When I was about 9, we lived on 35 acres in very rural New Mexico. It was fantastic. Our property held a very old house, some wooded areas, a little stream, a small pond and even the side of our own mountain (hill). One day my mom was outside on the lawn, while my dad was working on a big one-ton truck near the barn. My younger brother and I, along with some friends, were out exploring the trickle of a stream and the vast property, having one of our many adventurous afternoons. My twin baby sisters were playing in a playpen on the front lawn. As my mom was working in the yard, she suddenly heard the big truck start up and take off through the rough terrain between the house, fields and stream at the edge of our property. She wondered what my dad was up to and after awhile, decided the truck must NOT have a driver as it was bouncing along crazily across the property, headed towards a four-foot drop off. Unbeknownst to her, my dad had been working under the truck and had accidentally started it. It immediately took off down the slight hill. Not knowing what else to do, he grabbed on and tried to slow the truck down by digging in his heels, but the truck was too heavy and gaining momentum. As he was hanging on feet first and being dragged over rocks and cactus, he tried to figure out what to do. The truck had very low clearance because of the differential/rear end. He was afraid that if he let go and lay flat, he would be crushed. He also thought of trying to roll out between the wheels, but the truck had dual wheels, making them very wide and it would take a lot of luck and perfect timing to get passed them at the right time without being run over. As he was thinking this over and honestly wishing he had a whip like Indiana Jones to aid him in his daring escape, he suddenly felt pushed by something and just let go.
*This photo was taken about 20 years after we moved when my hubby and I went back to check things out. This is a view of the back of the house, but you can see how the property slopes down. The stream and "mountain" would be off to the far right and not in the photo.
At this moment my curious mom, who had started towards the truck, saw my dad's body flip out like a rag doll from under the truck...only minutes before the truck drove off the ledge to the field below. Horrified, she quickly ran to him, not knowing what to expect, but he sat up after a minute or two and said he was okay. Relieved, my mom turned to look at the truck still bouncing through the field and realized we were playing and could be down at the stream. If we saw the truck coming, we may not get out of the way, as we would assume it was our dad. Without another thought, she kicked off her flip flops and tore through the cactus, stickers and weeds of the hard field. It had been plowed long before so it was hard and bumpy with all manner of obstacles for bare feet. Like a speeding bullet, she somehow caught up to the truck, running barefoot over a 150-yard field of rough terrain. Coming close to the stream, she had to make a split-second decision on whether or not she had time to get to the truck and stop it before it went over the ledge. She finally went for it, jumped on the running board, tore open the door and stopped the truck, literally at the edge of the bank. In the meantime, my dad had hobbled and limped down to her and after she stopped the truck, they both sat there in stunned silence for a good bit. Luckily, the other kids and I were playing on the complete opposite end of the property and didn't even know what was going on. We were completely safe. When my parents finally got back home, they discovered my dad had only bruises and some deep scratches, nothing more serious. My mom's feet were riddled with thorns, cactus, sticks, spikes and everything else but they were both fine considering what could have happened. In fact everyone was fine, including the truck and my sisters still in the yard. :)
*Family photo before my sisters were born *1986 at the State Fair with one of my twin sisters, my dad and my brother
So Happy Mother's Day and Father's Day dear parents. You are the best I could have hoped for. And here's to many more adventures. :)