Several years ago there was a television show titled, “Men in Trees”. When I noticed the listing I was intrigued and watched the show. I enjoyed it. Little did I realize that it was a harbinger.

Last Tuesday Bill and I had just brought the horses in from the paddocks. It was 6:30 in the evening. I’d been on my feet for over ten hours. As I walked back to the house I noticed he had the extension ladder leaning against a small branch on a tree north of the lower barn. I figured he’d be up there soon, sawing off dead limbs. I continued to the house, wondering why with all the jobs he could be doing on the farm that he’d picked one that would best be done with a ground person.

About ninety minutes later Bill entered the house. I was watching television with a vizsla on my lap. He muttered something. I caught a few words and hit the mute button, “What did you say?”

“Just that, ‘That was interesting.’”

“WHAT was interesting?”

“I was up the ladder and it twisted. I had to grab a limb. The ladder was at a ninety degree angle to the branch. I knew if I tried to move it there was a good chance it’d fall.”

“WHAT???? Are you insane? Why were you up there in the first place?”

“Well, there was this one branch…”

The vizsla left my lap as I turned to stare at this PhD Physicist. “Why did it twist?”

“When I was positioning the ladder against the tree I couldn’t get the base level. It wiggled a bit.”

“So you climbed up…”

“I grabbed a limb. My arms were going numb. Then, as I was hanging there, I remembered that Sally was still on the property, at the upper barn with her horse. I called her name and she came to help. I sent her for two lead lines so that I could secure the top of the ladder, then had her hold it at the base.”

The next day I saw Sally and called out to her, “Thanks for saving Bill’s life.”

She smiled and said, “It was so strange. I was in the upper barn and heard my name. I looked around, but couldn’t figure out where the sound was coming from.” (I understood her dilemma. As she scanned the area searching for the person calling her, looking UP didn’t instantly pop into her mind.) However, after repeatedly hearing her name (from a distance of 70 metres) she pinpointed the source of the sound.

I was relating this “story” to Christi. She shook her head, “And to think, he’s probably the smartest man in the neighborhood.”