Friday, December 31, 2010

Adventures in Wonderland: This is no fairytale, Part 3

In those moments immediately following, all I could do was pray and praise God that He had prepared me through multiple First Aid certifications. As a former lifeguard and police explorer, I knew I had had good training.

She was soaked to mid-thigh, crying, and approaching shock within the first thirty seconds. I snapped into adrenaline-fueled composure, picked her up, and set her on the stepstool. It should be said that she is around 60 lbs, and I knew that was going to be a significant amount to carry out. I planned in my head while I stripped off her boots, socks, and jeans. Her feet were freezing, so I put my gloves on her feet. I put my scarf around her neck (I was wearing a vest instead of a coat, so I didn’t have that resource), and her legs in the arms of her coat. Even when I zipped up the coat, it only reached mid-thigh, so I shook off the little bit of snow from the fleece blanket and wrapped it around her (which was a feat in itself, as I had to use one arm to pick her up and one to wrap).

By this time I was already exhausted… and I still had to find some way to get her out of the canyon.

I picked her up and carried her in front of my body. There was a sort of trail through the snow, but her squirming and shivering made things more difficult. She was still whimpering, and I knew I had to distract her, so I had her sing me songs. By the time we got to the bottom of the stairs, I was already completely out of energy.

I knew I couldn’t set her on the snow, but I couldn’t hold her anymore. I sat down on the snow-covered step, and held her on my lap. Thankfully, my parents had given me moisture-wicking long underwear for Christmas, because I was soon soaked through to the skin (they dried my skin soon after standing). The last thing we needed was to have us both wet and freezing. My muscles we already burning, but I knew I had to hurry to get her in the car.

I stood her on a step and put her on my back. I used one arm to hold her and one to hold onto the railing. The stairway was treacherous, and it wouldn’t have taken much for us to tumble down the stairs. Then we would be in REAL trouble.

At the top of the longest staircase, I could hardly breathe. I was berating myself for not being a gym rat, but I don’t think that would have helped much. I sat down and held her on my lap again until I caught my breath (thank you, lingering bronchitis). When I put her on my back again, she started saying she was scared and afraid I would drop her- it was a LONG way down. I reassured her and continued on.

We finally made it to the top of all the stairs. I just wanted to collapse. While I was carrying her the rest of the way to the car (in front of me know, because she was too weak to hang on), I thought of the car keys. I had her put them in her jeans pocket.

Her jeans were in the canyon.

Then I remembered that when we had come back to get her coat, we had switched the keys to her coat. Thank you, God.

I sat her on the hood of the car while I unlocked it (no remote here), and put her in the backseat. Thankfully, my coat was still in the car and was warm and dry. I found a towel in the trunk, cranked the heat on high, and climbed into the back of the car with her. I kept talking to her while I stripped off anything wet and re-bundled her. I blew warm air on her feet- praise the Lord they were pinkish red and not white. At that point I knew she was okay. After a hot bath, a good meal, and some warm, dry clothes, she was as good as new.

Now, looking back over the day, I praise God for taking care of us in so many ways.

We just happened to have left the tripod.

I just happened to bring the blanket and stepladder.

It just happened to be well warmer than usual.

I just happened to get long underwear for Christmas.

We just happened to go back for Belle’s coat.

We just happened to move the keys.

We just happened to leave my coat in the car so it was warm and dry, even though I’m usually freezing.

Since I don’t believe in coincidences, this looks like God’s work to me. He is so good.


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