Thursday, November 10, 2005


The Old Well !

Yes Jac, I fell down a well along with an older brother.
Here is how it happened.
We were visiting an Aunt and Uncles farm with our parents. I was around 8 and my older bro was around 12 at the time. my younger bro was also with us and he was about 6.
When the cows came in to the barn my cousins calf never came in with them. So we all went across the road and down into the woods to search for it. My Father and my Uncle were with us. My Dad and uncle each picked up long twigs to use to guide the calf back to the barn after we found it. My cousin saw the twigs and said " don`t you hit my calf". He kept repeating it till he finally got on my Dads nerves. So, to get rid of him, my Dad told all us kids to go back up to the house. Well, we all left except for the cousin who refused to go and his own Dad ignored him and let hin stay.
My youngest bro often spent weeks vacation there, so he led the way back out of the woods and started crossing the open field heading for the road.
Oh, before I get any further, I should mention that there was snow on the ground so you couldn`t know where the well was under the snow. Thats why we let our bro lead the way as he had often went with them after the cows. As we were starting up the hill in the open field, our Uncle yelled to us saying " Now you kids stay away from that old well. I removed the pitcher pump, but I never got time to replace those old boards". My younger bro yelled back " don`t worry uncle Sanford, we are a long ways from it" Those were the magic words, and the last ones I heard as he must have been directly on the well boards while he was answering, as I was behind him and the boards broke letting me fall in. My older bro was right behind me and he fell in also.
Have you ever watched those old westerns where guys would fall down the well and would be seen shimming up the well pipe? Well, as a kid I thought that was crazy as I didn`t think anyone could do that. Well, I soon found out it was possible. You see the pipe was still connected from the old boards down into the water in the well. So when the boards started falling in , the pipe broke loose from the boards and also started falling down the well. I felt the cold pipe hitting me and the water was going over my head and I grabbed hold of that cold pipe and started shimmimg up the pipe as it was falling into the well. We used to climb trees and shimmy down, sometimes we had ropes to climb up and shimmy back down from the trees. Thank God I learned that following my brothers around even though it scared my mother. I had managed to get the ends of my fingers on my right hand onto the very edge of the top of the well, but try as hard as I could, I couldn`t hang on well enough to swing my other hand up there. I was so sure I was going to fall back down the well and drown.
All this time the youngest bro was screaming to our Dad. My Dad arrived just as my fingers were starting to slip and he grabbed my wrist and yanked me up out of that well. I could feel my older brother trying to push upward on my shoes, but he wasn`t tall enough to accomplish any good. Then they had to find a way to get my older bro up out of the well. I can still remember looking down to see him. He was standing on his tiptoes with his mouth shut real tight , his head bent back and the water was right under his nose. He was 4 years older than I was and lots taller then. My dad got a big tree branch, tore off a few limbs and used it to reach down to my bro. As he hung on to the other end, my dad pulled him up. I wasn`t realy injured, except for a few scratched and nicks, but the pipe must have hit my brothers nose as it was broken.
They just got me to the farmhouse, treated and bandaged all my bleeding scrapes and my Aunt got some of my older cousins clothes to put on me since it was winter and I was water soaked good. This girl cousin was the sister of the younger boy cousin who went hunting his calf with us. She was about 15 at the time - so loads bigger than I was at 8 yrs old. I must have looked real funny in her clothes with the blouse sleeves rolled way up to allow my hands to show and the slacks had the top band rolled down at least three or 4 times and the legs rolled up a lot. I remember how clumsy I was trying to walk in them.
Then my parents left us kids at the farm house while they drove my older bro about 20 miles to the nearest drs office to have his broken nose cared for.
But we were very lucky that it didn`t turn out worse.
Years later when our oldest daughter was only 2 yrs old she gave me a real scare. I had put her to bed and thought she was sound asleep, so I went into the kitchen to fix bottles for the twin babies. While I was working, I suddenly got a funny feeling, so I went in to check all the kids. Both babies were sound asleep, so I headed for the girls room. The step daughter was sound asleep, but the little one was no where to be seen. Then I noticed that the front door wasn`t shut tight. So, she had climb, gotten the key where it hung , unlocked the door- and I had only checked on them a few minutes before I started bottles.
The scarry part was that out beside the front porch was a sistern filled with water and covered with heavy sections of roofing tin. At the end of the house was a very deep well that they dug trying to find water . Guess the past came back, because I grabbed the flashlight and ran outside yelling her name and couldn`t find her. First I noticed that the tin hadn`t been moved. It would have been way to heavy for her to move, but I was scared and checked anyways. My parents lived in the next house which was about 300 feet or probably even further from the farm house where we were living.
My Mother heard me yelling and came onto her porch. She yelled over to me and asked " Are you looking for linda?" By then I was so scared I was starting to cry and I yelled back " Yes, and I can`t find her anywhere." Then she told me that she was over there. Then, I was getting mad thinking they should have brought her back home and let me know where she was and that she was ok. So, I yelled back to my Mother and said put your hand on her behind and send her home. My mother told me to come get her. What I didn`t mention was that I was still not healed from the op when the twins were born and wasn`t supposed to be doing anything, plus to get her I had to leave the babies there alone and I hated doing that. But, I managed to walk over and get her. When I got there, my mother said they heard her knocking on their screen door, and when they opened the door all that showed was the top of her little blond head and she looked so cute. I told my mother she will look cute if she ever tries that again. I took her home washed her up, put on clean pj`s and put her back to bed. Then I hid the key where I knew she would never find it. That weekend I insisted the well hole be filled in since we never hit water there.
Then that following spring a little girl living a few streets up from us , think she was about 4 yrs old, turned up missing. They used an auger to check down an open well and came up with some of her yellow hair. Even today when I think of it, I still get goose bumps . Such a sad thing for a parent to go thru. Whenever I would hear someone saying " Why weren`t they watching her", I would get mad and tell them how fast my little 2 year old went, and that I had just checked on her less then five minutes before and she was fast asleep. That showed me how fast even a tiny one can move. And a four year old could move even faster. I didn`t know this little girl or her family, but I did know the fear that little 4 yr old must have felt while she was falling in the well. I even experienced the fear of drowning when the water went over my head, but was lucky not to have felt the terrible pain of drowning. That might have been my parents people were running down. You can`t keep your eyes on your kids every second and you just have to turn your head for a second for something to happen. Accidents will happen no matter how good parents you are.
So, Jac, you asked and now you know. One memory that left a good swimmer and diver with a fear of water if it cover my head. Something you just never forget.

