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Life's Little Lessons
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We had one of life's little lessons today and the lesson is that advancing age lessens one's agility. Forever gone are the days when we could scramble up and down ladders to the roof with catlike (ok, bearlike) agility.

Today my husband climbed onto the roof to seal a leak, since the rainy season is hard on our heels, though this week the sky has been cloudless and the temps near freezing at night. Task done, he tried to climb down the ladder but his arthritic feet and parkinsonian hands (weak grip) just would not let him.

After 4 or 5 tries, he called me on the cell phone to come round the corner of the house and help him. Help him how? Serve as a human mattress for him to fall upon, all 5 foot 2 of me? Grip his 250 pound body in one fist whilst I glide down the ladder? Wave my magic wand? He wanted me to hold the ladder, as if that would make any difference. But I gave it a try, removing all sharp objects from the ground nearby, then steadying the ladder and holding my breath. No luck.

Even though he didn't want me to, I then called 911 and explained the problem. They sent out a huge red truck replete with handsome uniformed firemen who graciously and without a snicker got him down. I took the one who seemed to be in charge (he had greeted me when the truck arrived) and asked him PLEASE to have a word in this man's ear.

Which he did, thanking my husband for calling rather than falling, and pointing out that there comes a time when some tasks are best performed by a younger person. He was SO tactful and, I might add, swoonfully handsome. Yum. They all were. Just too gorgeous for words in all those uniforms and shiny truck and all. Yeah, so I'm an old lady--I'm not dead yet, nor am I blind.

The neighbors all came out of their houses to watch; the afternoon turned into an impromptu fiesta with snacks and chairs on the front lawn and children playing games. My husband was deeply embarrassed but at least he's still in one piece.

Lesson learned.

[Sunday afternoon note: I have a cough left over from a cold. He tried to cancel today's dinner at Jenny's house, citing "the ladder" and wasn't I too sick to go to dinner. Not sure what lesson he learned but I got to experience first-hand a classical example of projection.]

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