With the snowmobile coming down onto the lake, Anna panicked and tried to run off the lake. She did not want anybody to see her naked, but she had no place to go. As the snowmobile came out onto the lake I saw Anna literally dive into the snow and vanished from my sight.
The snowmobiler slowed down when he saw me and stopped beside me for a quick chat.
He told me he had stayed up just one day after the weekend and would be heading back to town that evening. He looked down Anna's tracks but didn't see anything at the end of the track because Anna was still lying hidden in the snow. The guy asked me about the tracks to nowhere. I lied and said I had tried to take a shortcut to my chalet but the snow was too deep so I came back to the snowmobile trail.
He accepted the lame story and didn't even ask me about my spare pair of boots, then headed on his way. As the snowmobile faded into the distance I yelled to Anna that it was safe again. She got up again, complained about how bloody cold the snow was and started up the hill to the chalet.
I decided running along the trail and driveway would be faster for me. It was. I made it to the chalet and Anna was still trying to get up the hill through the snow. The snowdrift she was caught in came half way up her belly and it was too much for her to continue walking through. She was freezing cold!
I suggested that she try crawling across the snowdrift. She seemed to be moving faster but it looked more like she was swimming through the snow. When she reached the snow bank beside the driveway that was piled up by the plow, the packed snow made the crawling easier but the icy snow was hard on her hands and knees. She stood up and then carefully stepped down off the snow bank. She was crimson red all over her body and she was visibly shivering. Her feet were even a brighter red but not white, so there was no frostbite.
I quickly took my coat off and wrapped it around her. She was having a very difficult time walking the icy and stony path to the chalet, so I picked her up off her feet and carried her to the front door. While still in my arms, Anna opened the door and I stepped in still carrying her.
Anna had been outside in the snow naked for about 40 minutes though the last five minutes or so had been the most severe.
Still with my coat on she jumped down out of my arms and over to the fire. Tossing a few new logs onto the fire she sat down close enjoying its radiant heat.
"That was probably the stupidest thing I have ever done, but it was also the most exhilarating adventure I have ever attempted. While out in the full sun it was really quite warm. In those conditions I could have stayed out longer, until you came up with the dumb idea to make a snow angel. It was incredibly cold, but you know, if I had not tried that I would not have lost my boots and I would not have tried to take the shortcut back to the cottage. Instead I would have been out in the middle of the lake when the snowmobiler came by and would have had nowhere to hide. I guess you could say I was lucky to be in waist deep snow where I could hide so well. It was bloody cold but still better than meeting a stranger naked the way I am."
"So, I think you are glad you went out today?"
"I don't know if 'glad' is the right word. I certainly don't regret it now although before stepping outside I was quite convinced that I was going to be back in the cottage in less than five minutes. I'm glad to have learned that winter isn't always freezing cold even when the temperature is below freezing. I'm glad I tried the snow angel; it was kind of fun, but frigid freezing! I'm not glad I had to dive into the snow to hide from the snowmobiler, but I am glad I wasn't in the middle of the lake when he came by."
"You sound pretty glad".
"Well, after giving it some thought, I guess I am. Thanks for another crazy adventure."
"I have other plans for tomorrow, but to clear the record about the snowmobiler, he's leaving tonight, so by tomorrow we will be completely alone up here."
Once Anna was completely warmed up she got up from the fire and started wandering around the cottage as if she owned it again. Even naked she was still very comfortable going anywhere throughout the house. I gave her a pair of my socks because hers were soaking wet from the angel experience. There wasn't much to do around inside so after a nice dinner, we headed off to bed.
Tuesday morning was ushered in by bright sunshine. A fresh fall of snow overnight left us with perhaps 6 inches more on the ground. Although it was officially below freezing in the sun it felt much warmer. After breakfast I headed out onto the front deck to do some shoveling. The deck was about 15 x 20 feet and I only cleared less than half of it that was right up against the house.
While shoveling I found my favorite lounge chair that was buried under the snow. I needed it for Anna's next adventure. After clearing all the snow off the lounger I came inside and found a thick fluffy blanket. I called out to Anna to come outside. This time there were no objections like the day before.
She sat down on the bench by the door to put on her boots. She was willing to come out naked but still wanted her boots. I assured her that she didn't need boots or socks because we were not going out in the snow. Anna had finally gotten to the point where she didn't try to argue with me any more. She just gave a deep sigh, kicked off her boots and socks and stepped outside totally naked.
