thought, ‘That was a great ride!’.  My daughter yelled down, ‘how was the ride?’  At least I think I remember her saying that.  I went to stand up and realized I couldn’t.  I told the girls that I thought I hurt my back, and my youngest started up the hill to get her dad.  I got my feet under me and said, no, I’m fine.  Half way up the riding hill I realized that my first opinion was the right one.  I had hurt my back.  My youngest ran back to the cabin, her friend helped me up the other hill to the road way.

My oldest and her friend appeared shortly and when they saw me, the put me gently into a snow drift.  The college kids chided me for walking up the hill.  I sat in the snow drift until my dear hubby appeared.  He and our friend helped me into the car.  We drove the  block and half to the cabin.  I stayed in the car while they went inside to look for an urgent care.

While waiting, I realized I couldn’t breathe well.    So, instead of finding an urgent care 911 was called.  I was loaded onto a back board and into an ambulance along with my friend who was riding up front.  My hubby followed in the car.  Down the mountains we went.  You haven’t lived until you ride laying down going down the icy mountain roads.

We arrived at the emergency room and the staff set about to get my vitals and figure out what was going on with me.  They were at first very concerned thinking that hyperthermia was setting in as my temperature was well below normal.  I finally interrupted the nurses and told them that since I was set down in a snow drift and I was still in the same wet, cold clothes, that my temperature would most likely be below normal.  After getting some nice warm blankets on, I thawed out and had x-rays and I had broken my back.

The rest of the trip was a blur of being ill from the medications and getting back home.   It was later determined that I had a compression fracture of my lower vertebrae.  My ribs had all bunched on top of one another, which is why I couldn’t get my breath.  The little jump was a small boulder covered in snow and ice.  The mound that I hit was actually another boulder that I flew into.

The saucer was thrown out when we moved.  I didn’t throw it out.  For some reason my dear hubby was thrilled to throw it into the trash when we moved.  He has banned me from sled riding.  Me?  I am still looking for a nice long slope (boulder free, of course) and a nice sled, toboggan or even better, a saucer to take a few rides down.  Anyone who knows of such a place, please let me know!

Thanks for stopping by and reading about my great adventure!!  DAF


Published by marycatherinethomas

M. Catherine Thomas is a published writer, speaker and teacher. Mother of two and grandmother..

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