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 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.