Ice Follies

I fell on the ice yesterday, on my upper back, so hard that I’ve cracked a rib or my sternum. No idea how the injury went around my body and injured my front, but it did. Maybe by the shock wave. Can’t go to the doctor (no money or insurance) so I’m just going to press through. Breathing hurts (better today), walking hurts, lying down hurts, but strangely the place where I landed doesn’t hurt much. This is the same shoulder that I had surgery on a few years ago (don’t look if you’re easily grossed out). I don’t know if I injured this area or not, the scapula in the shoulder is right where I landed this time, but all the pain I’ve got is now in my chest and sternum.

Very odd. Or maybe I got probed by aliens who sat on my chest and just don’t know it yet. I picked myself back up and kept doing what I was already doing, hauling garbage. Got that done, then put a plow and a bucket on my tractor. Then I started to really hurt.

We finally got enough snow to actually call snow, about 4″. It’s not the first snowfall, but it’s the biggest. Prior to this storm, I didn’t bother plowing anything, just drove across it when coming or going. That turned into packed ice, and with this fresh snowfall on top of that, a little incline, down I went, hard.

I knew something was wrong right away. My wife didn’t see it happen and didn’t believe me when I told her. Oh well, she can just bury me in the backyard when the time comes, then she’ll be convinced.

I got the wood in today, but it took a while. Fresh raccoon tracks, no wonder the cat is acting really scared. I’ve had problems pretty much every year with raccoons. They eat cats. And any food you happen to leave outside for the cats. Or get into your garbage. I built a metal enclosure and use metal cans with lids to prevent that, but that hasn’t stopped the bears coming by and making a mess from time to time.

The deer are starting to show hunger, despite the low snowfall. And the birds. Ran out of bird seeds so we’re giving them “bread seed” (bread made with seeds) for now. They come by every day looking for a free meal. Sometimes the cat is there too, but we’ve not seen any birds die yet.

Living in the woods brings its challenges. Winter is a harder time, but honestly, not the hardest. That is usually in spring or summer. I stay indoors a lot during winter. Hey, it’s too dangerous to walk on the ice …. Spring and summer is the time when I cut about ten cords of wood, split, stack, clear out winter debris, plant the garden, fix irrigation pipes, prepare the greenhouse, cut grass and weeds, pull a few million of these suckers (don’t use chemicals), regrade roads and gravel, and get all kinds of other essential stuff done. This coming year I expect there to be a huge amount of work because we’ve got big, big plans. So getting injured now just sucks. And I did it to myself.

I was properly dressed and attired – except for ice creepers on my winter boots. Damn. Should’ve had those on. People die from ice falls all too often. Or wind up in hospitals. But I’m ornery and generally capable and didn’t figure I really needed them. Live and learn, as they say.

Humans were born with a lot of innate abilities and talents, but walking ice is not one of them. Neither is falling on ice. I’ve seen deer, moose, horses and even dogs struggle on ice, sometimes even hooves don’t help. If you’ve got creepers – use ’em. They should be in your practical preparations gear if you live in ice country. If you don’t – make sure you’ve got good boots anyway.

 

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