She immediately complained that her feet were cold on the icy wood of the deck. I told her to just come out into the sun and it would feel better. I spread out the blanket on the lounger in several layers and invited her to lie down on the blanket. The blanket itself was nice and warm since it was inside and lying out in the full sun she felt pleasantly warm almost immediately. I invited her to enjoy the sun while I headed out to do some more shoveling.
I came back after only five minutes to check on her. I came up I guess too quietly and my unexpected arrival made her instinctively try to cover up. My voice relieved her fears and she relaxed again. I asked her how she was doing and she said that the sun was very warm and she could barely believe that it was actually below freezing.
I said that it would be much different if there were even the slightest wind. Then I asked her if she thought sunscreen might be appropriate. She didn't think she would be out long enough and then rolled onto her chest so her back could get some sun. I sat down on another deck chair that I discovered in the snow and enjoyed the sun and the nakedness of Anna.
After about ten minutes of sitting in the sun in silence, I asked Anna if she would like to make another snow angel, this time right here on the deck.
"No. I would not 'like' to do it, but knowing you, you will talk me into it anyway." She propped herself up on her elbows to see me better. I smiled at her. She added, "You really like me remaining naked all the time, don't you."
"You have a beautiful body. Why wouldn't I like seeing it?" I continued to gaze at her nakedness.
She rolled back onto her back. "Can I enjoy the sun a little longer before I freeze in the snow? After the snow angel, I'm heading back into the cottage."
I didn't argue that point. I asked her how cold it was to be buried in snow like she was when she was hiding from the snowmobiler. She admitted that she wasn't really buried in the snow, just lying below the surface of the snow. From a distance she could understand how it would appear that she was buried.
I said, "I wonder what it would be like to be buried in snow."
"You mean you wonder what it would be like to bury me in snow."
I think she might have meant it sarcastically, but I picked up on the idea.
"Well, we could easily give it a try here. You could simply lie down in the snow and I'll shovel some soft snow on top of you. I guess it would be like being buried in sand on the beach."
"Only a lot colder," Anna added.
"Sand is pretty cold too." Anna didn't answer. Perhaps she was trying to ignore the conversation in the hopes it would go away. After a rather uncomfortable pause in our talk, I added, "OK. When you are ready you can make a beautiful snow angel on the corner of the deck and then lie in the snow over here and let me bury you. Let's see how long you can stay under the snow."
"You really want to bury me in snow like we were on a beach?"
I got a little excited. "That would be so cool!"
"Yeah, REALLY cool! I'm guessing that there is little hope for me to get out of this 'challenge' is there... I didn't think so. OK, let me enjoy the warm sun a little longer then we'll do the angel and then be buried alive. Just, when I've had enough, like the cold is unbearable, I can go inside."
I quickly agreed. "Sure, but based on yesterday you can tolerate a lot of cold."
"Let's not let it go as far as yesterday, OK?"
I agreed that she could go inside whenever she wanted, but I knew she would be a great sport and impress me with her endurance. I told her I had to go out front to do more shoveling and I'd be back shortly. I went to the front of the chalet for maybe ten minutes, and then came back to her with the snow shovel.
"Are you ready?" I asked.
"I'll never be 'ready', so let's not wait for that." She sat up and looked around. "So, you want me to make a snow angel over here and then just lay down in the snow over there."
"That's right. The snow is deeper over there so it should be easier to bury you. I'll finish sooner."
"Well, I do like someone who will be quick with this" she said. Then she got up and walked the few steps to where she was to make the snow angel.
"Just take a small step into the snow then fall back. Don't worry the snow is soft."
"I know what to do. I did it yesterday, remember?" She barely stepped into the snow; spread her arms out wide and fell, rod straight, into the snow. As she landed her whole body shivered and using some raw language, reminded me that it was cold. After taking a few seconds to get a little used to the cold, she began to flap her arms to make the angel wings and then swish her legs. Then she rather rudely said, "Satisfied?"
I nodded acceptance and she sat up. I offered her my hand to help her stand up which she gladly accepted. She turned around and, for a moment, admired her beautiful snow angel. Then she turned to me and asked, "Where do you want to bury me?"
