Up on a 24 ft. ladder, I am reminded, quite bluntly, how fleeting life may be. One wrong move and down I would go. Now, who knows if I would survive, and in what capacity? Yes, life is indeed fleeting when confronted with fearsome heights.
Now, I’m not afraid of heights, I rather enjoy them. I grew up on my grandparents’ farm turned tree nursery and was climbing by the time I was walking. Broke my leg at 4 by climbing atop the top bar of the swing set and promply falling off. My grandfather told the doctor to please not put a walking cast on me, but that didn’t stop me. The next day, I was climbing again, cast in tow. I’m the first to want to take an elevator to the top of a skyscraper or sit by the window in an airplane.
Fast forward 50 years and I found myself alone at home, needing to do some painting and repairs. I thought I could climb up and paint the dormers on my roof. Hmm, not very bright, was I? I positioned the ladder and got up there alright, being very surprised at the slant angle of this particular roof. Not to be outdone, I kept going up and sat there admiring the view and quietness of the street and town. I couldn’t do much of any painting as there wasn’t a place to put the pail down without spilling it. (A little planning would have helped.) So, I decided to go back down.
Alas, one look down at the ladder and fear gripped me. I needed someone to hold it. What was I to do? I could yell for help, but no one was at home on the street and drivers of vehicles passing by did not look up. Arghhh! So, I did the next best thing and decided to go up and over and shimmy down a tree near my back door. Now, mind you, I had not shimmied down a tree since I was about 17 years old. It was a bruising and scuffing experience. But, good news is, I made it down safely and with no broken bones. Now, how to paint those dormers????