Tuesday, September 10, 2013

who knew gravity was so darn strong?!

i spose it's really actually very funny.

i've been using this old ladder for years.
it's too heavy for me, it's metal and is rusted and really hard
to make bend the way it needs to bend.

rather than get a whole new ladder, i opted to do the ol' wd40 deal.
zakk was there as i squirted that magic into the bendy adjustable parts
of the ladder.

'this can't do anything wrong, right??' i asked him.

he joked with me about that and assured me that it was fine.

so i squirted some more and felt sure that this ladder and i were gonna make friends.
we had never really gotten along.
it was acquired when a neighbor was moving and didn't want it anymore.
and never once did i find it easy to use.

i actually built up  my arm strength in part to deal with the ladder.
i kid you not.
i've been lifting it around the yard to clean windows and all proud of
myself that i can move the darn thing!

so there i was, cleaning my gutters on my ladder.
i scooted on my porch roof at one point to get some leaves outta another

uh oh.

i had gone up a way i don't usually get up.
and now i wasn't sure i could get down.

uh oh.

no one was home.

oh man.
now what?

i was sitting on my roof wondering how in the world to get down.
should i just sit up there for the evening?
maybe do some thinking.

sure the mosquitoes would enjoy it more than i would,
i decided to get down.
i gave this some serious thought.
i really didn't want to fall off the roof, and i really wanted to get down.

so after some deep breaths, some looking for places to grip,
some back up 'how-to-fall-plans' -
i backed myself off the roof onto the ladder.

i was so darn relieved to feel that ladder under my feet.
we are gonna make friends after all, i thought.

scooting the ladder over to the other part of the roof, it wasn't tall enough.
i had to change its position. had to stretch it out straight.

i laid it down in the yard.
it looked like a giant 'greater than' sign.
one side in the grass,
the other side tilted up to the sky.

all i gotta do is unbend it, and straighten it out.
piece of cake.

i jiggled those bendy levers to change the position of the ladder.
they wouldn't move right.
putting my foot on the one side that was on the ground,
i gripped tighter and got the levers loose.
the ones i had squirted
and there is where i saw the power of the wd40 -
that ladder moved like a well oiled ladder with the force of gravity behind it.
that ladder smashed down on my toe with such force my eyes about popped
outta my head.


oh man, now i closed those popped out eyes.
'i think i broke my toe.'
'no, you didn't break it,' i responded in my head.
with my foot still smooshed in there.
'it'd feel different. you just creamed it.'

so why on earth do i have this conversation right then in my head?
and! something in me knew there were people outside, so i actually
stayed quiet. how can the pride thing be so strong that i didn't scream????

i couldn't get my stinkin' foot out at first.
the ladder was like an alligator's mouth.

i thought it was gonna go the other way!!! not THIS way!!

i bent down, got my foot free and didn't make a sound.

i hobbled into the house.
the moment i got alone inside, i started crying like a little girl.
and i mean, like a little girl.
i hobbled to the side of the bathtub,
sat down and stuck my toe in the cold running water
and cried.

i cried cause it hurt.
(and no, it's not broken - the toenail took the brunt of it)
i cried cause i just wanted to be able to do all this stuff easier.
i cried cause i hated that ladder and knew i should get a new one
and never have. i've looked at them. thought of it. and never spent
the stinkin' money to get one.
i cried cause zakk could do this same leaf thing in one thousandth of
the time i could do it.
i cried cause zakk was so young and strong and i wasn't.
i cried cause there were ants in my gutter and i'm soooo tired of ants.
i just cried.
like a little girl.

and then i stood up.
it didn't feel so bad anymore.
maybe i should go finish the job.

maybe i should be a big girl and go finish the job.

standing there in the middle of my living room,
i tried to think that thru.
should i?
or would i end up killing myself in the process?

i could feel it throbbing.
i opted for foot up in bed with a movie.
seemed like the best option available.

i would check around for a new ladder.
maybe get an awesome deal somewhere.
feel like a genius over that.

which might make up for the feelin' like the dope that i feel like now.
but one thing at least - the wd40?
it works.
oh it works good.

and my toe?
it still works too.
and this morning it dawned on me how lucky i was it didn't fall on the
middle of my foot. i woulda smashed it to pieces for sure.

what did i learn thru this? oh a lotta things - things about getting on the roof, and
having correct tools and stuff to work with and being safe and smart and thinking thru
things - oh yeah, i actually think i got all that - i really did. i'm gonna be brilliant in
a years time over here with all my house project mistakes i'll make!

but i got something else too.
as i sat there in the bathroom, one of the things i was crying over was
being all alone with my throbbing toe. no one there to laugh with me and give my
shoulders a squeeze.
i thought of all the people who fight huge health battles every day all alone.
and how that in itself had to be as horrible as the health issues.
i sat there and thought of them.
and cried some more.
my heart opened wide for them.

i don't want to forget that or them.

funny how a stupid ladder and throbbing toe can be something that opens
your heart.

harriet the homeowner took a hit last nite.
but she's back today....toe's better......heart's open.
relationship with that ladder's over tho, baby.
i'm movin' on.


Diane in AR said...

LOVED this . . . laughed and cried with you. . .and smiled at what you learned. . .and so glad you know not only the power of WD40 but also know when to say goodbye -

to the ladder. . .

terri st. cloud said...

thanks diane! ohmygosh.
and my toe is doin' fantastic this morning! i'm tougher than i know! :)