Hi everyone! It has been a while since I had a story with my dad and I, so thought it was about time to do another one. This story goes back a few years when my dad and I enjoyed collecting insulators. Just in case you don’t know what insulators are, I’m including pictures. They used to hold the wires for phones, telegraph and electricity. Mostly they use cables now so insulators are not used much anymore.
Now, most of our trips out looking for insulators were in the spring and fall when it was easy to find them on the ground. As insulators were used less and less, they would go along and take them down and just toss them off into the trees, or sometimes into the lakes if one was close by. Dad and I had permission to remove unused insulators from the bottom crossarm on the pole, since there were no wires in the way. That was great, but most poles were too tall to get at them anyway.
But there was an area where we could almost get at them, just not quite. So this one January day dad came up with this idea of going after those insulators. “In the winter?”, I asked. “Sure,” he said, “the snow is deep and if we use snowshoes we can reach those insulators.” “It’s cold,” said I. “Nice winter weather,” was his reply. This was really hard to believe, especially since dad suggested using snowshoes. He was not very good at snowshoeing and usually ended up tripping, a point I brought up in our conversation.
He mentioned he had been practicing, so it would be fine. Actually, he walked around the yard a bit, just once, which is not really practicing. But we were soon on our way. We drove to the spot, as close as we could anyway. From there we had to walk along the tracks for a while before getting to this wonderful site. It was cold walking along that open area. But we finally arrived at the first hill. “We can just walk across this first part,” said dad, “the wind should have packed the snow in good and hard.”
I did try to suggest using our snowshoes anyway but dad started off so I followed. Dad’s foot broke through at one spot, but it was only a couple of inches deep so he kept going. We made it and then put on our snowshoes for the next part. The snow was about 3 feet deep so the snowshoes were a good idea. We get to the first pole but the insulators were still out of reach. “Well, we may as well go back,” I suggested. “Nonsense,” said dad, “I will bend over and you can stand on my back.”
I took my snowshoes off and climbed up onto dad’s back. It actually worked good. We got the insulators and went to the next pole. It was a bit taller but I could still reach by standing on dad. I would drop the insulators to dad and he would set them on his snowshoes. But he wasn’t quite ready for one insulator and “thump”, it hit him on the head. He groaned and moved, which caused me to lose my balance a bit and I kicked dad on the side of the head, knocking his hat and glasses off into the snow. He groaned more, moved some more and down I went.
Both dad and I ended up in that deep snow. I was completely covered and was wildly pushing snow away from my face. Poor dad was having trouble getting up since he still had his snowshoes on. Our snowshoes were the older wood framed variety and they were quite large, especially dad’s, since he was a rather big man. But it made it hard for him to get up. So once I was on my feet again, I unstrapped his snowshoes so he could get up more easily. However, somehow when I pulled dad’s snowshoe off, his boot came off too and fell into the deep snow.
“My boot!”, yelled dad, “and my glasses!” Guess he wasn’t too worried about his hat, or maybe he didn’t know that fell off too. Although considering his head was full of snow, he should have noticed. “You lost your hat too,” I said, “I’ll look for your glasses.” “No,” said dad, “I’ll do that, just get my boot.” I handed it to him and he started to put it on. “It’s full of snow!” he exclaimed, “why didn’t you dump it out?” “I figured you would do that,” I said and handed him his hat.
He actually found his glasses quite quickly. It’s amazing he didn’t break them more often, the way he kept losing them all the time when we were out together. We decided to move on to the next pole which was lower and maybe stop there for some coffee. But I think I will leave that for part 2 of this story. Dad and I always had fun on these outings and were able to get a good laugh about them afterwards. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and God bless!
Steve and Muffin.
©2022 Steve McLeod