|My beloved childhood home.|
When Daughter moved from her single occupancy apartment to share a place with her boyfriend (a man who has a LOT of his own stuff), some of her belongings made their way into my attic space. I told her I'd hold them until she had a house and storage space of her own. This weekend the two of them are moving into their newly purchased house and I had to move her tubs and boxes and bags from the attic to my car. Sounds so easy when I type it out like that but I know from reading one too many do-it-yourself books that the written word makes any job sound deceptively simple.
The attic space is reached by a ladder. Any box or plastic storage tub that made its way up there did so with the help of two people, one kneeling on the attic floor and reaching down through the hole while the other hefted said box or tub up the ladder to meet the waiting hand. Taking things down was just as precarious. Because I have limited upper body strength, when anything needed to be moved up or down I have been the person at the bottom of the ladder. Using my knees for leverage, my shoulders for support and the ladder rungs as a ramp, I could slide things up. B, whose upper body strength is augmented by youth and constant exercise as he goes about his farm chores, would reach down and with one hand haul up whatever I was pushing on with all my might.
Today B was unavailable but his mother, J, whose own arm muscles allow her to toss around 40-lb. hay bales, offered to help. Up the ladder she went. Trouble was, I had to climb the ladder too, to help sort Daughter's boxes from my own. To my surprise, the ladder emerged through a hole just a tad smaller than the amount of space I take up. I had to put one knee on the attic floor and twist until I could ease my torso in sideways. Anyone with a garage attic knows there's only one place one can stand and that's directly under the ridge beam. All our boxes were stored under the eaves.
Armed with flashlights, we opened each box, sorting them out until all Daughter's belongings were moved close to the ladder hole and all mine were stored at the other end of the garage. Wet with sweat and back aching after bending over for half an hour, I crawled to the top of the ladder and knelt down. I felt with one foot for the top rung but when I moved to lower my second foot the leg was seized with a vicious cramp. I have a small reserve of words for just such occasions. I used every one before I reached the bottom of the ladder.
J dragged the first box to the hole and lowered it onto the top rungs of the ladder. I climbed back up half way and balancing the weight on my chest, I backed down slowly, letting the box slide until I could grab it with both hands. One after another the boxes came down until they were all lined up on the garage floor. J eased herself down, we loaded my car, then collapsed onto patio chairs with cups of tea, congratulating each other and breathing sighs of relief that we wouldn't have to brave that ladder again until Christmas (at which point I'll type the words, "piece of cake").
|My little one room cottage.|