Ever since I could walk, I could climb. It didn’t matter what I used to get up there, as long as I accomplished the goal. I rarely ever used a ladder, never liked them. My mom probably instilled that fear in me. One day, she was in the kitchen, washing dishes, and noticed me coming down the steps and out the kitchen door. Then, she’d see me again…down the steps and out the kitchen door. She didn’t remember me coming back in, so she followed me. She watched as I climbed the ladder, between my dads’ legs and then climb in through the window. Dad was doing some repair work. She proceeded to yell at him, for letting me do this. He didn’t think it was a problem…all mom could see was the distance between me and the ground – and the electrical wire not that far from the ladder. I was probably only about 18 months old…
Ever since then, I was a climber. (Not so much recently!)
If I wanted something from the countertop, or from one of the upper cabinets, I’d pull the cabinet drawers out and use them as steps. A rocking horse or a chair would suffice to get me to a tree branch that I couldn’t reach. And, for the most part, my sister followed in my footsteps…
But, those aren’t the stories I wanted to tell you about…I wanted to tell you about the time my sister got stuck on the garage roof.
This photo was taken a few years after my sister got stuck on the roof, but I wanted to give you a visual of the garage that I used to climb up on. You can see the pile of bricks piled up at the back of the garage… I used them to climb up on the roof. I’d never go out on the barn roof, which was attached to the garage. It was rusted and had holes in it, wasn’t very sturdy . I loved going up there and just thinking, getting away from everyone. Not that I had any particular reason to get away, just the fact that I could made it a special place for me.
So, when I was a little bit older, my sister was a couple years old, I boosted her up onto the garage roof. She saw me up there, and wanted to be up there with me. I used to climb up there all the time, knew what I was doing, and I’m sure my parents had gotten used to me climbing by this point. They used to say, “If you can’t find Holly, look up in a tree.”
What I didn’t realize, or really didn’t care, was that dad was working in the garage. He heard footsteps up there and came out to see what was going on. He looked up, two little girls were looking down at him.
“Get down from there,” dad commanded.
So I did.
A few minutes later he heard someone (my sister) still walking around on the roof and crying.
“I thought I told you to get down.” “I can’t,” my sister said, in between sobs. “Get down the way you got up there.” “I can’t. Holly boosted me up here.” Those may not be the exact words she used, as she was probably only two or three years old, but you get the idea. She couldn’t get down, because I had helped her up onto the roof.
So, dad had to help her down from on top of the roof, and I was in trouble. It wasn’t the first, or the last time, I would get in trouble for “doing something to my sister”.
My sister stopped following me up onto the roof after that, but not up into trees. Not until she fell out of a tree and possibly had a concussion, did she stop climbing trees. We were much older by this point… Mom was doing laundry and dad was mowing, on the other side of the field. He saw her fall, but couldn’t get there fast enough to catch her. I couldn’t try to catch her, as I was higher up in the tree than she was and would have possibly fallen out of the tree as well. Or she would have pulled me with her. The doctor was called, he told my parents not to let her sleep for more than an hour or so at a time. Of course, I apologized profusely, but my parents knew it wasn’t my fault.
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