Thursday, July 25, 2013

Scared of heights but you do what you have to do!

WARNING * * * * WARNING * * * * WARNING * * * * *  WARNING * * * * WARNING

DISCLAIMER:  If you are scared of heights or scare easily watching someone do something up high without a safety net or safety harness.    STOP READING NOW and go back to another story.

Time to OVERCOME my fear of HEIGHTS 

Dad gets home and notices that the top of the grain bin is opened.  Now normally that would not be an issue, that is the hole that we put the auger into so that grain drops right inside the bin where it belongs.  However, after harvest is over and we have put all the grain in the bin that we are going to put in there, we remove the auger and cover the top so that birds and more importantly RAIN does not get in and destroy the wheat.  Apparently the lid had not been secured with its piece of wire because there it was, wide open.  The wind had blown it off the top where it was covering the hole.  Good thing one side is on hinges or that lid would be somewhere in the windbreak.

Now here is the tricky part.  Someone has to climb up the little aluminum ladder on the side of the grain bin, about 20 feet straight up and then get over the edge and make their way at a 30 degree angle up another 8 feet to get to the top.  This is something I have never done before.  I am usually not around and not available for anything wheat related because I am allergic to the dust the wheat creates.  But, there is no other choice.  Dad has done this task in the past but as we all know, our parents are getting older and there are some things you just don't have older folks do.  So I go back to my house and get my socks and tenny shoes, and my leather gloves so I can scale the side of the grain bin and go take care of this lid.

I hand mom the camera, said you might as well document this in case I fall and break my neck.  So here I go.  The last thing I say is make sure you have 911 on the speed dial.

Ok, one step, so far so good. . . . you can't see it but there is a 4x4 that the top of this ladder is attached to so there is no gentle slope of the ladder like one would normally have when climbing a ladder.  The rungs are also very narrow, almost like rounded 3/4 inch conduit pipes.  If I did not have my gloves on, we could have gotten a close up of my hands and you would have been able to see the white knuckle phase I was in.

So up I go, up is easier than down I have decided.  I crawled up  to the top and look down in the bin from the auger's point of view.  Yea that will make a person dizzy and a bit woozy.  There have been stories in the past about someone getting caught in a bin in the wheat and basically suffocating to their death because they cannot get back to the surface.  These are wonderful things to think about when one is high up in the air on the top of a grain bin.
Yea let's just get this lid closed and secure the lid with the copper wire that is stuck in my hair by my barett
and get down from here already.  So I take my position so I can swing the lid over (it is behind the top there where you can't see it).  Once I have it covering I have to line up 2 holes to threat the copper wire through and twist tie it to secure.  Thanks for the close up mom, we scared half of our readers!

Now comes the part of any job up high that I absolutely hate.  The coming back down part.  This is where my fear escalates because I have to go down in the same fashion I went up so in essence I am going backwards and although it is rumored that anyone who is a mom has eyes in the back of their heads, this is a fallacy.  Not to mention how scary it is to go over an edge, not being able to see where to place your foot.  But dad is there at the bottom of the ladder coaching me and telling me how much further I have to stretch to get to the next rung.  Again, the white knuckle action is covered up by my leather gloves.  Finally I near the end of my harrowing task and mom captures me on digital film back where I started, one rung from the ground (okay maybe I was 2 rungs from the ground, but the GROUND was very close and falling at this point would have just bruised my ego at best).