Hello everyone! Well, time for more fun with dad and I. This was our third time out looking for insulators in the winter. Hard to believe we did this 3 times. This story is the next winter after the last time. So, let’s get going…
It is a beautiful sunny morning. But very cold. There is at least 2 feet of snow on the ground. Any sensible person would be at home sitting next to a roaring fire and drinking coffee! But, no, here we are walking down the tracks looking for insulators. In January. Dad figured it would be a great time to check out a couple of spots that had insulators we were unable to get at in the fall. I figured it would be a great time to stay inside and drink coffee! We are outside. I am already frozen and we haven’t reached our destination yet. After walking about 10 miles we arrived. Okay, it was only 1 mile (nearly 2km) but in this weather it felt like 10 miles.
It was a swampy area where there had been a fire in the distant past which burned some poles which ended up falling into the swampy area complete with cross arms and insulators. I guess they did not wish to slosh through the swamp to retrieve the insulators when putting in the new poles after the fire. Even the new poles had old insulators so this may have happened a long time ago. Or they may have reused some old insulators from somewhere else. Whatever. At this point in time I was not exactly excited about insulator collecting. Old bottles were much more to my liking.
But dad preferred insulators. So here we are. In the fall the cross arms with insulators were sticking out of the water which really wasn’t too deep, but the ground was very soft so we could not get at them. I tried to convince dad that the insulators would now be frozen in solid ice. But that did not deter him. Fortunately the wind had cleared most of the snow off the ice so it was easy to see the cross arms. As usual dad suggested I go first. Dad was a bit heavier than me. Quite a bit. So he figured it would be safer for me. Thanks. That was one time I would have liked to weigh a lot more than I did. Off I go.
Fortunately the wind swept snow along the tracks was very hard which made for easy walking. When I got to the edge of the swamp I pounded the ice with my long walking stick. Yep, solid. But I proceeded slowly. Ice in these swampy areas is not always solid all over. Got to the cross arms on the first pole. I call back to dad that it is safe. So he ventures ahead. I hear a yell, dad is sitting in the snow waving to me. Kind of odd, I thought, but I waved back anyway. A train came by at that moment. I looked back again to see how dad was doing and there he was, still sitting and waving.
His lips were moving but I couldn’t hear anything. Removed 2 insulators and looked at dad. Now he was pounding on the snow and tossing snow in the air! Amazing, so I went back to him. It was rather windy and cold with that train going by. The snow was whipping against dad’s face. I couldn’t believe it, he had fallen through the snow again and was up to his chest in that snow. Do you realize that’s the third time you have fallen through snow like that, I said. Never mind counting, said dad, dig me out. We should have brought a shovel, I said. I should have brought someone else with me, he said.
To be continued.
Steve and Muffin.
© 2020 Steve McLeod.