Earlier this month, this self-appointed “weatherman” defied the odds and lost.

As many of you in Readerland  recall, Sunday, December 8, was an “icy day” in Stephenville. After being warned by my son, Brad, not to venture  out,  Ye OLD Columnist, cast away all cautions and made a “quick trip” to bring into my home  my 46-year-old rain gauge.

My plan was to thaw the “frozen stuff” to determine the amount of moisture the gauge had recorded during the freezing days. Being extremely careful, I secured the gauge, turned to take the three steps back to the dry, backyard patio. Yep, you guessed it.  YOC quickly went down – back first to the harden icy turf.

The plastic gauge flew out of my right hand into the air, landing on the concrete patio --  breaking into many pieces.

My first thought was – “Am I hurt – any broken bones?” and then, “Oh, my -- there goes my trusted rain gauge of the past 50 years.”

My initial thought was to determine if I could get up under my own power and stand without falling. I was able to carry out this assignment as my feet reached the safety of the dry concrete patio floor. My right side in the rib cage area was hurting.

I called my children and briefly explained to them what had happened. They were at the house in a few minutes and soon we were off to the Emergency Room at  the local Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital.

X-rays revealed a fractured rib on the right side and a small spot of pneumonia in my left lung – not bad enough for hospital admission. An antibiotic shot in my hip and an antibiotic and pain medication were also prescribed.

Let me take time to thank Dr. Marilyn  Brister and her staff at the Emergency Room for their prompt and thorough care. Two days later I also saw my regular physician, Dr. David Boucher, at his office in the Stephenville Medical & Surgical Clinic. He confirmed Dr. Brister diagnosis, advising me to “take it easy” and return to his office for another x-ray early in January. A thank you is also due Dr. Boucher and his competent staff for their attentiveness  and care.

Stephenville is fortunate to have excellent medical physical facilities that are staffed by competent medical personnel.

Yep, YOC was fortunate the fall was not worse.  The threat of  ice has grabbed my attention – Now,  I even stay away from ice cubes in my refrigerator.

One of the good things to come out of this mishap – For Christmas, my children gave me a new weather device, which is much more sophisticated than my previous rain  gauge. The new apparatus will measure wind velocity, rain, how fast or how slow it is raining, temperature and many other features.

Perhaps the best feature of the new Accurite Professional Weather Center is I can remain in the warmth of my home and read the various information on an instrument inside the house. No more danger of treading on dangerous ice or braving a brisk, north wind.

Advice from YOC to you in Readerland - stay off  the ice. Next time, YOC will listen to his son. I’m doing much better.  I’ve discovered, “Life is worth living – AGAIN.”

2013 Weather Roundup

Next Tuesday’s Snippets will feature a complete review of the 2013 rainfall in Stephenville.  So tune in Tuesday for an up-to-date report on last year’s moisture count. Some revealing numbers are among the data.

’TIL NEXT TIME – “The scars of others should  teach us caution.” – St. Jerome (342-420 A.D.),  a Latin Christian priest, theologian and historian.

Dr. Stuart Chilton, retired educator/journalist, live in Stephenville.