This was me this morning:
Ice took over the world last night while we slept. And, since I left the dorm before the people I fondly call “the Ice Men” came and salted the sidewalks, I slipped and slid my way across campus. No big deal; except for the hills.
I set out for the library in high spirits, marching through the slush at a fairly decent pace. But then I saw the girl in front of me slip. She slid to the left, then stopped. She took a step forward. She slid to the right, and stopped. Finally, she managed to get a forward motion going, and she slid down the sidewalk to the front of the library.
I paused and gathered my courage. Taking one step forward into the minefield in front of me, I, too, slid to the left. I took a step forward and slid to the right. I took another step and slid to the left. My “forward” gear seemed to be out of order, and so I took a more diagonal approach, finally making it to the door.
However, after printing a paper in the library, I had to get to the Luce Center, which is on top of a hill. A hill that did not appear to have been salted yet.
I began slowly, gaining speed steadily as my confidence grew. I topped the hill at a decent pace, quite proud of myself for making it to flat ground… and then, suddenly, I was airborne.
“NOOOOOOOO!” I thought, as my right leg went to the left and my left leg went to the right. My arms flailed and my neck twisted, and I began to dance.
Dancing is forbidden on Asbury ground, but I felt as though the powers that be may forgive me for the circumstances.
Suddenly, my right leg jerked right and my left leg jerked left, and my arms went down. Still standing, I spun in a circle, and then froze (pun intended) in one position: awkwardly standing in the center of a giant, frozen puddle… there seemed to be no way out.
Oh dear, thought I. I will be here until Spring.
I recalled a time several years ago when a similar event occurred… but it was my brother, not I, that was stuck… and it took place in a laundry room.
I remember spilling a large container of laundry soap in the floor… on her tile floor. When I cried out in shock, one of my brothers (who shall remain unnamed, but it might have been either Caleb, Josh, or Tyler) came in to investigate. Unfortunately, he ran too fast, and before I could stop him, he ended up in the middle of it… sitting.
There was no getting out of it, either. He sloshed in one direction, than another, but the soap had him in it’s grip, and it was not letting go.
The second brother arrived to find Brother #1 in the middle of a pool of soap, discouraged, angry, and very clean… and me, on the edge, laughing my head off.
Brother #2, being the courageous little man that he was, dove in to rescue #1. With a healthy amount of teamwork, we got him out. Brother #2 gave Brother #1 a bump towards me, and he slid quit easily across the floor to where I, still standing on dry ground, could pull him out.
But guess what the problem was now?
As Brother #1 sloshed off to clean himself up, Brother #2 realized that he had gotten himself into a predicament. I howled with laughter (I know, you can’t imagine that) as he went through the same routine that #1 had.
Slide to the left, slide to the right. One fall this time. (Bam!) Two falls this time. (Bam! Bam!)
It was the combination of the yelling and hysterics that brought Brother #3 to investigate. And, before we could warn him, he jumped in to save Brother #2, much as #2 had done for #1. Again, with my help from the sidelines, he succeeded. And, since he was a bit bigger and more skilled at balancing than the other two, he remained standing. Still, he was also stuck.
Now it was REALLY funny.
I believe I recall him yelling, “Lacey, STOP LAUGHING AND GET ME OUT OF HERE!”
I caught my breath and helped the only way I knew how. I reached out and gave him a nudge. BAM! he fell. Hard. Green soap flew through the air.
He laid there for a moment, stunned. I offered an apology and a broom handle… one of which helped him escape the soap pool, and the other of which went unaccepted. I’ll let you decide which was which.
At least they smelled good when it was all over.
This story ran through my mind this morning as I stood on the ice, motionless. Not only was there no one there to offer me a broom handle, but there was no one there to laugh at me. I felt lonely, standing there in the arctic wasteland that our campus had become, stuck on an ice prison.
And then, I flapped my arms. Slowly sliding forward, I flapped them harder, leaning forward a bit to gain momentum. Slowly, I made my way to the edge of the pool, where I carefully stepped off of the ice slick and onto the snow… unscathed. Which is more than I can say about my brothers.