I led her just a few steps down the veranda and explained that she should take a bigger step into the snow and then just fall back with her arms by her side or crossed over her chest. She preferred the dead-look with her arms crossed, stepped into the snow, faced me for approval and then let herself fall back. She sunk deep into the soft snow and I stood there admiring her beautiful body with a small wall of snow surrounding her. She looked up at me and said, "Go ahead, bury me alive, but remember, I probably won't last long."
I started by burying her legs and worked up her body. Each shovel-full buried about a foot of her naked body in snow. I was careful with the last shovel-full as it buried up to her chin, then I lightly padded from her neck to her toes. I asked her how she was doing and she said that it was really cold, but she thought she could take it for a while.
I started my stopwatch to time how long she could stay like that. I took a few pictures. You couldn't call them nude pictures since she was totally covered, but we both knew how things were beneath the snow. I announced when a minute had passed and she said that she would like to try for two minutes. I said I would watch the timer. I let her know when two minutes had expired. Brave girl, she wanted to keep going. I suggested that I should add another shovel of snow over her head so that she would be completely buried.
She seemed quite apprehensive about it but told me to go ahead anyway. She warned that it would likely put a quick end to the whole thing. Trying to encourage her I said I would be impressed if she lasted 15 seconds. I picked up a big scoop of soft snow. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath just before I dropped the pile on her head making her disappear in the pile of snow on the deck. I stood and watched in silence.
From under the snow came a voice, "How does it look?"
"It looks incredible! Just like a pile of snow. No one could know that there is actually a person under there, and a naked person at that!"
All of a sudden Anna sat up out of the snow. Her face was rosy while the rest of her body was cherry red. She said, "Sorry, but I'm just too cold to stay out here any longer." And she stood up and headed for the door. Some chunks of snow fell from her body while others stayed stuck to her as she went through the door and into the warm cottage.
She was under the snow for more than three minutes, not as long as she was out the day before if you count from the snow angel to getting into the cottage but this day was a lot easier for her to call an end to it. I was pretty sure she could handle things inside on her own so I headed to the front to continue my shoveling.
I was working on digging a hole in the snow bank in the front beside the driveway. I dug this hole as narrow as I could, perhaps 20 inches square and about five feet deep. Removing the snow from the bottom of the hole was quite hard and in the end some granular snow stayed at the bottom. When I had finished I headed inside to see how Anna was doing. I found her sipping a hot coffee sitting by the fire. She was wearing my socks that I lent her earlier.
I took off my winter stuff and made myself a coffee before plunking myself down beside Anna. I started up a conversation by asking Anna, "Do you trust me?"
She looked at me kind of funny. "I'm out in the middle of nowhere with barely a stitch of clothing, in the middle of winter with you. That alone should tell you that I trust you, don't you think?"
"I'm looking to raise the bar when it comes to you trusting me. Come outside with me one more time today. I want to show you something I've been working on. Put your coat and boots on. The sun is going down and it is getting colder."
"Are we going far?" Asked Anna.
"No. It's not far, but we might be outside for a while." I led Anna out to the snow bank near where the car was parked. The snow bank was about six feet high and I helped Anna climb to the top of the bank. In the snow bank I showed her the hole that I had dug, nearly five feet deep, but very narrow. In fact the last bit of the digging had been done by putting the snow in a bucket and then tossing it out of the hole because the hole was too narrow to work only with a shovel.
I showed her the hole and said, "This afternoon you were great in letting me bury you in the snow on the deck but you still had a lot of control in that you decided when you chose to quit and head into the house. Being buried laying down in a shallow hole like today made for an easy escape. Tomorrow I want to bury you standing up in this hole. You will get into the hole, naked of course, and I will fill in around you with soft snow."
"Will I be able to get out?" I could tell there was some fear in her voice.
"I've never done this before to know for sure, but I expect you will need my help to get out. That's why I asked you if you trusted me. For this adventure you'll need to trust me in a way that you haven't up until now. This is a new kind of trust I'm asking from you."
She was silent and I didn't know what to make of it. "Try getting into the hole now to see what it is like. Keep your coat and boots on, we're not going to do anything now."
My suggestion at least got her talking again because she asked, "How am I going to get in?"
I suggested that she could sit on the edge and slide in, or I could hold her hands and balance her while she jumped in. While I was working on it, I found the best way to get in was by jumping in. Evidently she didn't think that was the best way for her because she sat down beside the hole with her feet dangling in.
