One of the things I love about my big old farm house is the large attic.
Since we don’t have many closets, we use the attic for storage of off-season clothes, Christmas decorations, toys, sleeping bags and other very important things that the children cannot yet part with.
To access this space we have a pull down ladder.
I do not like this ladder. I do not like any ladders. I do not like heights.
But I had come to peace with it’s existence and could actually use it without a complete panic.
But then it broke.
Just like that.
At least it broke in the up position.
Jan removed it – leaving a hole in the ceiling in the hallway – and brought in a step ladder to provide access to the more nimble among us. Since using the step ladder involved climbing to the top and using your upper body strength to hoist yourself through the hole in the ceiling into the attic – it is valid to conclude that I have not seen the contents of the attic for some time.
Well – except for the one time that Jan brought in a real ladder and held it for me while patiently coaching up me up and then back down. All that just so that I could find the two missing blue flannel pillowcases.
He’s wonderful like that.
Otherwise I managed by bribing one of the children to go up the step ladder and then shouted directions from below.
“The blue pillow cases are there somewhere – keep looking!”
But that all ended last night.
The needed parts had arrived, the pull down ladder was fixed, and it was ready to be installed.
The installation itself proved to be a problem – since both of our big boys have left home to seek their fame and fortune in the big wide world.
And Dagmar was on call at the hospital.
Jan was left with Angel Girl, Buddy and I to assist him – and one of us was deathly afraid of heights.
But my amazing husband figured out an simple solution involving a step ladder, four braces, 2 cordless drills, Buddy, Angel Girl and himself.
Did you notice that I was left out of this installation?
I decided my job would be to call 911 in case of emergency (which would prove interesting since Dagmar would be the one to come rescue us) and got my cell phone to be prepared.
And because the phone was in my hands – I started texting Dagmar a play by play of the action so she wouldn’t be surprised when the 911 call came through.
“So Dad, Buddy and Angel Girl are attempting to put in the attic stairs. Hopefully we won’t need to visit you.”
Jan and Angel Girl climbed into the attic on the step ladder and pulled up the repaired pull down ladder.
Then they carefully lowered the pull down ladder until it rested on the braces and used the first cordless drill to attach the ladder.
Buddy’s job was to climb the step ladder on the other side, use the second cordless drill to carefully remove the four braces, and pull down the ladder to let Jan and Angel Girl out.
Great plan right?
All went well till Buddy climbed up the ladder to unscrew the braces. As he struggled to balance himself on the step ladder while holding a heavy cordless drill over his head I heard Jan say, “Be careful you don’t strip the screws or we’ll be stuck up here.”
Stuck in the attic?
I send Dagmar a text:
“Your dad and sister are currently stuck in the attic but don’t worry buddy and I have everything under control.”
Finally a job that I can handle – create drama.
We all have our gifts.