Ladders and Shoots

Ladders and Shoots

I’ve had several experiences with ladders and, well, if there was anyone within earshot, they would not have heard the word shoot.
Lake Serene: I was on the roof of the garage, fixing something, (probably inadequately, cuz that has generally been my MO. That is to say I would fix it, but eventually, as a family, a decision would be made,(Robin, my adoring wife, would subtly convince me that I didn’t do it right and that I probably can’t do it right) and I would buck up and call a professional to fix it. Back to the roof, so, I skipped a bit of the story, see, cuz I started by saying I was on the roof. I actually started on the ground, so I got the extension ladder out, set it up, and realized I could not set it up safely based on the conditions, the ground was very soggy, I couldn’t set it at the right angle because of the two different rooflines, so I asked Robin to hold the ladder while I was on it. I was on the ladder, not the roof, and at some point I looked down to see Robin, well, kinda touching the ladder while she was weeding under the deck. That kinda counts. Anyway, I’m working away and then I’m falling. Actually, the ladder is falling, and I’m on the ladder, so…I grab at whatever I can reach and whatever I grabbed cut my finger before I tumbled down the roof, landed pretty much on my feet(I’d give it an 8, one of my better falls!). “SHOOT”. It was a Sunday so I drove to the walk in clinic and got a stitch or two. That was back when my company insurance paid for everything and medical expenses never happened. I’m sure in today’s world I would just put a bandaid and seven wraps of duct tape on it and call it good.
Speaking of finger injuries, that reminds me of the time I was fly fishing on the Twisp River and Robin and I were walking through the woods along the river… ( a little back story, I had taken a fly fishing class at the University of Washington, where they talked specifically about walking through the woods with your fly rod) so, my rod or hook or something got caught up on something, and of course, I yanked on it, (in the class at UW, they specifically talked about “No yanking) broke it loose, and buried the hook deep into my finger. There is a theoretical way to get the hook out, cut the eye off the hook and pull it all the way through, but I didn’t do that. Nope, no way,I was thinking, Twisp walk in clinic, novocaine, sympathy, you know, what grown adults (big babies) would expect, so off I went, hook in finger and all. When I walked into the clinic, hook, fly rod and all, I got some looks. It’s not easy driving anywhere with a 9′ fly rod in a Ford Taurus, but up a two track dirt road and then down a curvy road to the clinic, well, let’s just say I set the hook real good! Doc Henry (trust me, that’s a whole nuther story) took a look at the hook, then a long look at me, then another look at the hook, then a really long look at me, then grabbed my hand and pulled the hook out. “SHOOT”! Doc Henry told me, ” Next time you get a hook in your finger, take it out yourself”.Why would he think I’d do that again.
Back to Ladders and Shoots.
Marysville: So I got this new chainsaw awhile ago, and when I say awhile, well, chainsaws had been out for awhile, but it was a long time ago, and a $400 purchase for something that I had no idea what I’d use it for, and less of an idea how to use it…I guess I thought I’d cut down a tree or something. Oh yeah, we had these little dwarf cherry trees that never produced cherries, I thought decorative meant the cherries would be really cool looking, as opposed to not being at all. Oh, and they weren’t dwarf, I mean, I’m way closer to dwarf than they are. I decided to trim them back a bit. I had my shiny new chainsaw, and a new orchard ladder ( that’s a ladder that has a single pole on the other side of where the steps are, I guess they’re used in orchards). I set up the ladder in position to cut some of the large limbs off the “dwarf” tree. I was about 10′ up the ladder, leaning out to get a good angle for this cut, and I was going along just fine, but I needed to get just a bit closer, so I leaned a bit more, OK, just about got it, and the ladder starts tipping sideways, actually, it was on the ground. I was still in the tree, hanging with one hand from an uncut limb, and with the other hand carefully swinging my shiny new chainsaw in every conceivable direction, because I knew I couldn’t hold that position for more than, well, 3 seconds! I spent most of that 3 seconds, hanging there, looking down at where I could drop and not break anything, part of “anything” were my appendages, but mostly I was worried about my chainsaw, it was still running in full cut down tree mode. I dropped, didn’t break a leg, didn’t cut off anything on my person, and saved the chainsaw from any damage…”SHOOT”!!! Then I turned off the chainsaw and quickly retreated to the garage, looking over my shoulder the whole time trying to see if anyone saw me, or worse yet, video’d it. Definitely would have been in the money if it made it to “AMERICA’S FUNNIEST VIDEO”
Alta Lake: We got the keys to the Alta Lake house at the end of November. That year, golf was still going, kinda, for “locals” anyway(since we owned a home, albeit like, for one day, we, um, I, considered us locals, I had golfed at the course below our house several times, got to know some of the loco’s, uh, amongst the other locals, and we’re fitting in quite nicely. One of the great features of the cabin is that is has great windows facing the golf course, meaning, you can see most of the front nine from our living room. Also, most of the folks who golf, or walk along the path between our house and the front nine, can see into our living room. I remember during the course of the week we had done some painting, and had received comments like, ” I like what your doing to the house” and “why did you choose that color of green?” and, ” I really like the folding lawn chairs you’ve chosen for your living room decor”… well, maybe I didn’t really hear that compliment, but I was feeling that maybe we were in a fish bowl. One night, I was painting the popcorn ceiling, which was bold, topographical, circa 1980’s stylish popcorn ceiling, and of course, it’s vaulted, and a guy with my vertical challenges, I needed a ladder. So I was up there, on the “this is not a step,” step of the ladder, stretching just a bit more than I should, trying, well, whatever… when I woke up, I was on the floor with the foot of the ladder firmly planted where the sun don’t shine. I raised my right arm to make sure it worked, then I raised my left arm, all good! I extricated the ladder from my backside, and sat there wondering, ” why me” then started laughing uncontrollably!!! Why wasn’t anyone watching and calling 911, or coming to help me! Shoot!
Marysville: I was repairing the roof on our shed, the tall one, and so I used the, now, 20 year old orchard ladder. Wait, back story, one more time. I went to Home Depot and got the supplies to fix the roof of the shed, and backed the truck up to the gate to the backyard, then jumped up into the bed of the truck to unload the shingles and tarpaper, etc. At some point, unloading, I missed a step and went ass over teakettle to the ground, ( I’d give it a 3) not my best fall. I recovered and set up the orchard ladder, hauled the supplies up to the roof, fixed most of the roof, but I needed something or the other, and started down off the roof. I stepped onto the top step of the 20 year old wooden orchard ladder, which has served me well, and, like a cartoon, the rung broke, and I fell through that rung, and the next 6 rungs as they broke. Finally, I hit a rung that didn’t break, and the interruption of the shock, propelled me to the ground from 6 ft up and, for second time that day, I found myself lying on my back, wondering what, besides my trusty ladder, was broke! Nothing but my pride! “Shoot”
I bought a new, aluminum 12′ step ladder, it won’t rot, and I haven’t used it yet, if I do, I’m sure I’ll add an epilogue to this tale.
Step lightly, and use the board game, way better! Nobody gets hurt.


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