She still couldn't see herself getting in on her own and asked me for help. I held both her hands as she slid off the side and I gently lowered her into the hole. She had to look up to see out of the hole as her head barely made it to the top edge.
For a moment she seemed quite frightened. She asked in a trembling voice, "are you going to completely bury me?"
From her question it seemed that she was accepting the idea, she just wanted to know how severe it would be. By saying, "are you" it sounded to me that she would do it, but being totally buried did seem to scare her.
"I think the hole is a little too deep because I was thinking only to bury you up to your neck." Saying only up to your neck was sounding like a concession on my part, like I was giving in a little.
It seemed to work as her voice had lost some of its nervousness as she said, "So you will fill the hole in a little bit then."
"For sure. Maybe about six inches. The hole should be about up to the top of your shoulders. Do you want me to fill it in a bit now so we can set the height before tomorrow?"
She timidly said "OK."
I took a shovel full of the icy snow that I had dug out of the hole and dropped it in behind her. She did not like the large chunks of hard packed snow/ice that I dropped in because it scraped her bare legs as it fell to the bottom. I tried to explain that the chunks were needed to fill in the bottom. If I used powered snow like I planned to use tomorrow to bury her, it would not pack well and her feet would just sink into it.
My answer satisfied her as she began to stomp on the snow at the bottom to pack it in. It took a few more shovels to bring her up so her head was out of the hole. The icy snow was really crunching under her boots. She asked, "Can you send down some soft snow so my bare feet will have a soft base tomorrow?"
I loved the way that tomorrow sounded like a settled deal. I went a little way down the snow bank to retrieve some nice soft snow and I dumped it down the hole. She immediately gave out a little scream. I asked what was wrong.
"Oh nothing. It's just that some of that snow got into my boots. A taste of things to come huh?” The more she talked the more things sounded that she was OK for tomorrow. In fact it was getting harder and harder for her to back out.
She looked up at me and asked for help to get out of the hole, which I gladly gave. She took a quick glance into the hole and seemed satisfied with what was done, though you really couldn't see much in the dark. She asked to go inside. I think the snow in her boots was bothering her.
Once inside she asked about the weather for tomorrow. I told her that there was snow in the forecast overnight and that it would be mild tomorrow, but I also told her that outside temperature wasn't going to matter much since she would be buried in snow.
She thought about that for a minute before it sunk in that outside temperature wouldn't matter much when she was buried. I added that the snowfall might fill the hole in a bit more. That seemed to make her happy.
Later in the evening Anna asked if she could have a hot bath after our 'activity' the next day. I completely agreed with the idea, happy that there was little doubt that it would certainly happen. I said that we would set the bath piping hot before we go out so it will be ready the minute we come in. She asked what time tomorrow we would do it. I asked her back what time did she think was best.
She said, "How about around 11:00? That's early enough that I won't be worrying about it all day and late enough that the sun will have taken the bitter chill off the day. I know, you said outside temperature won't make much difference, but it at least sounds better to me."
I smiled and gave her a hug. "Any time that is good for you, is good for me."
The next morning we were both up by 8:00. I asked Anna how her night was. She said she had a bad dream about being really cold, but when she woke from the dream she was toasty warm in her blankets. I said, "so you dreamed about being cold but you were really warm. I think that means that this won't be as bad as you are fearing."
"I'm still scared."
"Why are you scared? Do you not trust me? Are you afraid I'll leave you buried until spring?"
"No. I know you will not leave me trapped. I'm just scared that it will be cold."
I said, "You're usually scared when you are afraid of something that might happen. So, why are you scared? You know that this will be cold." I gave her a kind sort of smile.
She frowned back at me saying, "I'm afraid it will be too cold! How long will this whole thing take?"
"Look. I will not leave you out there too long. We both know it will be cold, probably as cold as you were yesterday, but, if you had to, do you think you could have stayed under the snow for another minute?"
"If I really had to, I probably could have stayed another minute, but my face covered with snow made it a lot harder" admitted Anna.
"Well, we've already said your head will stay out of the snow, so that will make it easier and you just said that you could have stayed in the snow longer. So, today you'll have a chance to prove what you just said."
"You make it sound so easy, but you'll be holding the shovel wrapped in a warm coat, while I'll be naked wrapped in cold snow."
