Mama Kat Thursday: Scary Moment

Today's prompt: To Share a Scary Moment.
      I'm going to use an often re-told scary moment story that happened when I was about fifteen. My sisters, Jane and Pat were with me and the "scary" event happened one late fall weekend.
      To get a picture of our woodsy enviroment we grew up where the scary moment happened, I've attached a few pictures. The heavily forested property my family owned looked something like the photo below. It consisted of a valley with a high ridge behind it that a stony creek ran through. The house was located on 5  acres cleared land on the upper corner of the level portion of the property. Really the land approaching our house was relatively level, but just past our house, the road would dip steeply down, then run across the valley and up the other side.
A view to give the general idea of how our
property looked.

     That forest was our life as kids and we'd traipse down the path to creek daily during summer and on weekends during the school years. There were adventures to had, lovely stones to collected and bathing pools for our Barbie's to be built.
What fall looked like around our house
      We would explore far up and down the stream, often climbing the side of the tall ridge that backed our property. In several places, the hillside was worn away in a shape of an upside down U, exposing dirt and shale layers to a height of 20 to 25 feet. Exposed tree roots trimmed the outer edges of these U's.
A typical winter scene in our woods
       Since the ridge was very steep, we found the sides of those U-shapes an accessible way to scale upwards, using small trees as hand-holds.
     On this particular day, we only climbed to about the top of the U-shape, since we weren't in the mood for the more ambitious climb to the ridge's top, still far above. I remember my sisters and I were standing right on the edge that upside down
U-shape, peering downwards, enjoying the view and watching the dog run here and there.We were surrounded by trees, even holding onto some, so we felt safe---but I didn't realize the frost-coated sheet moss I was standing on might be slick as ice!
       I was just standing there, when suddenly my feet slipped out from under me and over the side I went.
       It's funny how much time you have to think and look around during an emergency like that. Everything becomes slow-motion. I remember glimpsing the narrow bit of creek below me as I rolled, which was no more then 2 inches deep and imagined landing in it with a broken leg. I glimpsed the sky and trees above as a blur as I rolled over and over, spinning and tumbling dizzily----until I felt something abruptly catch me at the middle and I jerked to a stop with a grunt. I found myself hanging in mid-air, folded over a very thin tree, maybe an inch in diameter, that had decided to grow sideways across the U-shaped dirt face, instead of up. The steam was still safely very far below and, raising my head, I was surprised to discover I hadn't fallen a whole 3 feet! Relieved and shaken, I slid my belly along the little tree, back to the side where my sisters were and they helped me back up onto solid ground.      


Anonymous said…
Scary to think of how much worse it could have been! I'm a city/suburb girl and always wish I'd grown up in a foresty area :)
carol daniels said…
Good you fell only 3 feet. I like how you described yourself falling. I was right there with you!

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