Friday, July 31, 2009


Okay, I can't help myself. There are so many wonderful fences in the Hood River Valley that I'm back there again. Rural areas in general are great for them, I know, but the Valley is the ultimate earthly paradise for me, the place where my heart tends to linger long after I've gone home from a visit.

I loved the laciness of the fence and grass here, and the pale gold of the grass against the silvered wire.

This fence photo is just an excuse to take a picture of the hills in the background, because that largest one, Bald Butte, has fond memories for me. My brothers and I used to pack a lunch of a morning, and hike to the top of it. There was a fire lookout tower up there. I always wished I had the nerve to climb its skinny ladder to the top, to see the view from there. Never did though.

That hill always harbors one of my most thrilling and frightening memories. We had been to the top, this time with the church youth group, and were beginning the downward trek.

I was doing a sort of one-step jog, stop, one-step jog, stop, when suddenly the "stop" part of my gait didn't work, and I found myself running straight down the steep, barren, slope. I couldn't slow down, much less stop. In fact, with every step I went a little faster, but I knew when I reached the treeline, there'd undoubtedly be a very abrupt and disastrous halt waiting for me.

The only thing I could think of to do was sit down, so as fast as my mind hit on that solution, I jerked both feet up in front of me, which brought me down hard on my bum. I don't remember that it hurt, only that it didn't work. Instead of stopping, I began to roll. I don't think my maneuver even slowed me down.

And the last thing I'd seen before hitting the ground was the enormous boulder looming directly ahead, approaching with terrifying speed.

I was lucky, and our youth minister was quick witted and fast on his feet. He grabbed my hand as I whirled and tumbled past him. I'm probably lucky, too, that the force of his clutching hand didn't wrench my arm from its socket. As it stood, I was shaken up, but not hurt. (Thank you, Karl Love!)

Well, my granddaughter is painting a bird house, sitting next to me at her dining table. Time for me to grab a paint brush, too!


lionel abi said...

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