One of LV's memories.
The year I was in seventh grade, my sister Lydia, was the teacher at our school. Most mornings she would walk to school early in order to have the schoolhouse nice and warm before the students arrived and work on checking books and making lesson plans.
I would walk to school later and get there just as it was time for school to begin.
On the days it rained we used to drive to school together.
The first day it rained that school year Dad told my oldest brother to go hitch up the horse and then I could drive to school.
Mervin brought the horse out to the buggy shed and opened the big sliding door. He hitched the horse to the buggy and then stood aside as I hopped into the driver's side and Lydia climbed in beside me.
I lifted the reins and clucked "giddy-up" to the horse. He started out, but unfortunately Mervin hadn't opened the sliding door quite wide enough and the buggy wheel caught as we drove out. It lifted the door up and out before it crashed back down against the shed, making a terrific banging noise which scared the horse. He started running at top speed and we went flying down the long bumpy driveway.
I tried pulling back on the reins to slow him down, but it made no difference. Lydia grabbed the one rein from me while I clung to the other and we both pulled on them as hard as we could, bracing our feet against the dashboard and yelling "Whoa, whoa!" on top of our lungs.
It was then that we discovered that Mervin had forgotten to fasten the reins and we were sitting helpless in this runaway buggy. We were swaying side to side crazily and I knew it was only a little while before the buggy would dump over as we hurtled around another corner on two wheels.
Somehow our horse must have decided that he was far enough away from that dreadful noise, and he slowed down. We managed to get him to stop.
After collecting our thoughts we got the reins fastened properly and continued on our way to school. After a scare like that I'm still surprised Lydia was able to be ready to calmly start her day of teaching when it was time for school to start.