"Don't worry. You'll be great. I know you can do this." It was almost too easy to convince Anna to do this crazy stunt. Although I knew she was scared about it, I also knew she wanted to do it. Ever since the first time she hesitated to step out onto her back deck naked, there have been so many times where she could have just chickened out, but she never once did. I knew she would go through with this one too.
Together we prepared her bath with bath salts and 100% hot water. It was scalding hot but I explained to Anna that it will cool down while she is buried and if it is too hot when we come back in, we can easily cool it down. With the bath 3/4 full we had pretty well emptied the hot water tank. Now I asked if she was ready to head outside.
She answered quite simply, "No."
I said to her, "The bath is ready, it's 11:10. Last night we agreed on 11:00. What's left to do?"
She finally said, "OK. Let's get it over with." It was obvious that she was not enthusiastic, but she was willing.
I quickly got my boots, coat and gloves on and headed out the door just behind Anna. She hesitated at the top of the stairs. I stepped beside her, took her hand in mine and gently led her down the stairs and over to the snow bank. I had cut stairs into the snow bank to make it easier for her to climb the it. Two steps across the top of the snow bank and she was standing in front of the hole, staring into the deep abyss.
I told her, "Well, it's now or never. Give me your hands, crouch down, drop your feet in and I'll lower you into the hole." I slowly lowered her in and as her feet touched the bottom they sank into the fresh snow. A shiver ran up her body then I let go of her hands. Even without any snow in the hole, I'm not sure she could have gotten out on her own. I got my first shovel full of snow and towering over her I asked if she was ready. She just nodded her head, closed her eyes and braced herself.
The first shovel load filled almost to her knees in front, but it would need another shovel behind her before it really reached her knees. After that I started dropping shovel loads as quick as I could. She gasped at almost every load. She was holding her arms up as the snow approached her waist.
I told her she had to put her arms down beside her. At this point taking any time to discuss this was not in her best interest since her lower body was already encased in snow, so without saying a word she put her arms by her side and I continued to fill the hole around her. In short order the snow was up to her shoulders and at that point I knelt down and packed the snow around her with my hands.
I didn't pack it very hard but it sank down enough that her breasts were exposed again. Another three or four full shovels brought the snow back up to her chin. This time I just padded the snow smooth around her neck. Stepping back I asked her how it felt.
"Bloody cold" was all she said.
I asked her if she thought she could get out. She struggled to lift her arms, but they were pinned to her side. She said, "I'm trapped. I can't move. Now can you get me out?"
I complained, "I just finished filling in the hole. You haven't even been buried a minute. Can you wiggle your toes?"
She took a second to wiggle her toes in the bottom of the hole and then said, "A little."
"Can you move your fingers?"
Again she said, "A little."
"So, I'd say you're not frozen yet which is good."
"But I'm really cold!"
"I've got to get a picture of this." I checked my pockets and realized that I had left my phone in the cottage. I added, "I just have to go get my phone."
Anna screamed, "No! Don't leave me trapped here!"
I ducked into the chalet anyway. I immediately found my phone but paused a few moments to watch Anna through the window to see what she might do by herself. I saw her strain to look around to see the door of the chalet. Then she struggled to move her arms, but they were set tight in the snow. I heard her call out to me, "come back, please come back." I left her on her own for maybe a minute. She heard the door open and strained her neck to see me and said, "Thank god you're back."
"I just want to get a few pictures."
She didn't try to stop me from taking pictures, she just pleaded with me to hurry. She cooperated as best she could for the pictures believing that the sooner I finished with taking pictures, the sooner she would be out of the snow and into a hot bath.
"These pictures are incredible! Nobody would have any idea what you are going through to get these pictures. There is no way to tell the reality of what is under the snow or, more accurately, what is not under the snow. I know I said I wouldn't do this but there is just one more thing I have to do."
Anna said, "Whatever it is, just do it quickly, then please get me out of this freezing snow."
I stepped into the soft snow behind her where she could not see me and scooped up the biggest shovel load of soft snow that I could manage and without saying a word, buried her head in only one dump of the white stuff.
Anna screamed and cried out, "Oh, God. You said you wouldn't do that!" She shook her head back and forth trying to clear the snow from her face and blew out hard which shot some of the snow away from her mouth.
