Family / Life / Memories

Dreams, Ladders and Grandma

I woke up this morning and realized that I actually slept at some point during the night and had a dream! This may not sound like an extraordinary feat to certain people, but going to bed at night is not what it used to be now that our baby is here.

Of course, this dream was a conglomerate of a bunch of absurd events mixed here and there with moments of relativity to my life, as are most of my dreams. I vividly remember trying to climb a ladder up to the second floor of a dark cabin lit only with a lamp and I was about halfway up, knees knocking like crazy, helpless to go any further. And that’s all I remember of the dream.

I used to think that the term “knocking knees” was an expression. It’s not. I know this first-hand. After I graduated from Southwestern, my roommate and other friends I would have considered living with all moved and so I went and lived with my grandmother in Fort Worth. It was the ideal location because the cosmetology school I began 3 weeks after graduation was a 10 minute drive away, it was a 7 minute drive from the Starbucks I had transferred to from Dallas and it was just plain fun living with her; we were great roommates.

I returned home late one night to discover that one of the main lights on the front of the house was out. In the city this might not have been as big of a deal with other houses nearby or street lights, but we were out in the country and while there were other homes around, there were definitely no street lights and I’m not so brave as to want to walk up to a dark house at midnight all alone, even if the porch light is on. And when our porch light was on, it wasn’t enough because the front door and porch were on the side of the house. We really needed those lights out front to be on. So the next day I planned on replacing the bulb.

I think we must have borrowed a ladder from a neighbor because we certainly didn’t own one. So we positioned the ladder against the house and I, with bulb in hand, began climbing the ladder while my grandma steadied it. I wasn’t very far up when I realized I was going to have a much tougher time replacing that bulb than I had anticipated; despite the heat of the afternoon sun I had broken out in a cold sweat, I was shaking all over and my knees were down right a-knockin’!

I have never been one to consider myself “afraid of heights”, but I’ll tell you what…apparently I am. I seriously could not make myself go all the way up that ladder. I’m the kind of person who goes on the Loop-de-Loop rollercoasters at theme parks (you know the ones…the more times you go upside down the better) and my favorite slides at water parks are the high ones where you feel like you’re shooting off the edge of a cliff and you have to keep your arms and legs crossed tight and you have the worst wedgie of your life at the bottom. For some reason I can do all those crazy rides, but the more I thought about climbing that ladder, the more I shook.

That’s right, folks, my 60-something grandma had to climb that ladder and replace the bulb on her house because her 22-year-old granddaughter couldn’t do it for her. Grandma made it up and down just fine and our light worked once again. I can’t even imagine the kind of guilt I would have felt if she had fallen and hurt herself. But she didn’t. Thank God.

Grandma’s been through a lot in her lifetime and she’s still got the kind of energy and spirit I hope I have when I’m her age. We’ve got the same love for shoes and clothes and hair and make-up, so maybe it’s all intertwined…vanity and chutzpah? Hmmm, I don’t know about that, but I’ll take it.


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