Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Ladders

I haven't been knitting much. The heat wave has taken care of that, when it is 9 pm and it is still 30 C (86 F) and you do not have air conditioning, the thought of knitting is not pleasant. There is a wicked amount of humidity as well.

When we bought our house, the previous owners left a long extension ladder under one of the large trees in the backyard. We decided to put it to use on Sunday to clean the 2nd floor evestroughs that were plugged. Since my husband doesn't like hights, I don't mind them, it was quickly decided that I would climb the ladder and he would hold it. After we extended the ladder, the locking mechanism on one side was stuck. We could push it open but the hinge was going back between the rungs. I pushed the mechanism into position, sprayed both hinges with WD-40 on the way up to clean the eves.
There was a suprising small amount of debris in the gutter, but it was positioned over the downspout causing the blockage. I cleaned it, and made my way down the ladder. We decided to pour some water into the eves, to make sure that the downspout was really clean (much easier to do something about it now then, to haul the ladder out a second time). My bucket that I took up for collecting the debris was filled with water, and I ascended the ladder a second time. I went a little slower this time, carring an empty bucket compared to one that is half full makes a difference. I was thinking about this when I was one step from the top.
All of a sudden the ladder slides out from beneath me, I grab for the eves (at the sametime knowing that they can't hold my wait). The ladder stops slidding, I try to catch my balace, the ladder goes a little bit more. At this time I am holding on to the eves for balance, and trying to put the weight onto the roof below me, (that is really too steep to stand on). One of my shoes is in the first floor evestrough.
My husband gives me instructions on how to get down. I don't comprehend what he says, my heart is beating too fast and loud. Ali mistakes my silence this for not liking those directions and gives me an alternative method. From what I get of the directions, they don't make sense.
The ladder seems stable, I ask what he thinks about it. I decide to slowly climb down the ladder. One step, second step. I am now on the bottom extension of the ladder. This helps, I am able to climb down. On the ground, I am able to ask what happened. The locking mechanism of the ladder wasn't quite in the right spot, when I was at the top, the WD40 had lubricated the joint well enough, and everything slid down.
I scrapped my shins, my arm muscles (and finger muscles) were sore yesterday, but that is the extent of my injuries. I thought I might get a decent bruise on my shins but not even that.
I have learnt a valuable lesson about lubriction of joints, and taking time to make sure that things are locked.

3 comments:

Wily Jeneric said...

1. Good to hear you survived. Whew!
2. Hee, hee. You wrote about joint lubrication. Can't help it - it's funny.
3. Why did you sent this blasted heat wave to NJ?

Teresa said...

You think I want to keep this heat wave here. Blame this on the westerners who sent the heat in this direction.

Priscilla said...

OH MY GOSH. How scary.

My husband is slightly afraid of heights (as a result of falling from a high place, breaking one ankle and twisting the other, the police and skinny dipping) and he had to climb up our very tall house IN THE RAIN to clean the gutters.

You get points for doing it when it is dry, with increased diffulty rating for equipment mailfunction.

I hope you are okay.