Monday, December 14, 2009
Verra Near A Catastrophe
Friday night we were invited to a wedding. I had really been looking forward to it. The wedding was in the evening and a year of preparation went into it. The mother of the bride is a friend of mine and she has a black standard poodle. We always talk poodles and of course the wedding. She had asked me if I would mind helping out, by coming by her home before the wedding to let her dogs out to have some "potty time." I said sure. I love dogs and it would be no trouble at all. She had a little fiest she is dog sitting, a new puppy of one of her relatives (a Chi-poo) and Jag the big pooda. She asked me to let them out one at a time.
The baby puppy would be in the bath tub because he is 2 pounds and too tiny to be around the other dogs. He had his pee pads and food and water in there.
It sounded like too much fun too me. I love dogs and a baby one too. Puppy breath. I was feelin the love!
When I got there and opened the back door, both the dogs scooted out before I could bat an eye. Oh well, they would just romp. I was going to look for the puppy as I was unsure of the location of this bath tub; when I heard the little fiest yelp. I thought I had better check them because Jag is a big dog now at least 50 to 55 pounds. I stepped out to look at them and-- the door closed by itself-- behind me.
I tried to open the door and it was locked. The windows were locked. The place was locked up like Fort Knox.
I was locked out, in the back yard. In the dark with basically nothing but the porch light on. The yard was fenced with standard tall fences all the way around. I could not see any gates. There was no way out. It was 6:30 pm and very cold. VERRA VERRA COLD! I bet the windchill was 10 degrees. The temp was bout 30 and I was dressed up for a wedding.
I will not belabor my misery. I did not cry at first. I used a plastic barbecue tarp to make a wrap and hunker down in. I tried to break the glass on the back door when I thought I might die out there of cold. Did you know that it is very hard to break a door? I think only the crooks know how, because I could not do it. Do you also know that a good boy scout always carries matches? There was a barbecue and a chiminea and a fire would have made the whole experience much better. Then the dogs and I could have comfortably waited for a rescue. I knew eventually some one would come back home. They expected to return after midnight and I really hoped it would NOT be that long.
I didn't have a cell phone. My husband didn't have their address or the code to the gate. He wasn't sure of how to find me, and he freaked out when I didn't show up at the wedding.
There was one shorter iron fence I looked at, trying to figure out how to get over it. It had spikes on top. I imagined the spikes sinking into my fat flesh if I couldn't haul over them. Not a good plan.Then I would be cold and hurt too. They had some heavy iron patio furniture. I thought of taking two chairs down there and picking one up and setting it over the fence, and then climb on the chairs. It was dark over there and hard to see. The chairs were heavy. VERRA heavy! I thought I might shorten my time of being trapped and freezing only to suffer for weeks with a new back injury. I have a verra bad back. So I huddled by the door and shivered. I vetoed the heavy lifting escape plan.
A lot of things go through your mind in an unexpected problem like this. Periodically I yelled for help. Then I realized that the neighbors were most likely at the wedding! I didn't know how long it had been because I didn't have on a watch. Some lights went on next door. I began hollering LOUD for help. I yelled and yelled and then sat down again about to despair into tears. My shivers had gone from little to big. Have you ever seen movies where cold people are convulsing with cold? I was having the big huge shakes. It was traumatic.
I had returned to the chair, my tarp, and the little fiest who had decided to get into my lap when he got cold. Sweet little rescue boy we cuddled each other and it helped. I was beginning to despair, tears threatened.
Was I going to die out there?
I heard a man's voice ask, "Is there someone there?"
Instant freak! YES HELP ME PLEASE!!!! I began talking one-hundred miles an hour. "I'm here to take out the dogs and I got locked out hours ago- and I'm FREEZING TO DEATH!!!!!" PUHLEEEZE HELP ME!
I was crying hysterically. All efforts to keep it together went right out the window. He said they had a key and would come right over. I asked him to call my husband and gave him the phone number. They didn't have a key it was the one I had used; and it was in the house. The door was open but nobody tried it.
So he got a flash light and figured out how to take that iron fence apart. We walked through it and he put it back together. He took me to his house where they had a fire going. I told them what happened, it was 10:30pm. I had been out there for 4 hours. He said," No good deed goes unpunished." I looked at him and asked, " Are you medical?" Yep a retired doctor. He was cool and calm that night and later told my friend he was worried about how cold I had gotten.He also told me that what took him awhile from my calling to answer me was he was looking for his pistol. Oh my God that would have done me totally in. I told him thank you for not pointing a gun at me in my dire straights. We did laugh. It felt so good to laugh. It wasn't long before my own knight in shining armor arrived to help me home. That man has never looked so good.
I did take my temp when I finally got home, after a shower and under a mountain of blankets, with the electric on high; and I was OK. It took a long time to quit shivering. The next day all my muscles hurt and I was deeply fatigued. Very grateful not to be injured.
My brush with disaster. And do I have a flashlight and a book of matches in my purse today? No, but they are coming believe me. I do have an answer to this question. Which is worse to be too hot or too cold? Too cold. Burning up in a dessert would be pretty bad, but freezing is just horrid. I do realize it wasn't even that cold, this is after all the south, but it was cold enough to be really painful and scary.
My New Years resolution will involve some kind of survival kit and the boy scouts. Do they have scouts for Grandmothers? I want a basic survival back pack. I am serious. After the 1989 earthquake in California I kept a huge sterilite bin with emergency supplies in my car and took it everywhere. I still have 2 transistor battery operated radios and more flashlights than a person needs. One small purse light coming right up.
It is Christmas but if you want to share your disaster stories I am all ears.