You know you are having a bad day when the tractor that is meant to pull you out of the brook runs into trouble en route to the scene. Something on the tractor’s winch pulled loose but Jacques Gosselin, a man who can do almost everything, indoors and out, fixed it in a minute using a rock he found nearby.
We were on our way to pull a four wheeler called a Gator out of a stream that, mistakenly, I thought I could cross.
I use the Gator regularly to get quickly from one place to the next, something that is essential on a property as large as ours. This particular morning I was out early, taking photographs of the splendid display of cherry trees and other miracles brought about by the suddenly hot weather.
After taking many, many photographs, I decided to return home via a trail through the woods that I hadn’t been on this season. I wasn’t nervous. Even though I knew there would be wet spots, I figured the path would be reasonably dry since it hasn’t rained for a few weeks.
The woods were lovely, full of wild flowers and more wild garlic than I’ve ever seen in this area before.
I was loving the ride until I came to a tricky bit where the trail crosses the stream. Normally, the bank descends gradually, making the crossing quite easy, but over the winter, a section of the bank had washed out.
I had a choice. I could return on the trail I’d already seen or I could find an alternate route across the stream and trust my luck to get across.
My luck ran out.
So there I was, well and truly stuck in the mud, unable to go forward or back. Why? Because something was in my way. A very large and immovable something.
My only choice was to walk home. It was a pleasant walk, even if it did involve crossing the brook two more times, clambering over some rough ground where a neighbour had recently cut trees and cursing myself for thinking I could make a sharp turn when wheel-deep in mud.
Jacques was available and he and I returned to the stream, me sitting sidesaddle on the tractor fender. Once there, he made quick work of hauling the Gator out of the stream.
It took him a little longer to drag the tree out of the way but he did it expertly.
I was very glad that he and the tractor were there when, once again, I set out to drive across the stream. Getting through the mud and onto the pebbles wasn’t a breeze and for a second, I thought I was going to get stuck once again.
But no, I got through, drove past more beautiful woodland scenes and lived to tell the tale.
I don’t think I’ll be driving that way again anytime soon, though.