Keep Calm and Carry On….
words seen on a WWII British motivational poster
(why do I think this sad little persimmon is a reflection of myself? / Julie Cook / 2017)
You didn’t think I could let the year end without having one last ‘hit for the team’
and not share it did you??
Oh, and by the way, Happy New Year!!!
But first let’s take a wistful look back to last year….
Or more accurately…back to yesterday afternoon.
Remember, I still have a hole in my head, stitches in my mouth and an annoying
space where there once was a tooth…still swollen, still uncomfortable,
still having trouble chewing without dropping things randomly from my mouth.
Kind out like our cat Percy who lost most of his teeth as a kitten….
He drops his food from his mouth all the time, right in mid bite,
but unlike a dog, he just lets it sit and moves on to a new bite.
I just try to be a bit discreet…..
So here it was New Year’s Eve day—we didn’t really have much to do…
my tooth, or lack there of, had put the kibosh on any sort of plans….
It was a day that the coldest temperatures of the year were descending,
yet thankfully the weather folks had backed off of any sort of snow event,
So…. what better way to spend the day than to head out to wander
through the woods?
I was well layered…
turtleneck, sweater, vest, waxed barn coat, jeans, trusty lined LL Bean boots,
gloves, earmuffs and a scarf—I had my trusty camera in tow and was excited
to be out, breathing in fresh air, up off the couch from nursing the hole
in my head and ready to take some lovely pictures in which to share…with you…
The woods are so open this time of year, allowing yearning eyes to take in
a quiet vastness.
And there is such a palpable stillness.
The only sound one hears is the crunch of leaves underneath wandering boots.
I had hoped to find and capture a few little surprises here and there–
for despite most things being long dead, hibernating or in a state of waiting..
the woods still have much to offer.
(drying and dying persimmons linger on the limbs / Julie Cook / 2017)
(lingering ink berries / Julie Cook / 2017)
(a hooked bush…where a buck deer has rubbed its horns / Julie Cook / 2017)
(a large gall on a tree / Julie Cook / 2017)
(hidden little deer moss / Julie Cook / 2017)
I was lagging behind my husband, as I kept stopping to take pictures.
We had made our way deep into the woods, finally stopping at the creek.
At this juncture along this meandering creek there happens to be an old fallen
tree bridging both sides of the creek.
I’ve told my husband 100 times, I can’t balance like I use to and I’d rather look for
a different place to cross where I could slide down the edge of the bank,
hop across a more shallow area of the creek, while scooting up the
other bank on the other side….
It made perfect sense.
But he kept insisting that I cross the tree as I’ve done it before…
agitated pondering what in the heck was wrong with me today???
And whereas, yes I have crossed it before, still with trepidation, but that was when
the weather was warmer and I was not layered like a chunky eskimo
with a camera slung over my arm, while being full of codeine.
I had been feeling like a fuzzy slug, so at this particular moment, while staring at a precarious tree spanning a creek in the middle of the woods in the middle of nowhere,
a little voice said “don’t do it”….
Did I mention it was 36 degrees?
“You’ve done it before, just reach out for that limb…”
my know-it-all husband instructs.
Easy for him to say, that limb is dangling over the water and he is a
bit taller than I am.
Cautiously I step out onto the tree, putting one
foot boot in front of another.
Making my way to the middle where the tree narrows.
That dangling branch was no where near my grasp.
Suddenly, and for reasons I know not, I begin to list to the left—
the left is where the tooth is missing, the left is where the camera dangles,
the left is where there is a deep murky water hole.
Suddenly I am chest deep in a cold creek stuck amongst a maze of gnarly limbs and vines.
Plus my left foot had sunk deep into the muddy bottom all the while as I’m flailing
my arms trying to get to the bank.
Somewhere in the recesses of my mind, there was a thankfulness that all snakes were
My husband had obviously raced back across without thought and was desperately
trying to yank me up the bank but my left foot, as it’s always the left,
was mired deep in the muddy bottom.
At this exact moment of panic, an image crosses my mind and no, it was not my
life flashing before my eyes, but it might as well have been.
Have you ever watched that show Life Below Zero on NATGEO?
That show about those hearty, perhaps more like fool hearty, souls who live
alone in the middle of nowhere Alaska, totally off the grid???
One sentiment rings true with each of those survivors…
‘if you get your feet wet out here, you’re as good as dead.’
Well, not only were my feet wet, I was immersed up to my chest in dark brown tannin
stained water, a maze of limbs and vines, with my left leg stuck deep in
the silty mud.
What seemed like an eternity was probably more like 2 minutes at best….
I got to the bank while my poor husband was trying to pull up a wet,
stuck, dead weight, mad as hell wife….
suddenly I realized my camera was now totally underwater.
I hear an out of body voice shouting.
“I TOLD YOU I DIDN’T WANT TO CROSS THE TREE!!!!!!”
Finally with my foot free from the mud, I keep telling my husband to let go and quit pulling and yanking cause he was crushing my head.
“LET GO, I’M OUT! I’M UP!!!”
And there I stood along the bank—
dripping like I had just popped up out of a refreshing summer pool…
a soaking wet dog in need of a good shake.
