Rescue and Recovery

On Sunday morning we’re in Chitty, tracing the crust of a hayfield and peering in the woods. We aren’t bird watching or spotting local game.

We’re after a different beast.

Let’s back up a couple hours. When I woke Sunday morning, Cayden and Hadley were watching TV, Brynn was eating dog food and Martin was nowhere to be seen. The vehicles and gator were parked in view.

An hour passed. Then another. Maybe he went for a walk, I thought. A really long walk. I was getting peeved when the phone rang.

“Hi, Jo.”

“Hi, yourself.”

“Just calling to see how you are.”

“Fine. Where are you?”


I looked out the window. “Where? I don’t see you.”

“I was mowing by the creek where we take the kids.”

“And…what? Did you run out of gas?”


“Did the mower break down?”


“Is the blade bent?”

“No. But I might be a little bit stuck.”

Forty-five minutes later Martin and Maisie appeared on foot. We gathered a tow chain, ropes and kids, and set out on a teeth-rattling journey cross-country.

The kids didn’t care. Any excuse to ride in Chitty.

In the high grass near the woods we spotted the mower in it’s unnatural habitat: mired in the boggy lowland beside the creek.

Martin hooked up the chain, I fired up the mower and a few tugs from Chitty and we were out.

A happy ending, I guess. But the mower — recently tuned-up, repaired and cleaned — is a muddy mess.

From now on I vow that any new machine must be Martin-proof — fitted with a winch and tow bar.

And mud flaps.