This house comes with a puzzle

Gone Bad, Projects


I am an idiot.

I was pretty sure of this as I was falling slowly to the earth while holding on to a ladder that was wedged in a tree.

Now the worst part about falling off a ladder while holding another ladder isn’t the thoughts racing through your head about breaking your ankle or getting hit in the balls by an aluminium ladder leg, its the thought that when you’re screaming out in pain that you broke your ankle you might have to explain yourself to the neighbors that were doing yard work next door.

But alas, that didn’t happen.

Last year when we had just moved into the house we were doing some yardwork, trying to cut back all the vines that were choking out some trees along the back fence. I noticed that buried in the vines was an extension ladder, with a tree growing in the middle of one of the rungs. Because our motivation only lasts so long we just igonred the ladder until some future date. Well something told me that “future date” was this weekend.

I was on a roll from replacing the steering rack boot on Laurel’s Subaru, clamping the exhaust back together and cleaning up the garden. So I looked at this puzzle and thought, “that probably isnt’ that hard”. So I began by removing the vines from the ladder and trying to lift it up as far as I could, which was about 5 feet off the ground. Good easy progress! This is going to be a sinch! So then I started to realize that I was going to have to squeeze the rest of the tree down to a pretty small diameter. So I got out the roof straps and tried to use some kind of mechanical advantage to get it down.

Which sort of worked except the ladder kept getting caught on stray branches. I tried standing on the broken fence and pushing it up, which ended in my quickly jumping off and deciding that I need to go get the other ladder. This should have been forshadowing of what was going to happen, but I pressed forward with some kind of idiot determination. Every time something like this would happen I would look next door to see if my neighbors saw anything. They were out working in their yard and to make it worse they run a general contracting company, so they know the ‘right’ way to do things. There’s just something worse about doing things the wrong way in front of professionals that makes it more embarrassing.

I like doing things myself, not in some kind of I’m a real man because I can fix things kind of way. But in the way that people would be surprised that I could physically do something like that without another set of hands. Like mounting the kitchen cabinets or hanging a 10 foot wallpaper mural. But these things are best done in the privacy of my own house. Where other people can’t see ‘How’ you do things. With my methods it’s best not to see ‘how the fudge is packed’.

I’m glad that nobody was recording this because I would have ended up on youtube for sure.





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