Climbing The Uber-Ladder

Uber:  German for  ultimate, supreme, outstanding, amazing.

We only see Edna Moehl a couple of times each year, so when I got a phone call from her it piqued my curiousity. She said she was moving off the farm and had something she thought I should have…. antique apple picking ladder. Now normally, I  will pass when someone offers me something free or extra, or its too good to throw away because I’m tired of stuff.  But in this case, I said I would consider it.   It is a one of a kind contraption, made from an old windmill frame.  Two steel wheels and a set of handles to push it around.  It is surprisingly balanced.

I said I would take it.

The ladder is parked in the East orchard all year round, I only use it to pick the apples I can’t reach with my 8 ft step ladder.

Tuesday I  had one last Ginger Gold apple tree to pick.  There were fifteen to twenty beautiful  apples way on the top, that the Japanese beetles hadn’t found (yet.)

view from the ladder (3)

View from the base

As I got about 3/4’s the way up, a little tinge of fear started rumbling around in my gut. It’s the last couple of rungs that can get a little interesting.

Anyway, as I was picking those beautiful apples on the top of the tree, it triggered a flood of thoughts, other times in my life when I felt the fear, but kept going anyway…and the result was I got to experience something I otherwise would never have experienced, had I played it safe on the ground.

The biggest memory is getting a date with that girl in homeroom, who used to sit with all of the popular kids in the back of the room, while I sat in the front row, ready to scoot out the door, the second the class bell rang.

My values have changed since those days, but just to give you an idea what I was up against… She was cute, very cute.  Her dad was a doctor, She was an athlete.  Played varsity basketball, her freshman year. She was genuinely a nice person.  Eventually, the student body elected her homecoming queen….You get the picture.  Me on the other hand, well, I was shy.  So shy  I can count on one hand,  the number of conversations I had with girls up until that time. I loved to read, had a musical bent.  We lived on a dairy farm, so my life pretty much consisted of work, school, and more work.

There was a guy who worked for my dad, whose name was Lowell.  Nice guy, probably in his 40’s …single and shy.  I did not want to wind up like Lowell.

So the short version is, I asked that cute little girl in my home room out on a date to a movie.. she said she’d go.  Only went out on one date originally…and it took a couple of more years and dating several more girls, before I was able to shed more of the shyness..but it was a start. After I graduated high school, I happened to run into that girl who was my first date. She was working in a local pizza place.   The guy who was with me that night knew about my first date with her…and how I wished I’d handled things different, but at the time, I was just too socially, clueless. He leans over the table and whispers …“If you don’t ask her out, I will…”

And the rest is history….we celebrated our 37th anniversary this Spring.

There will be opportunities to climb the Uber-ladder sprinkled throughout our lives.



18 thoughts on “Climbing The Uber-Ladder

  1. I love this story for several reasons…the most obvious one is that you married the girl who was your first date. Sweet! Happy 37th!! But also because you told the story of not giving up–when you felt the fear, you kept going anyway. Universal words that touch most of us. I’m feeling the fear of giving up my home to go out on the road–a huge step at this point in my life. At 30, not so big. Now? Big. But I want the experience. If it doesn’t work out, we’ll do something else. I don’t want to sit here, shy and scared to step out, settling for what is known instead of the unknown. Now all we have to do is actually sell our house…or none of those dreams will come true–at least not yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a wonderful nudge your friend gave you. Not only did things work out beautifully, your story’s a reminder that the best things in life often do take time. Sometimes, they take more time than we can imagine.

    As for being shy? Well, yes. I was so shy in junior high the joke was that I couldn’t bring myself to read a recipe out loud in front of the family. I got over it — but it took time. And experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t realize you were a kindred former shy person. I am so thankful I only experience a fraction of what it used to be like. Have you ever written about it on your blog? I would be interested in reading about if you have.


      • No, I haven’t written about it, and only mention it in passing from time to time. As a topic, it doesn’t seem very interesting to me, and if I’m boring myself with a topic, I’ll no doubt bore my readers, too.

        Actually, I’ve always appreciated these words of Georgia O’Keeffe, quoted in Joan Didion’s White Album: “Where I was born and where and how I have lived is unimportant… It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest.”

        I’ve not done as much with my life as O’Keeffe, that’s for sure. But I’m working on it!


  3. Congratulations!
    Oh man do I know that feeling of rigid gripping fear from shyness. I was so shy that the day after I asked a girl out, I kinda avoided her! Thankfully she was shy too… That was my first time dating, and we’ve never quit. I’ve been married to her 7 years.
    (now I’m thinking about it, I’ve known her a couple years longer than I haven’t known her, if that makes sense… can’t think of better wording)

    Liked by 1 person

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