October 27th, 2014


The Price of Safety

Borrowed the neighbor's "scary" 20'extension ladder to hang purple and orange rope lights "Christmas-style" from the apex of my garage. He never uses it fully extended, but loaned it to another neighbor who deigned it, "scary." That was my not my experience. After fully extending the narrow, flimsy aluminum ladder - which was missing a foot at the bottom of one of the side rails - and noticing all the trees bent over in the Kansas wind, the thought of ascending was downright frightening.

So I decided to purchase my own. I got a beautiful, sturdy 16' fiberglas one at the local True Value - far more expensive than I was wanting to spend on something with very little re-use value - but it fit nicely in my Tiburon and I felt very confident climbing it fully extended. Only, it wasn't high enough. Comparing it to the 20' I would need at least a 24' ladder, which the store didn't have, citing safety reasons - they did have a 24' aluminum ladder fully extended on display, and once I saw that, decided I wouldn't be the one climbing it. I returned the ladder and got my money back.

After considering hiring someone to fasten the hooks in the apex, which would surely be less expensive than a ladder, I decided that would not be the best use of my resources and instead broke out my trusty six-foot step ladder and simply attached everything to the wooden frame around the garage door.

Sometimes the best ideas are forged in fear and danger!