Water was now sloshing in my boots as I took a step.
My husband, now in a panic, just knew pneumonia was instantly setting in.
“Now he worries…gees” as I’m still muttering words I shan’t share here.
It was almost a mile back to the truck.
As he stands there just staring at me, I hear my own commanding voice
“Just start walking to the truck.”
Did I mention is was 36 degrees?
The only thing dry on me, if I may be candid, was my bra and head.
Once back at the truck, my boy scout of a husband thankfully had a towel
in the truck in case of emergencies.
And here was our emergency.
Right there in the woods, I began peeling off the layers of sopping wet and very
cold clothes as I no longer had feeling in my legs.
Bear Grylls voice was now drifting in my head…and thankfully I wasn’t going to
have to eat grubs or drink urine to survive…
but a nice camp fire would have been welcomed.
all shed as I wrapped the towel around me like a moo moo.
Did I tell you it was 36 degrees?
My husband is still just helplessly staring and sputtering…certain
I’m about the die immediately from consumption.
“Just get in the truck and drive” I grouse.
It was an hour or so drive home.
“But wonder if something happens or we get stopped and you’re just, just, just
sitting wrapped in a towel….???”
One look from me was enough to spur him back to reality and action.
Into the truck we got… with the heat now blowing just a fast as it could blow.
Thankfully we were not stopped and I got home in one piece to a hot shower with all the
muddy wet clothes going directly into the washer.
The camera, well, it is mostly like DOA
The moral of this little tale you ask?
Well, if you hear a little voice telling you not to cross a log,
don’t cross the log.
If you have a hole in your head and codeine in your system and see a log,
don’t cross the log.
And maybe, just maybe, a certain husband will one day actually listen when
the wise one speaks….
Oh, and always keep a towel in your vehicle, maybe even a change of clothes..
a bottle of bourbon wouldn’t hurt for those emergency and medicinal purposes…
since there was no St Bernard coming to my rescue…
Have a safe, dry, warm and happy New Year’s Day—-
I think I’ll just sit on the couch and watch a few good bowl game….
It amazes me how our lives seem to run the same gamut. You, however, have the courage to call out your husband much better than I do. In the first place, I never would leave the house with a hole in my head. Secondly, I’ve learned to listen to that little voice in my head a long time ago. I have a very vivid picture of you this morning and it isn’t pretty. I would have expected more wisdom from my sage, Yoda. What I’m wondering is how you were able to post pictures of the woods with a dead camera and where is one of you arrayed in a towel? You are one funny woman and started the first day of this new year by giving me a jolly good laugh. Happy new year and stay dry my friend.
My first response-quick take out the chip and battery, both of which were relatively dry— can’t say the same for the expensive body of the camera- funeral services to be announced
RIP dear photo maker 😢
Your mind is still intact.
Julie. You are NOT a young person anymore. Stop that.
Glad you are okay though!
Young at heart-or was it the pain meds??!!— gregory is 10 years older but there is the tale of his having fallen off in the wee hours one morning when walking to a deer stand- he managed to fall right where the water wasn’t as deep and actually tried to correct by jumping all to keep his rifle dry— me— I just swan dive into frigid water- think of it as a New Years ever polar bear plunge 🙂
A thought from a 🐛… 2017 went out with a splash 😍😨🤕
Ok so now I’m laughing 🌊🍪
Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.
Like little Russell in the Pixar ‘UP,’ he said the most boring things were the most memorable.
A walk in the woods? Who knew? lol
Nice stuff jewels, but probably not a good time to sing
‘don’t worry, be happy,’ while freezing.
Didn’t seem funny at the time I bet. Have the very best of new years. And keep being inspired.
Life is a true adventure CS — many blessings to you this coming year! ☺️
Oh Julie! I’m so glad you are okay but this made me laugh out loud. I had a similar experience with my hubby a few month’s ago on our anniversary trip no less. My left leg was instantly swallowed up by sand off a rocky beach shore where my husband insisted “it can’t be that deep!” We got into a mess of an argument. I, too, ignored that quiet voice that told me “don’t do it.”
I suspect your hubby will deliver a new camera soon. I cringed thinking about your camera in the water. 😦
On the plus side, you will surely listen to that “small voice” throughout 2018 for sure! Often our small mistakes keep us from making larger ones later. Enjoy a very warm and dry New Year’s Day!
what is with these husbands??? 🙂
I wish you much happiness and peace Lilka—I know you’re a Ga girl—so I hope you’ll be pulling today for the DAWGS 🙂
Of course!! 😁 I only live 40 minutes away from Athens.
