An unexpected View From Here


ambulance symbol landscape.jpg

Well, this was the View From Here I didn't expect to see. Sitting in the back of an ambulance, in a back stabilizer-- I watched my farm fade away through the thick white cross symbols on the back windows of the ambulance.

I took a spill. It wasn't so much the fall as what I fell on. A solid sturdy wooden stool that cracked in between my lower spine and my ribs.

Funny how my first, urgent response was to get to Mike. He was in town attending a funeral, his second of the week. Marriage is a funny thing. Power struggles over chicken coops, two-way exasperation over kids, schedules, and housework. But when the world narrows to excruciating pain and fear there was only one person in the world I wanted to hold my hand and look into my eyes. Mike. The funeral director found him in seconds. He called home and said "call 911." By then I was starting to go into shock.

I wish I could say that help was there in a heartbeat. It wasn't. I hung on listening to Elmo's World in the background trying not to pass out. I thought by the time Elmo was over help would arrive. It didn't. Living in a remote rural area means having to wait at times like this. The first responder (one of only 3 in a county of 528 sq miles) was Nita who has been the first responder for 30 years. She gave me oxygen, took my vitals, said a silent prayer.

Then Rusty arrived. When I saw his face I could have cried with relief. I'd sat with Rusty in meetings for Big Stone Area Growth. His emergency radio clipped to his shoulder-- pausing his conversations and thoughts to listen to the squeaks of his radio. They are all volunteers you know. They got me to the hospital. No fractures. A few days on pain meds and I'll be fine. Mike surprised me by saying to the ER staff, "I didn't expect Kathy would be the first one to take an ambulance ride from the farm." His View From Here includes ambulance rides-- mine didn't. But then farming is dangerous and he's seen the ambulance at this farm before.

My friend Kris had just given me the book Population: 485. Meeting your Neighbors One Siren at a Time. A collection of poignent essays on being a first responder in a small community. Friday I found myself in one of those essays.

Thank you to Rusty, Jim, Nita, Mom, and the sheriff who came to my rescue. Thank you to the 10's of people who called offering help. Blessings to all of you.


Hi all! Kathy here's wishing you a very speedy recovery from your mishap from Linda and Evan. We both enjoy your writing so munch. I'm betting you will see your kids step right up to the plate with things that will surprise you. Thats the way its done out on the prairie, right Mike? Was going to send some thoughts on your last entry, but got caught up on first stages of field work and opted out. Mostly it was thoughts about how we don't take enough time out for that "40 min. mile".God bless all of you-physically,financially and mentally. E&L schmeling

Sure glad that nothing was broke. you sure are a tuff ole' girl. The rescue crew now know where you live so (hopefully) the next time they will get there faster and not get lost. To the little boys who were so brave and scared at the same time good job. And Mom you may need a vacation from your vacation. Mike you are the best and thanks for taking care of the crew so good.
Kathy get rid of the panty hose.
Love your sister the other farmers wife.


I am so glad that it wasn't worse. Hopefully the pain meds will do their work and you will soon be back to your usual self. Please take care of yourself and let Mike spoil you a bit.

Many hugs,

oh my goodness kath - how scary. Please take it easy, and hope the pain meds are treating you well! I'm so sorry.

what is the image of inside the hands? it looks like the freemason symbol

The symbol inside the hands is the ambulance symbol. I'm not sure the origin, but it is what you see on ambulances.

That makes sense. I love the comments.

Let us all choose our words carefully, what we write should be able to stand the test of time, we should be willing to accept the criticism and the praises alike.

Have you had any longer lasting effects from this fall. I twisted my knee pulling stumps (I really miss dynamite, I actually remember when you could buy it at the feed store)and it took 2 hours for help to arrive. Not as scary as a back injury, but now I have to really watch my right knee. After a year it still gives me pause, especially when lifting. I am wondering if in a year or so more I will still be hobbling or not.

Anyway, glad you weren't hurt badly, and I hope 2 years later that you are still in fine form.

Zack Snyder's ADD-afflicted vision of his own muddled story is incoherent, poorly directed, poorly acted, and poorly conceived overall.

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This page contains a single entry by Kathryn Draeger published on May 4, 2008 8:42 AM.

The 40 minute mile was the previous entry in this blog.

Terroir-- the Taste of Place is the next entry in this blog.

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