You were very lucky falling into that well. Living in north america there are wells scattered out in the wikderness that have been abandoned for centuries. As a hunter I have stubbled across many.
I would have flipped out if I had been looking for a child and someone else had her and hadn't called to telll me.
I have had a few experiences with my kids running away from me and looking for them.
Walker, I think all that saved me from telling my mom exactly how mad I was feeling was the releif seeing my little one and knowing she was ok. I was totally exhausted by the time I reached my parents home which also helped to keep me from sounding off. Another reason for being irritated was that my parents knew I was undetr strict orders from the Dr, not to do anything, not even sweep a floor or wash a dish as i was pulling out stitches before my stomach was healed. Dr was already mad at me for not staying put like he told me. What did that dr think I was going to do with two new babies, a 2 yr old and my step daughter was only 7 at the time. Two babies alone was quite a job to keep up with. We didn`t have money to hire a helper as we had no Ins.and a big Hosp bill for two babies, plus the op room, plus 4 Drs-- my own, his helper, the anethesist and the special Dr they called in when they didn`t know what to do-I made a fast emergency trip that time to the Hosp and as soon as the specialist arrived I was rushed on in to the op room. I gave everyone a scare that time. Can you imagine riding about 25 to 30 miles with your Mother holding your head in her lap and crying all the way to the hosp. As scared as I was, I spent that ride trying to convince my Mother to stop crying and trying to convince her I was ok, even when I knew I wasn`t. But, it all turned out ok for me and my two babies. All`s well that ends well as the saying goes. Those babies turned 50 years old this past April.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?