I have a neighbor down the street married over fifty years. She says the husbands don’t change! You just learn not to go along with their “bright” ideas! 😉
I’m soooo glad you are now safe and dry! But so sorry about your camera! Ugh. Just awful. Hope you’ll be staying put for a while… and now more log crossings in the dead of winter! 😉 xo ❤
Ooops… that’s supposed to say “no more” not “now”… sigh… And I don’t even have codeine as an excuse! Love you! ❤
living adventure Lynn—if I survive, then its adventure….if not, well it’s either costly or curtains—I’ve already ordered a new camera—my husband thought we could maybe take it apart piece by piece, clean it and dry it—-but I figured it be easier just to get a new one—its a Nikon Coolpix 900—I got it about 4 years ago for a trip to Ireland and have loved it as it has an amazing zoom—I really enjoy the photography aspect but don’t want to bother with all those lenses and settings—a nice point, focus and shoot is my cup of tea—-and speaking of—a nice hot cup of tea sounds quite nice right now—peppermint and green tea with a little honey and milk—come on over and the tea will be waiting for you 🙂
First, I am glad you survived to tell the story–what a story!
Second, I also was wondering how you posted pictures from a lost camera. Plucking out the chip while flailing in cold water required quite a calm and collected mind.
Third, they are wonderful pictures.
Happy new year! J.
The camera was still on my arm but totally underwater — think of a pocketbook dangling from the crook of an arm. If I had I slacked my arm, it would have simply sunk- once I was up on the bank we both screamed
“the camera!!!” Soaking wet I quickly yank out the battery and sd chip— both of which were relatively dry— not so for the water pooling in the lens— so the pictures remained— sadly the camera did not — I wouldn’t say calm and collected but the panic over wet electronics prevailed —
Oh my! What a way to make a SPLASH in the New Year! (I’m verily glad you’re okay.) May these hugs n’ blessings keep you warm…and yes, GO DAWGS!
Woooowhoooo—watching it now—but I keep telling my husband I might just have to go into another room because it just makes me so nervous!!!!
You had me on the edge of my seat, and by god I will always remember to keep my feet dry or I’m as good as dead!! I could feel that chill to the bone and then numbness….yeegads! I’m
relieved to hear that you decided to snuggle up and watch a bowl game or two. Happy New Year, and I hope you heal quickly:)
I suppose I’m always up for an adventure Susan–I go boldly where others may be a bit wiser 😉
I understand…your episode sounds like something that would happen to me! And I ask myself afterwards, ” now, would so-and-so have done that? No, they would not have…” Ah well, we aren’t just ‘somebody.’ Adventurers at heart…and I find no fault in that, expect for wet socks!
a small price to pay for grand stories down the road 🙂
as I am sure you have a wealth from your travels 🙂
This is the second post this week related to not following intuition and the consequences. I hope the Rose Bowl result lits your spirits. Go Dawgs!
Oh dear. I always say a good cold walk makes home feel more cosy. I bet your home felt like heaven after all that!
toasty indeed Sarah—-this morning we awoke to 10 degrees fahrenheit —so inside is cozy and it helps to be out wandering and falling into creeks—luckily it wasn’t as cold Sunday and the creek wasn’t frozen….
I’m ready for Spring 🙂
Well I’m certainly glad that you don’t live in Alaska. Taking a polar plunge can be a dangerous thing during a walk in the woods…especially with a hole in the left side of your head. Wishing you a less eventful and happy New Year.
I know right!!??🤗
Oh Julie! I’m late with my comment as I have been too busy and too tired over the holidays to read much of anything! So sorry about your little spill into the water but glad you are ok, It was so cold here yesterday that they cancelled the New Year’s Day Polar Dip that raises money for charity.
well I polar dipped for everyone, for free 🙂
Wow I’m so sorry to hear you fell in with the camera!!! I am not good with the cold and reading this reminded me of those days in the Marines in cold when it rained…not fun. Worst because you were all wet!
And like a good Marine-I mustered on— oorah! 😎
Boy Julie when you take one (or two for the team, you don’t fool around! I am glad you’re ok but that must have been horrible. I hate to say it but it does make for another amusing story except for the camera loss, no bueno.
I hear by declare you officially done with unexpected and very unpleasant incidents such as this for the rest of the year!
ahhh, Merci…..boring will be welcomed for a bit…but you have to admit….such antics makes for good stories and fun reading….and a reminder, life is just really real 🙂
New camera has been ordered ! 🙂
Has it been long enough for me to laugh? But the question is Why the Dawgs? Oh, my, now I’m miserable again. Just regressed from three days healing.
Laughing yes, as I now laugh and am so perplexed as to how I just “fell” in… or more like fell over and off…and the Dawgs are obvious as I spent almost 5 years of my life in that “Classic City” of Athens—-I was there back in the day with Hershel and that “other” championship team—that’s how long its been since they are where they are now—-Now if they could just beat Alabama and shut up those obnoxious Alabama fans—we live on the line more or less so I think there are more Alabama fans in my town then anything else—Auburn is right on up there. I’m keep saying, “this is Georgia, what is wrong with you people???!!!”—but from the high school where I taught a good many of our kids would go to Auburn or UGA, not as many to Alabama—so again, I’m like what is wrong with you people—if I see one more giant A flag flapping from a car window or black and white houndstooth, I think I’ll go mad—–so a defeat would tone things down around here!—or so I’d hope…..
I’ll root for your dawgs just because you want them. Then we can be happy together. I had a granddaughter at Alabama a few years ago, but no sentiment remains with me. Besides Georgia should beat the others since they beat OU. Save a little ego. 😀