Well, I was hoping to post the video to this song...but there really must be no AZ, because I cannot even do that!
Right about now, we were hoping to be basking in the warmth of The Valley, making plans to catch up with and visit my dearly missed friends over the next couple of days.
As usual plans had to be put on hold. What is it with me getting back to Arizona? It just doesn't seem to be in the cards. Something always comes up.
This trip's little malfunction came about courtesy of my oldest brother. Thankfully, he is alive and recovering. But it was close. VERY CLOSE!
The story of what happened is very sketchy and dear brother is in no shape to recall exactly how the events played out. So the only clear way to tell it is short and sweet...
Dear brother was out and about in single digit weather. Got the pickup he was driving stuck in the middle of nowhere. For some unknown and as yet, unexplained reason the pickup started on fire and dear brother was stranded for 24 hours, with the temperatures dipping into the sub zeros overnight. It was the next morning before a full scale search was started and even then it took them about 6 hours to find him.
We pretty much thought they would find him dead. My mom was prepared for that. The search party members were prepared for that.
But he is alive...and in a lot better shape than any of us expected. The first few days was touch and go as to whether he would get to keep his feet. So far, it's looking good. It will be a long while before he is out of the woods in that department though. The doctors told him no caffeine and absolutely NO TOBACCO. The slightest amount of reduced circulation and he could loose at least his toes, if not parts of his feet. His hands are burned from trying to put out the fire in the pickup. His coat burned up too. No one can believe he survived that long without a coat or gloves. If anything...I would say, he got his Christmas miracle.
Mentally, he is in no shape to talk about his ordeal. He knows he stared death in the face. Physically they have him on some strong, strong pain-killers. He's pretty much out of it most of the time. It's the only way to deal with the pain.
I could not rush back when the first phone call came. Megan was in the middle of semester tests. Now, I do not dare go back. I am furious at him and his wife for being so stupid. For the last few winters, mom has warned them and warned them about being prepared for such weather, don't go out "driving around" and always let someone know where you are headed. They called her a "worry wart" and phoo-phooed her. It will be a long time before I can look those people in the face again and not see red. No, now that the fear he may die is over, I dare not go back.
His daughter is home for Christmas break and will do chores until college starts back up. Thankfully, all she will have to do is pitch hay to the stallion and open water for the rest. I doubt she could handle more than that. A couple of weeks will max her out anyway, she's not real big on the whole "taking care of stuff" part of being a ranch hand. At least she wasn't when she actually lived at the ranch. Mom thinks she can work it out with a neighbor to come over and do chores after that. Dear brother will not be doing outside chores the rest of this winter...that is if he wants to keep his feet.
If need be, mom and I have discussed moving the stallion to town so she can take care of him and all the neighbor will have to do is open water for the herd. We will just have to see how things go and take it one day at a time.
So, after all that...hopefully we will be able make it to AZ for a few days of warmth and visiting before Megan has to start school again. First we have to make it through Christmas! I'm so not ready.