I knelt down in front of her and started to clear the snow from her face. With her face clear, but snow still topping her head, I took yet another picture and then began to remove the snow from her head. I lay down in front of her and kissed her cold lips long and deep and then softly said, "I love you for your courage to do all the crazy things I suggest. You are amazing."
"Well thank you for those wonderfully kind words. Now can you get me out of this frozen hell!"
I kissed her one more time and then got up onto my knees and started to dig around her with my hands. It was far too risky to try to use a shovel so close to her. I quickly got down below her shoulders and exposed her breasts, focusing just in front of her.
She tried to lift her arms out of their snowy cocoon but she still could not move them. I would have to dig deeper. I continued to scoop snow out of the hole that had her trapped but it was getting increasingly harder as I got deeper into the hole. Once I had cleared to below her elbows, Anna could begin to move her arms and with a lot of effort she finally freed her right arm. From there she could lean slightly to the right and bring her left arm out. With her arms free, I hooked my arms under hers and tried to lift her out but the bottom half of her body seemed frozen in place.
Now we could both continue to dig out the snow, but her frozen cold hands were not very effective. I gave her my gloves and I went back in for another pair. As we got closer to her waist the hole was getting too deep for me to be very useful and Anna took over with all the digging.
Even as we exposed more of her naked body she was not warming up because she was still out in the cold winter air and any part of her body that I could see was rosy red. She had managed to dig herself out in front, down to close to her groin while I scooped out what I could from behind her. I checked my watch. She had been in the hole for over half an hour!
I told her to lean from side to side, bend her knees as much as she could even if it seemed like she was sinking deeper. The key was to create a little space around her legs to loosen them from their snowy grip. Then I hooked my arms under hers again and pulled up. She screamed out, "I think I'm moving!" I pulled hard again and she was able to free her feet from the hole.
I whipped open my coat and hugged her close to my body. She was freezing, but I did not complain when she wrapped her arms around me under my coat. I held her under my coat and carried her as best I could to the chalet door.
Inside the chalet, I took off my coat, unbuttoned my shirt and hugged her close to my skin. It was freezing cold but I held her close anyway. She ran her frozen hands up and down my back trying to warm them up. After a few minutes I softly reminded her of the hot bath that was waiting for her. She said that she was really enjoying the hugging but she felt that the bath would feel even better, so she headed to the bathroom.
It was a full 30 minutes before she came out to the living room wrapped in a towel. I had set a roaring fire in the fireplace and we both settled in for a long cuddle in front of the fire. She felt refreshed, and warmed, by the bath and thanked me for preparing it ahead of time. She spoke of how the adventure outside had been a bit frightening when our first attempt to get her out had failed.
"I started to think that I might have been stuck there for hours! I was very relieved when your second attempt to lift me out worked."
I told her that I had another plan if I couldn't pull her out. I would have dug through the hill of snow from the driveway to her and she could have stepped through the dug out trench. She thought that might have taken hours.
"When I'm faced with a naked woman trapped in snow, I can dig pretty fast." That was very reassuring for her. I asked her what it was like while buried in the snow.
Of course she said it was cold, but she felt that over the past few days her tolerance for the cold has improved.
"Being encased in snow was not the worst thing. It was not knowing how long I was going to be there that created more fear and anxiety."
"So do you think you could have been out there longer?"
"I was preparing myself for a much longer stay in the snow because of the failed first try to get me out. I was saying to myself that this might take a lot longer and I was bracing myself for a longer time. So, yeah, I think I could have stayed out quite a bit longer, if I had to. Maybe that's the difference. I can handle a lot longer in the cold if I have to, but staying out there under my own will power is harder. I'll have to work on that."
"So, you actually want to do more things outside in the winter naked?"
"Sure," she said. "Bring on the challenges!"
I didn't have any more ideas. She seemed disappointed. I would have to come up with some more freezing situations to challenge her with. Anna removed her towel and snuggled in close and told me again that she felt that her ability to handle the freezing temperatures was getting better. She said that she would be willing to try anything outside. As we sat together by the fire, she naked and me in a sweater, I tried to think of other situations that would involve Anna naked outside in February.
I asked Anna if she could swim.
"I'm a very good swimmer. Why?"
"What about you swimming in the winter?"
"Sounds like a chilling idea," said Anna with a smirk. "But, ah, the lake is frozen. You know that I would if I could but until the ice clears we can't do anything."
I'm not sure if she was disappointed or relieved. I told her, "I can cut a hole in the ice if you really want to go swimming."
