Friday, May 20, 2011

Adding to my resumé as a Super-Mom ...

So I was doing my part to save he Earth yesterday ...
and decided to hang some of the sheets out on the sunny deck instead of drying them in the dryer.

(View from our deck
This is going to be a cornfield this summer HONEST! 
... it JUST is coming up and it's barely visable 
... and also note the padded rocking cow.)
Our deck is above our walk-out basement and therefore is pretty high up. And since we're very conservative with our dollars (ahem) understatement!!--when we built our house we decided that we'd save a few dollars and wait to put in the stairs. I mean ... at that point we didn't even have a lawn! The corn field came practically up to our backdoor. We didn't exactly need stairs to go down and enjoy that.

Well, that was 11 years ago and we still don't have any stairs although we DO have a pretty big lawn back there now. However, it's like a really large, sunny playpen ... and with 3 kids it has actually been a handy and safe place to let them go play kickball or eat popsickles or crumbly cookies.

Well, back to me hanging laundry. I had gone out a couple of times and each time of course Nolan was right at my heels not wanting to miss one exciting moment of Mom at work! (I do actually love that! Easton and Brayden have long grown weary of that fun.) On the third time out to hang up one last sheet next to the padded rocking cow, Nolan tore across the house and burst through the door ... and the door slammed shut in the wind.

oh no.

We've replaced this deck door 3 times in the 11 years we've lived here ... it tends to catch the wind and rips from its hinges. Well, the last time we replaced it Jeff flipped the direction it opened hoping to avoid the breezes that have been especially cruel. Unfortunately, now it has a "catch" every now and again when it gets slammed really hard and then it won't open from the deck side. Like right then.

So there I was, with Nolan, out on our deck ... 12 feet or more in the air ... locked out of our house ... no windows open ... no phone ... no bigger kids to coach through how to take the screen out of the windows and rescue us. And it was 1 pm ... at least an hour from when B and E would come home early on the bus.

What's a mom to do?

I had to go over the deck rail, shinny down the railings while hanging down to get as close as I could to the wall below so I could then swing myself backwards, drop, and then catch myself (barefoot mind you) on the stone retaining wall so I could run around the house and let Nolan in.
Sounds like something James Bond would do.
Easier said than done ... especially for me who is REALLY scared of heights! But what other option was there?
(View down. Nice dandelion by the way--ug!)
I calmly started my adventure, getting a little worried only after I was hanging over the open side right there next to the satellite dish ... wondering how reinforced that railing was after baking in the sun for 11 years.
Was it really meant to hold up a mom, repelling over the side, who had eaten way too much chocolate earlier in the day?
Did I really calculate how far I'd need to swing backwards to catch the wall and not land on the rocks filling in behind it ... or skin myself down the front of it?

Well, it really all happened so fast to those outside my brain (it was all slow motion inside of my head) and other than a hard landing on my bare feet (oh ya, and my arms are now 5" longer after hanging there) it went really well ... like I'd rehearsed it before or something.
This photo does not do the distance justice! Even at my height of  5' 9" PLUS my extended-hanging- arm-length there was a good gap to jump/fall between the last place to hang onto the railing from the deck down to the retaining wall ... OR the ground!
I'm really thankful for that retaining wall!
And I'm hoping that Nolan wasn't watching TOO closely. I don't need to have him choosing that moment to emulate what mom was doing! AND thank double-goodness the bigger boys weren't here. I can totally see Brayden trying this in the future.

And that last sheet that I put out to air-dry? I did have to end up drying it in the dryer. (sigh)


Lexilooo said...

yikes! glad you're both okay, and think now, what a fun story :)

also, I love drying clothes outside...wish we could do that here, but our yard is tiny...ahhh, city living...!

Girly Girl Mommy said...

Girl, you are brave!! I think I would have taken the drying sheets and tied them up to make something to climb down. No, I would have stayed put and sobbed and waited for the big kids. So glad that you are indeed super mom and are safe! Now what about that door???

Tara Anderson said...

I think I would have broken a window before attempting to climb down. You rock, girl!!!!

Shawna Kurth said...

Oh Valerie!!! That is hilarious! How I wish I could have been driving past and saw you hanging there! Although to be clear, I'd have stopped to help, ya know after I grabbed my camera! ;)

I had to laugh because at first I was wondering if you were laughing at me. We have a great big deck off our sliding glass door which had no stairs coming down either. Our screen door has been walked through a few times {although it was by Tim!} and our backyard view is a cornfield too!

When we were building our deck, stairs weren't a big deal to us either...Our backyard was dirt, mud and more dirt. On the 'honey do list' for this summer is to finish our stairs. After hearing your story of repelling I think I am going to request that get bumped to the top of the list. :)

Way to go being injury free through your adventure!!!

Lindy D. said...

Wow, you ARE superwoman. Glad you made it out ok. Time for some stairs.

The Sanders Family said...

Ha! How have you not told me this in the many times I've seen you since Thursday!?! You are in trouble, girl!!! What a story!!!

And all I could think of as you were writing was, "oh no...Nolan will be trying this next!!" And I agree...good thing Brayden wasn't there!!! We've talked about (jokingly) putting a zipline off our side deck to our tree. That sure would have come in handy for you, don't ya think! ;)

Glad you made it down alive!!

The family

The family