Thursday, December 16, 2010

Up On The Housetop!

No, no, no, this isn't a post regarding hooved and antlered creatures that naturally inhabit some of the northern most regions of our world and where in Sweden, according to Globe Trekker, they're rounded up annually, some culled, and made into such dishes as Reindeer Blood Dumplings.
Actually, to be quite honest, the whole reindeer flying and Santa thing has never been a part of our celebrating Christmas. For me, Santa and all his magic just doesn't compete with the son of God being born of a virgin in a barn with a mission to save those that would believe in Him for salvation (please don't theologically pick that last phrase apart). And Tim and I didn't want to put the jolly, red-suited man in competition with our King for our kiddos attention during the formative years. Now, we in no way have kept them from watching such classics as, "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" or "Frosty the Snowman," but have explained from the get-go it's all fiction.
Nor, have we openly criticized those that lead their children to believe in Santa Claus.
Anyway, we celebrate Jesus year around. Christmas (Dec. 25th) just gives us a good excuse to spend money on a few frivolities we wouldn't normally feel comfortable spending our hard-earned money on as well as singing such cool songs as Silent Night and Hark the Herald Angels Sing.
Our family has also become very involved in the ministry, Operation Christmas Child and the children truly get excited about giving!
But, hey, if Santa is your thing, far be it for me to judge you, I'm not.
It really is NONE of my business.
Just givin' you a tiny peek of what we believe and how we attempt to live it out.
Now...back to the housetop!
One morning, a couple of weeks ago, on a weekday, the children and I made a trip to town.
It was a Stuffmart run...we were low on groceries and stuff.
And I, like many of you, am not a fan of Stuffmart.
It is a necessary evil.
But arriving back home to our little house in the woods, loaded to the gills with stuff, and hungry (we hadn't eaten lunch yet) the children and I began to unload the van.
All of us had made one trip and were working on the the second load when I, ahead of everyone else, made it back on the porch, arms full, fumbling to turn the door handle was locked.
Setting the bags down, I turned my full attention to the door handle and tried to turn it again. Sure enough...locked! ((Gulp))
"Who did this?!" I screeched. (like it made any difference)
Turns out, my seven-year-old little guy had done it.
Well, my purse was inside with the keys and cellphone.
The neighbors house was too far of a walk and besides they weren't home. They both work.
So we were stuck at the house trying to find a solution to getting into the house as well as getting all the newly bought perishables in the refrigerator and freezer.
Me being the paranoid being that I am, knew right away that any windows on the first floor would be locked.
We checked anyway and just as I had thought, all locked.
Now normally all windows on the second floor are locked, also.
But, this past summer had been sooo hot that we put an A/C window unit in one of the windows upstairs to cool the second floor more efficiently.
That window would not be locked.
Attention Thieves: We have guns and know how to use them in case you may be discerning this as an open invitation to break into our home.
So taking a deep breath and praying fervently that this whole incident would not be the main topic of our annual Christmas letter, I began to search for the extension ladder.
Also, I need to let you in on one of my eccentricities, there are many. Probably one of the more amusing being that I CANNOT open a biscuit tin. The sudden "POP!" scares me and the suspense of not knowing when its going to explode is just too much.
But that has nothing to do with anything here.
Actually, I'm terrified of heights.
The extension ladder was found but in seperate pieces. Argh!
I drug the two pieces over to the side of the house and put it together hoping it was correct.
The girls held the ladder at the bottom for me while the boy ran around to the other side of the house where he couldn't see.
I began the ascent slowly, praying more fervently at every rung. When, I came to the "extension" part I stopped, closed my eyes, and prayed harder than I can remember praying in a long time. I asked for a miracle in case I had the ladder all wrong.
I then slowly propelled myself upward, cringing.
It was okay, it held. I then went up another rung and was now within arms distance of the eaves of the house. Two more rungs up and I was heaving myself up and over the guttering and onto the roof. I lay in a prone position for awhile trying not to cry hysterically and thanking God at the same time.
Not looking over the edge, I yelled down to the girls that I was alright and about to try and get the A/C unit out of the window.
Standing up and negotiating the incline up to the window, I started contemplating how I was going to get the unit out of the window. Upon reaching it, I used my left arm and shoulder to steady the air conditioner while reaching up with my right arm and pushing the window up. I didn't anticipate the unit coming forward as quickly as it did, nor the weight of was heavy. But I braced myself against it and eased it out and onto the side of the house. It was still plugged in so it was somewhat tethered to the wall. I yelled down to the girls to move away from the house in case the unit didn't stay put (came unplugged) and went tumbling off the roof and down to the ground. I then jumped up into the now open window and crawled inside.
It was over...although I buggered (a word borrowed from my grandpa) my right wrist up pretty badly.
I can't say I'm laughing about the whole incident yet.
But it made for a quite an eventful afternoon, one I hope to never repeat.
I know that they say the best way to overcome your fears is to face them head on. I faced my fear of heights that day and you know what, they still scare me silly!
P.S. Tim later informed me that the extension ladder was not put together correctly.


Franbles said...

Well done you! I am not a heights fan either. And the ladder... isn't it wonderful that God keeps us safe, especially when we've done all we can and then trust Him with the rest.
There's just been a huge discussion on Christmas etc on a Christian home ed message board I read, though the argument there was mainly whether or not Christians should even celebrate Christmas. (Sigh.) We do, and love the opportunity it gives us to talk about Jesus with those who normally spare less then a thought for Him. Father Christmas has always been 'fun pretend' in our house too and happily they are now old enough not 'to give the game away' for those who fervently believe all the nonsense. Fairy lights are Santa's way of spying on you in December apparently - gives me the creeps!!
Enjoy your Christmas! God's richest blessings on you all.

50 Chubby Toes said...

My favorite part of this entry is the small light purple, Attention Thieves: AND of course that you are safe! Praise God!! that ladder held together! Blessings, EMichelle

Sally said...

You ought to write a book. Really. I think I have said that before. No fair making me laugh so hard right before I am going to bed.

I'm glad you are safe and sound and not writing from a laptop and a hospital bed. (NOT put together right?!?)

Eat, Fart and Bark said...

Oh my gosh, and I thought I held the nutjob title. You brave woman you, way to go. The kids will look up to Mom in their memories and laugh, and tell their kids how they have a cool mom (Grandma) who would climb onto the roof.
It does take spunk and a lot of praying to be brave infront of the kiddos.

CrossView said...

Wow! Um, I hope your wrist is ok!! And did I mention "Wow"??!! Glad the not-put-together-correctly ladder held! *gulp*

When one of mine did that, my husband actually had to remove the door. Of course, now that child has a hard time locking a door no matter what! ;O)

I'm with you on the canned biscuit thing. My kids love to watch. Needless to say, I do NOT envy you your Santa-like excursion.

Brownie said...

Oh wow. I probably could have done that if necessary - but I would have just broken in a basement window and gone in that way fully knowing that my hubby would have expected that.

But my daughter would have said "see? If I HAD a cell phone I could have called for help."

But you were mighty, mighty brave. I am impressed. God surely watched over you in keeping that ladder together and the AC from falling.

And I am with you on the Santa thing - my thoughts exactly.

Jenn4him said...

I hope you are able to laugh at this point. Oh my! I think you need a key hidden in the barn? :-) Have a great week before Christmas!