"I wouldn't want to put you to all that trouble. It sounds like it would be a lot of work for you. How can you dig a hole through thick ice?"
So, I sensed relief now, which means I have to get her to agree to do it. So, I say, "If you say you're going to go skinny dipping, I will make the hole for you. I don't know how, but I'll figure out a way. So, are you going swimming tomorrow?"
"If you make a hole - bigger than the one you make in the snow bank, much bigger - then I'll go swimming." She spoke with confidence now, probably because she didn't think I could break through the ice. After all, it was thick enough for snowmobiles to ride on. I stuck my hand out for a handshake. She took my hand in hers and together we said, "Deal."
I got up and headed to the door. She seemed disappointed that I got up and asked me where I was going. As I put on my coat and boots, I said, "I'm off to figure out how to make a hole in ice" and I was out the door. My first stop was the shed behind the cottage to see what tools I might find for my new project. The first thing I found was a big drill used for ice fishing.
It certainly could put a hole in the ice, but way too small. It would be smaller than the hole I dug in the snow bank. I needed something else. Rummaging around a bit more turned up a chainsaw and then I remembered seeing ice carvers using chainsaws to sculpt ice blocks. If a chain saw can carve ice, surely it can cut through it too. I found some fuel for the chainsaw, filled it up and tried to start it. It took several pulls on the starter cord but it eventually roared to life. I now had a way to cut a hole in the ice, a big one.
I turned the saw off and set it down on its shelf in the shed. Then, with shovel in hand, I headed down to the lake to do some snow clearing. I spent the next half hour clearing a large patch of ice in line with the cottage and about 20 feet off shore. Then I headed back to the cottage. In the cottage Anna was standing in front of the window admiring my accomplishment down on the lake.
"Clearing the snow is the easy part. How are you going to get through the ice?"
I explained that tomorrow morning I planned to use a chainsaw to cut a large hole in the ice. She didn't see how a chainsaw could put a hole in ice. I tried explaining how the chainsaw could cut through ice the same way that it could cut wood. I'm not really sure she understood, but it wasn't really important anyway.
"How cold is the water going to be?" she asked with some trepidation in her voice.
"Well the water has to be above freezing, otherwise it would be ice, but I think you can be pretty certain that it will be very close to freezing. Why? Are you chickening out?"
She quickly said, "No. I was just wondering what I should expect."
I got an idea.
"You know, we could do a little test right here in the chalet. We can fill the bathtub with cold water. The well water here is probably pretty close in temperature to the lake water. How about this; if you can stay in a tub of cold water for 3 minutes then I'll cut the hole in the lake ice tomorrow."
She looked at me quite indignant. "You don't think I can take the cold? Being buried in snow didn't convince you? Bring it on my good friend! Fill your tub now. I'll make your three minutes and more, you'll see!"
"I didn't mean to imply you couldn't do it. You have amazed me more times than I can count and I'm sure you'll impress me again. The bathtub idea is not meant to be a test you have to pass before you graduate to the lake. It's supposed to be a way for you to know better what to expect." I said this to try to get less on the defensive. "So, do you want to give it a try?"
"Sorry for blowing up a little. It just sounded like all of a sudden you didn't believe in me, and that hurt. You go fill the tub. I'll be there in a minute."
I kissed her on the forehead and headed to the bathroom to fill the tub. I have to admit, the water was really cold. The tub was only half full when she came into the room. I told her I was filling it as fast as I could. We made small talk until it was about 3/4 full. I turned off the tap saying it was as full as the tub was when we filled it with hot water. She felt the water with her finger and commented that it was pretty cold. I agreed with her and then suggested that a quick entry was probably the best way. Going slow would prolong everything unnecessarily.
She stepped in and just stood there, sort of like she was frozen. While standing in the tub she asked how would she get into the lake tomorrow? I said that she could probably just jump in or slide in off the side. Either way it would be pretty quick. Then she took a deep breath and quickly sank into the tub up to her neck and gave out a scream. "Wow! This is cold."
"Is it colder than lying in snow."
"It feels colder, but could that be because the water is denser than the snow? How long do you want me here?"
I hadn't started my stopwatch and quickly went to start it. I reminded her that we had said three minutes. She took another deep breath, resigned to staying in her frigid pool only to prove a point. At the two-minute mark I commented on how well she was doing and she smiled. I asked, well, almost dared her to put her head under water too.
