Most work days I kick off my morning by walking Rascal and Harvey in the neighborhood woods. Since my recent job change this is the only exercise I get, so I look forward to it immensely. I put my motherhood duties first, however, so I decline the morning outing if there's a possibility of Harvey getting wet or sick. For the past two days it's been raining heavily, so Dan walked the dog himself. In Dan's absence we played how many dangerous things can you put in your mouth while momma gets ready for work.
Harvey, that is. I only very infrequently put dangerous things in my mouth.
Anyway, I was thrilled this morning that the rain let up and I could again participate in my daily ritual. I knew it had been raining a lot, so much that our basement flooded again, but last time this happened my calf-high boots could handle the puddles in the woods so I donned them again without worry.
Someone should explain to me the phenomenon of "water table." You can forward elementary-school diagrams to leah at this domain dot net.
So we got into the woods and I let Rascal off the leash. In a few minutes we approached our first puddle - one that had been there in the last rainstorm. My boots had handled it last time so I didn't think twice about wading in. Seconds later I felt the rush of freezing cold water into my boots. The water was up to my knees.
Freezing pain was followed by growing dread and increasing numbness. I imagine this is a tiny slice of what death must feel like. (Then again probably not, but that does sound lovely dramatic, doesn't it?)
According to Jill Homer, when freezing cold water rushes into your boot in the wilderness it's bad news. Here you can buy here book on traversing the alaskan tundra by bike. This being Bedford, I wasn't quite in iditarod territory. I was after all only ten minutes from home. But still, fear of consequences wasn't ill placed. My feet were starting to go numb. How long until frostbite sets in? And then gangrene? Will I ever complete a marathon again?
Or is gangrene for hot places and frostbite in cold places until the darn thing falls off? Why don't I know this?
At the moment Rascal was out of view. I screamed and screamed for him, the panic mounting in my voice. "Rascal? Rascal!!! Mommy's hurt and needs to go HOME!"
I frequently think the people with houses that border the woods shutter up the back windows when they hear me coming. That nut job again?
I prayed to God furiously that Rascal would come back. That the spirit of warmth would protect my toes. That I'd get out of the woods quickly relatively unscathed.
Miraculously, Rascal appeared moments later and I tromped the whole procession back across the lake and on home. So happy was I to get off those boots and socks and soggy jeans. This is about when I decided, "I'm friggin staying home from work today."
After an hour of dryness everything's fine and I have regained feeling in my toes.
The bible says we make stupid choices and them blame God for them (somewhere in proverbs - too tired to look it up.) That seems fair. I don't always blame God for my dumbass mistakes, but I do frequently ask him to bail me out, so to speak. Get me out of cold water. Get me out of hot water. I didn't wear the right boots. I've got too many loans. I'm in a career that's boring. Can you magically snap your fingers and make it okay?
Not sure what the answer is theologically speaking, but I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for a yes.