Edith Lind
By Joyce Wolff

Edith LindI read in the tributes to Edith Lind on the Website that she was considered a tough lady and strong minded.  Those of us who were fortunate enough to know her can attest to that.  In an early issue of the Bare Facts, a Ranch Newsletter that the Women's Group published, I wrote a brief story about Edith falling from a ladder and the ensuing struggle to get help.  The story below is proof of her courage – a courage she displayed numerous times in her amazing life.  We were a smaller community then, so it should be interesting to those of you who didn't know Edith, to read this amazing woman's adventure one summer day.  Bear in mind that Edith began building her home here when she was in her mid-sixties – living alone, independent, and liking it that way.

From the October 1997 Issue of the Bare Facts, by Joyce Wolff


That's the bottom line on top because we're relieved and happy to learn it.  Edith Lind's story is incredible: a tribute to her courage and strength.

One morning in August, about 10:00 a.m., our SFTR neighbor slipped off a ladder while she was using a power drill to attach a piece of drain pipe to the edge of her roof.  One leg of the ladder slipped when she let go of the roof to grip the drill with both hands to add more force.  The drill was still whirring as she fell from an upper step and landed on her right thigh on an unyielding rock.  From skiing accidents she knew that the pain would subside if the femur were not broken and when it did not she knew she was in trouble.  No one was within earshot but she tried shouting anyway and heard only her echo in reply.

It took a terrible ten hours for her to drag herself around to the open garage door.  During the last of those hours, as the sun dropped, she began to worry about the mountain lion whose presence in the area is well documented.  She was able to close the garage door with a rake and continued to crawl to the short flight of cement steps that lead into the house.  After trying to push herself up them she felt it was hopeless; it was too painful.  She knew that a neighbor was coming to pick her up the next evening so she pulled the floor mats from her car and used them to try to keep warm as a chilly end-of-summer breeze began to blow under the garage door.  She would just lie there on the cold cement floor and wait for him to arrive.

When Edith was a teenager in Austria she had a near-death experience which now served her well.  After lying there several more hours motionless with the pain subsiding she realized that she was "too comfortable." She had two choices.  She could stay where she was and possibly die of exposure or she could try the steps again.  She bravely chose the latter.  With an effort so painful from the broken femur we can only imagine, she crawled up the four or five steps, got the door open, and continued to crawl through the dark house.  She pushed herself over the tile floor by catching the sole of her shoe in the grout cracks, then with more difficulty dragged herself over the carpet, managed to turn on a light and pulled the phone from the table to the floor where she could use it.  She called her friend, Carl Putz.  It was now 2:00 a.m., sixteen hours since her fall.  She just said, "It's me.  I need an ambulance."

Carl immediately called the ambulance, met it at the Ranch gate, and led in the two paramedics.  He called Michelle Minion, now in her occupational role of Physician Assistant, instead of POA Board member.  Edith was in good hands.  She was stabilized and taken to Mt. San Rafael Hospital in Trinidad.

As she was carried out the door, Carl told her that he "expected to be reimbursed for all this….with an apple pie." She replied that if she could, she'd bake it that minute.  Knowing Edith we're surprised she didn't.

The next day she was moved to Mary Corwin Hospital in Pueblo for surgery.  She is now recuperating at home with pins in a bone that was severely shattered.

Now enter our own Suzie Davis, a registered nurse with Physician's Health, in Walsenburg.  This service allows a patient to return home earlier by providing a visiting nurse who acts as a coordinator between patient, physician, and physical therapist, and oversees a variety of the patient's medical needs.  She will be visiting Edith as long as she is needed.

MY NOTE:  I spent many hours with Edith during the time we were neighbors.  The stories she told of her life and never the same one twice unless I asked, were fascinating, beginning as a young girl in Austria during Hitler's rise to power, then her solo drive from the east coast to Alaska seeking her fortune with no resources in sight.  During those spare days she claimed that catsup and hot water made a tomato soup substitute since she would rather buy a pretty dress than food.  She had excellent taste in everything creative and bought beautiful clothing that would now be considered high-end vintage.  She, being Austrian, was a proficient skier.  Throughout her life's peregrinations she built houses.  Anyone would have enjoyed her visits to the builder's supply as she took on the staff with knowledge and determination about what she wanted.  They loved her.  She flew an airplane.  She singlehandedly took on the job of clearing her property and had she lived I'm sure would have finished the whole 35 acres.  She was no nonsense but she was also kind, compassionate, and generous – sometimes to a fault.  I miss her and have a last request, "Edith, will you tell me a story?"

Several Ranch residents rally to finish the drain pipe job that Edith was forced to abandon.  The photos are dark and old but you can still pick out, Stan Obrey in the red shirt, Denny Manifold on the ladder along with Chuck Austin and Carl Putz.

Several Ranch residents rally to finish the drain pipe job that Edith was forced to abandon

Several Ranch residents rally to finish the drain pipe job that Edith was forced to abandon

Several Ranch residents rally to finish the drain pipe job that Edith was forced to abandon

Edith Lind died March 2012.  Cards and messages may be sent to Edith's daughter, Candace Barbot, via Edith's Ranch address, which is:

33185 Oak Park Dr
Trinidad, CO  81082