by John Stevens

This was written and posted on a friend of mine’s web site 2008.
I had a defining moment in my life when I was a teenager. It involved a dark night, a coyote, and a barbed wire fence. (Don’t they all?)

I grew up on a farm in Western Nebraska. I drove cars, tractors and trucks from the time I could navigate the pedals. When I was 12 or 13, our neighbor (who was out of town on ‘farm business’) asked me if I would come down to his house when it was midnight and drive his pickup to the local canal and turn off his irrigation system. I went to the farm in the early evening and settled in to watch TV (my family didn’t have one at the time). Midnight came and there was just enough moonlight to make out the path through the tree strip and to show me where to cross a five wire barbed wire fence. Just as I was about to push down the gate to close off the water flow, a coyote let out a blood chilling howl just across the canal. My hair stood up (I had hair then) and I took off running full bore. I hit the barbed wire fence, immediately creating a few extra holes in my skin. I bounced back and landed on my posterior. This very rude awaking to reality caused me to think, “that was stupid.”

I calmly walked back up to the gate, closed it, crossed the fence the proper way and went on home.

I think about that time often. That was the last time I ever reacted like that in my life. It was a lesson on what could happen if I let fear take control of a situation. I never wanted to go there again.

About 12 years ago, I was sitting in the VW garage at 8am getting the oil changed in my van. I heard a ruckus and subsequent running coming from the showroom and soon a big guy came my way and ask me if I knew CPR. Well, I thought my “card” is expired, but I said yes anyway. We ran back to the shop and there lay a friend of mine, flat on the deck. He apparently fell over backwards while cleaning my van’s windshield.

There were more than 6 people standing around. No one else was doing anything so I checked him out and started compression and breathing. A couple minutes later I was joined by someone who did the compression part.

I remember having a strange thought, “if he throws up while I am breathing for him I will just throw up in the floor drain, by his head.” I was as calm as could be through the whole thing. It seemed like hours until the medics got there but it was 15 minutes. They “jump started” him three times while I kept on doing the breathing. He restarted and miraculously I walked with him to the ambulance where upon I turned and collapsed in the arms of a big guy standing there. The job was done, I could ‘let go’. He lived two more years, gave his daughter (14) two more years, set down by a tree by the walking trail and died. No one to help him. I missed him.

People have commented how calm I appear in a time of crises. But what they don’t know is, I am like a little duck on the water. On the surface things look calm. Under the water I am ‘paddling like crazy’. I always feel God knows what I can and can’t handle and carries me through even the toughest situations.

I am John Stevens, that is my story and I’m sticking to it.

Current Stats:
I currently play music in a group called Magic Valley Jubilee. I retired in 2007 from Agricultural Research Service with 39+ years at the same location. From 1967 to 1980 he worked on micro-climate studies assisting in developing irrigation scheduling equations. From 1980 to 2007, I was an IT specialist working with a group of scientists and engineers. I received a degree in physics from Bethany Nazarene College 1967.

I have been married (43 years) and have two children and two grands. I am a published author of several scientific papers. I served on the church board for 23 years and did lots of work with teens. 10-12-10

Sun, Apr 6, 2008


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