A few minutes before noon, just as I was getting ready to feed Tobie, I got a voice call from Neighbor D.
Neighbor D just got back home last night from knee replacement surgery. While he’s healing, the plan was for L to do … well, basically all the driving and chores. Which is why his surgery was delayed till she started to recover from her round of chemo. That plan didn’t last the first morning, because L took a header in the barn and broke her hip.
I found them both in the middle of the driveway, with a third guy I’d never seen before. He apparently was there to help D set up some physical therapy equipment, and happily he had some medical training which none of the rest of us do. Unhappily the ambulance was late, and shortly after I arrived D got a call from the dispatcher explaining exactly how lost it was somewhere in our maze of dirt roads.
Tobie and I jumped back in the Jeep and went looking for the ambulance. Enroute I got another call from D saying the driver had directions to a road number that was not only wrong but miles deep in the nothin’. If the driver actually followed the given directions, the ambulance would also need rescue. So I changed routes and charged off into the nothin’ as fast as my ramshackle Jeep could take me.
Faster than was advisable, as it turned out…
There’s nothing really wrong with the shaft, though we’re going to need a new u-joint. What happened, apparently, is that one of the shackle bolts backed off and fell out, and with all my bumping and bouncing the u-joint separated company from the rear diff. The Jeep coasted to a halt, miles and miles farther from home than the old one-legged guy was willing to walk through rough country.
At first I thought I was in real trouble, just when I was supposed to be working on a neighbor’s much bigger problem (wife lying in agony in the middle of a driveway is big.) Then it turned out I could still get the Jeep to go in 4-wheel, it was just now a front-wheel-drive vehicle. While I was gingerly heading back to the bulldozed roads, I got another call: The ambulance had found its way to D&L’s and would I please get my ass back there.
By the time I did make it back I saw a heart-stopping sight: L was not only still lying on the ground but was also apparently unconscious. Turns out the EMTs had knocked her out with a shot of no-pain. And that was good because it took all four of us to get her on a backboard, thence to a gurney and into the truck. She came to halfway through the process, demanding that I shoot whoever was causing her so much pain. I didn’t admit that that would involve suicide.
Then I borrowed D’s Jeep to lead the ambulance on the least-bumpy route back to the county road, and I’ll be doing all the horse feeding for the foreseeable future so I hung on to his Jeep.
When I got home to finish my own designated chore, I noted with dismay that D’s Jeep doesn’t have a trailer hitch. So I took my second-best chair off the trailer and up to the porch, where I’ll wrap it in a tarp for a while. I need to get the yellow Jeep to the shop in town as soon as I can arrange it.