She glared at me for a second, stuck her tongue out at me and slid completely under the water. Now only her knees popped out and that only because the tub was too short. While holding her breath underwater, she opened her eyes, looked up at me and gave me a little wave from underwater.
She stayed under for nearly 30 seconds, which I found very impressive. She finally came up gasping for air but still very proud of herself. "So, what do you think about that?" She said quite smugly while still laying neck deep in the ice-cold tub of water.
"I’m very impressed! We're going to have fun down at the lake tomorrow."
Anna broke out in a huge smile being very proud of herself, and then sunk back down with her head completely under the water with eyes wide open and a big grin. She popped back up after about 20 seconds and just lay there, seemingly enjoying the frigid water.
"Aren't you cold" I asked.
"Sure it's cold," she said, "But you kind of get used to it after a while"
and she continued to lay in it as if it were a warm bath rather than an ice bath.
I let her lay there as long as she wanted, but still keeping track of the time. She noticed me looking at my watch and asked how much longer she had to stay there. I checked my watch again and said, "Well in 30 seconds it will make 10 minutes! How about one more time underwater as long as you can and then you can get out."
Quite nonchalantly she said OK, took a deep breath and sunk under yet again. She had her eyes open again, but this time seemed to be concentrating on holding her breath. At 30 seconds I signaled to her with three fingers up and made a zero with the other hand. At this point I was counting slowly in my head and signaled four fingers at forty seconds.
A few bubbles came out of her mouth and I knew she wouldn't last much longer. When I put up five fingers she popped up and gasped for air. I said "50 seconds! I don't think I could do better in any water. Well done."
Anna thanked me for the compliment as she stepped out of the tub and into the large towel I was holding for her. I started thinking what we could do to make Anna's lake swim even more interesting. She came out to the fireplace still wrapped in the towel and just laid it on the floor in front of the fireplace and sat down on it.
She had put her hair into a ponytail on the top of her head and I commented that it looked cute on her. She explained that by doing her hair up like that it was pretty effective in keeping it off her back and out of her eyes. I told her again that I thought it was cute and I had no problem with her leaving it like that.
I was up pretty early the next day and out onto the lake by about 8:00. The patch of ice that I had cleared the day before was still clear because there had been no new snow the night before. I used a toboggan that I found in the shed to help move down to the lake the tools I was going to need; the chain saw, the ice drill and a pair of sawhorses to rest the tools on.
Down on the ice, I used the chain saw to cut a series of about ten slots through the ice about five feet long and about a foot apart. Then I cut through between each slot basically creating nine five-foot long ice cubes. As I made the final cut each ice block, in turn, fell into the lake. It was quite easy to push each of the blocks under the lake ice around the hole in the ice that I had just created.
After clearing all the ice away I took the ice drill and drilled a hole in the ice about two feet away from the big hole. The drill created a hole about a foot in diameter. My hope was that Anna's head would fit through it.
All the time I was cutting and drilling Anna was in the picture window of the chalet watching me. As I was tidying up the tools she came out onto the deck and called out to me asking if I was finished. I answered by saying that I would be up in a few minutes. She quickly headed inside to wait for me there.
I arrived in the chalet and announced that everything was ready for her swim, but suggested that we wait until about 11:00 when the sun would be higher in the sky. Anna thought that was a good idea. She asked exactly what we were going to be doing.
I started by making sure she knew that she would remain naked all the time. She knew that and reminded me that she had no clothes with her anyway. I continued by saying that we would be going down to the lake and considering that the snow was pretty deep going down the hill to the lake, I suggested that we try sliding down the hill on the sled I had been using.
She seemed agreeable to the idea even if she wasn't convinced it would work. At least it sounded better than trying to walk through the near waist-deep snow that was between the chalet and the lake. Her hair was still in a ponytail sticking out of the top of her head and she commented that keeping it that way would prevent it from getting into her eyes on the toboggan run and in the lake.
I went on to say that I hoped the toboggan run would end near the hole I had made in the lake ice and then she would go for a swim. She asked how long did I want her to be in the water for. I figured 10 minutes or more since that is how long she was in the tub the day before and it didn't look like that was a real limit for her anyway. Anna was very happy with her performance the day before, and showed real confidence that she could meet or even exceed my ten-minute expectation.