Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Great Tent Rescue

Part One: The Sinking Disaster

Three boys live next door to us and their antics are always a good source of bemusement to myself and my girls. Not having any brothers (but some beloved boy cousins, that's for sure), I am happy that we have this steady source of good, boy energy in the house next door.


For the past 3 days, the two younger boys have been camping out in the back yard. The evenings have been mild and cool, only in the 50's. So the tent has been out with a tarp over it for good measure to lock in the heat a bit more. But, it was a windy day today. The boys were away at school and so it was Eve who first reported the terrible discovery. The wind had picked up the tent and carried it juuuuust far enough that we could not reach it, not even with the long-handled orange picker! Someone had to be called!

We called their mom, who was away working, but hoping that she could get ahold of Son #1, who attends community college not too far away. Alas, it was farther than we thought - he's at a different campus this semester. Thankfully, Mr. Lang, the firefighter who lives just down the street, is a veteran rescuer and he was called in to duty.

Part Two: The Rescue

And he arrived just in the nick of time! Above, you can see his feet on the penninsula, as well as the first attempt he made to snag what remained of the tent with his boat anchor. Can you see the tent?! It's just barely there! I don't think the pond is especially deep... I don't think - never having swum in its murky, occassionally alligator-occupied, waters. It appeared to me, though, that the tent had settled on the bottom. Unless it moved to an even deeper spot closer to the middle of the pond, we'd have a chance.

The action provided for great lunchtime theater, though Lucy the Westie wouldn't take her eyes off a potential snack!


One more toss at the pitiful target and it was a hit!



Of course, an anchor being an anchor and all, there were a couple of nice holes in the roof of the tent after its rescue. Mr. Lang had to get to work and the tent was completely full of water and too heavy to lift out. So, the skeleton poles of the tent were taken out and the flat tent was staked to land and left floating for the boys to rescue the remains upon arriving home.


Though you can't see it from the pictures, it had begun raining steadily, which provided for even greater drama. My girls are drawn to rain outside like moth to a flame.




The rescue was finally complete. I can see the tent from my window now, drying in the lawn, well staked down... and yet, it is sandy soil here, which was likely the problem in the first place. I wonder if they'll patch the holes? I can't say I'd like crawling into a tent that had been at the bottom of a retention pond, but boys will be boys, I guess... and that's why we love 'em.

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