Friday, June 5, 2009

Lesson Learned

We are painting this house. We have removed the rotten dilapidated shutters, and we have begun to paint it green, not a dark green, but sort of an antique-ish green color from an 'historic house' paint line. The windows will be trimmed in vanilla. We put a copper topped cupola at the roof peak to provide ventilation in the attic. We put on a new roof and new gutters and new soffit and fascia. It really is beginning to look like a changed house. (Yes, BB, I will take a picture)

Anyways, I was up on the porch roof when Tim sent me down the ladder to get something from the trunk. I can't remember now what it even was. I looked at the ladder feet, and they were set. Assuming that the ladder was locked (and you know what they say about those people who assume: assuming makes an ASS out of U and ME. This time it did.) It was a telescoping ladder, and it began to collapse. I grabbed for the roof with one hand, clung to the quickly collapsing ladder with the other. My shoes (comfortable old slip ons) went flying. One went completely to the sidewalk out front probably 20 feet away. The other nearly dropped on Mike's head. There was no time to yell. Tim grabbed for me as I swung crazily in the air. The ladder swung out and I was hanging on to roof with one hand and the ladder with the other, suspended in the middle, holding on to both for dear life. Alerted by the dropping shoe, Mike looked up and grabbed the ladder at the bottom and pushed it back against the house. Once Tim had a firm hold of my belt loop, I was secure enough to let go of the ladder and grab the roof with both hands and pull myself up on the roof.

Later, a resident of the nursing home was out with his father. Wheelchair bound, he watched us working for quite a while, fascinated at the progress we were making. His father, white haired, with the sunglasses you wear after cataract surgery, had brought the family dog, a nondescript black and tan hound of indeterminate breed. The trio talked quietly, the younger man's comments were spoken with great difficulty as his father waited patiently. The dog rested his head on the son's knee. I called down to ask them how it looked from the street, and got the official okay.

What a lesson. What a great big lesson God provided me today.

As I watched that father with his son, I tried to imagine how it would feel to be confined to a wheelchair, unable to walk. Unable to do for yourself. Unable to speak. Unable to even pet your dog. I realized that I was a darn lucky woman. I had a long winter. I was sick. Now, I am not. Now I can paint. I can walk for miles. I can work. I can fret over cancer as much as I want, but for all I know, I could sail off a roof tomorrow. Or get run over by a truck.
The only thing that I know for sure is that I have today.
So do you.


Cora from Hidden Riches said...

Isn't that the truth????? We worry about things we have no control over and just waste our days away! I'm so thankful for today! And so thankful you did not fall!!!!

mommamia said...

What a great lesson. Thank you for reminding me of one fact. You can't always change things. You can just be thankful for today.

Be careful painting!

Kelly said...

Yes, a wonderful lesson. But....I'm still reeling from the ladder incident! I have a fear of heights and my heart was racing just reading your account!!

Bush Babe said...

Well I don't have a fear of height, but I do have a fear of friends falling long distances onto their patooties and sustaing serious patootie damage. So stop it already!!!

Thanks heavens you are OK. And yes, everything is relative. A great reminder.

Debby said...

You know, Kelly, I used to be afraid of heights too. I was wondering about that today as I stood on a step ladder on that roof painting beneath the eaves of the second floor. I guess that I got over it, which is really kind of remarkable.

BB, I have a strong aversion to falling and damaging any part of my anatomy, although Tim would probably be more inclined to worry about my patootie. After I pulled back up on the roof, I was laying there on my stomach. When I leaned over to make sure Mike hadn't gotten hurt, our tenant Mark was staring up wideyed as well. All I could think of was how funny I must have looked swinging back and forth. It happened so quickly, I didn't even get scared, but it scared the mess out of everyone else.

Daria said...

There is always someone in a worse situation than you ... I try and remind myself of that ... so thank you for reminding me today.

I don't like roofs for me, for my husband ... for anyone ... they scare me.

WhiteStone said...

Whew! That was scarey reading! And sooooo glad it had a happy ending! And, hey, Gal! The last time I climbed up on a roof was in the 1970s. I was pregnant and helping shingle our home. Now THAT is something I will never do again! No, sirree, Bob! I stay on level ground these days. Sure glad you are safe and sound!

Pencil Writer said...

Hanging on with one hand to the roof and with the other holding the ladder. Wonder Woman! I wonder how many recent breast cancer/chemo survivors can say they swung by a single hand from a two-story building and survived to talk about it??? Hurray! And Thank the Lord for His many blessings. You are a Womder, Woman! I would have just crumpled into a pile of jelly.

steviewren said...

You are made of braver stuff than me. I would have never gotten back up on the roof after that close call.

Anonymous said...

Big lessons come from little places, don't they?

Caroline said...

A big part of living life again is learning to live with a cancer diagnosis - its never going away but it doesn't need to run your life - because you can go out an do things.

Mary Paddock said...

Well, as I never would have climbed up on the ladder in the first place, my hat is off to you and I'm so glad you're okay. I don't mind carrying heavy stuff, getting dirty, paint covered, etc, but ladders (shudders).

You are courageous in more than one way.

Anonymous said...

This is too scary.
Hubby climbed onto our roof yesterday to check teh solar panels ... and I was a nervous wreck teh entire time he was up there.
I don't have a good head for heights even when I'm on the ground watchign someone else, or even reading about someone almost falling on the itnerenet!
Stay SAFE!

quid said...

I can't wait to see the "after" picture. I'm glad you were able to save yourself from "ladder doom"....


Lori said...

I'm glad you were able to hang on. Love the descriptive prose of this entry! We can all learn a lesson here.