Getting Stuck

Josh, one of my close friends from Laurel, bought raw land beside mine
way out in the country. And in his youthful exuberance to explore it, he
promptly did what every new landowner does: he got badly stuck. And then
he called me—a widely regarded, seasoned professional—for help.
How did I become such an expert, you ask? Experience.

I hate to brag, but on average, every couple months for the past 25 years,
I’ve gotten a tractor, truck, or some type of machinery stuck. From mud
bogs to deep ditches, from wedging between two trees to miscalculating the
slope of a creek bank, I’ve probably been stuck well over a hundred times
and know the stages of recovery by heart.
First comes denial, next you make it worse by spinning your wheels
awhile, then you admit you have a problem, followed by a cycle of grief and
anger as your ambitious day of progress turns into hours of hard labor just to
get back where you started, and finally, when all else fails, you call for a
higher power.

That last stage—deciding which neighbor to call—is a tricky one, but not
because they mind helping. It’s quite the opposite. Out in the country,
everybody’s eager to pull someone else out of the mud and not just because
they’re nice. There’s a power dynamic involved, and everyone wants the
upper hand. When you’re the one pulling your buddy out of the ditch, you
have free reign to make fun of his driving, his equipment, his poor judgment,
or all of the above. Or, you might choose to be politely gracious since both
of you know full well that you retain the rights to re-tell this later (with
humorous embellishment) should it ever become necessary.
I’m glad I went a little easy on Josh that first day he got stuck, because
last week when he was driving up from Laurel, I may have had to ask him to
bring a jack and a chain and hustle to get here before dark… I could say a
lot more (and he could, too), but for the moment we’re even.
Col. Craig Ziemba, USAF, ret. 
Craig has served eight combat deployments 
and is a pilot who lives in Laurel.
view more of his journal posts and
his book 37 Near Death Experiences now available! 
IG:  craig_ziemba