Ok so just a brief (as brief as I can ever be) rundown on our lovely sinkhole.
Oh... this was about 3 weeks ago I guess. I'm inside, it's late morning, I'm still in my nightgown.
Kids 1, 2, and 3 (ages 11, 13, & 16 respectively) are all outside playing, in snowsuits, having been kicked out of the house by Mean-Mom after waaaay too much video-game playing.
I hear a wail.
It's not the she-threw-a-snowball-at-me kind of wail.
It's the alarm-bells kind of wail. I'm thinking, did she fall down, get hurt?
I open the back door for a first news report and yell, "What happened?"
No answer, but Kid 2 is running over to the side yard and Kid 1 is looking bewildered.
I yell again, "Is someone hurt? WHAT HAPPENED??"
By this time I am also throwing on my coat and sticking my bare feet into my Birkenstocks, the closest and quickest footwear I can put on.
I run out the door in the direction Kid 2 was headed.
I see the side year... I see the line of pine trees which marches from the road to the back of our yard... I see what looks like Kid 3 sitting on the other side of the snowbank by the driveway, in between two pine trees.
She is crying, she is wailing, she is howling, but she can't tell me what's wrong as I'm running over - it is the sound of TERROR. I arrive and look at her from above, now.
She is not sitting.... she has fallen into a hole.
A big, deep, unexplainable sink-hole, about 4 ft across and from all I can gather, bottomless... I can't see the bottom, I can only grasp that my child has one leg dangling deeply into the pit and one leg bent high over the snow and two arms grasping the snow on both sides and WAAAIIIIIILING for her very life, it sounds like. Most of her is in the pit, which is also under about 2 feet of snow on all sides.
My brain goes into freeze-dried automatic control. Kid 2 is with me, Kid 1 (the youngest) is hovering on the driveway uncertainly, afraid.
I tell Kid 2, BRING ME ROPE. AND MY BOOTS. She runs for the house. I just don't know how deep this damn thing goes.
Then I take back control of my brain and think (in about 1/100th of a second) What would I do if she were falling through a frozen pond? I step into the snowbank and then I tell Kid 2, Hook your arm under her right arm, and I'm gonna hook my arm under her left arm, and then on three we're going to pull her out (keep in mind that Kid 2 is 13, and a thin little slip of a girl.... kid 3 is 16 and more athletically built).
Then we go ONE TWO THREE PULL!
And darn if we didn't pull that teenager out of that pit. And back, and back, till we were nearly on the other side of the driveway. And then when we were all breathing again (and bless her heart, here came Youngest with the rope and boots...) we asked Kid 3 what happened.
She says, wiping her tears, "I just stepped off the driveway, over the snowbank and into the yard!! And then my foot kept going down and down and I thought 'something's not right' and then I didn't know what to do other than hang on with my hands and holler for help!"
POOR KID! Jeesh!!! Must have been heart-stopping!!
So we did go back and look, and Kid 2 (the photographer) took some snapshots, and we figure it's probably 7 or 8 feet deep - just some kind of unexplained sinkhole. I need to call the city to see if they have any old pipe systems or whatnot. We live in the oldest house in this village, from what we've been told (1920's or so) so they'll need to investigate.
But she's fine, and has quite the story to tell the grandkids someday! ;) So that's what THAT was all about.