Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Dancing on the Ceiling

     Pat and I have been completing all kinds of home projects.  And when I say we, I mean we.  Pat and I have put up crown molding, replaced windows, taken down decks and a pool, painted most of our rooms, taken down walls, replaced sheetrock,  ripped out a cast iron tub, and well a lot of things.  We have suffered smashed fingers and toes, splinters, paint in our hair, sore muscles, and frequent trips to Home Depot and Lowes.  Pat now has pain in his left shoulder and is having trouble lifting things.  The kids have been somewhat involved, but really most of the work is accomplished when they are at school or work.
     All of our work led to a mountain of debris. So Pat ordered a 24 foot dumpster.  This lovely ornament was parked in our driveway.  I’m sure that our neighbors were thrilled.  While the dumpster was gracing our yard we decided that we should take advantage of it to rid ourselves of things that we had stored in the attics and forgotten about.
     We have two attics.  One over the second floor of the house reachable with a ladder from the hallway and one over the garage.  The one over the garage is quite high.  The access panel is about 14 feet up from the concrete floor above a stair landing.  Both attics held boxes of books, games, old suitcases, and  random empty boxes for appliances that have long since broken and been discarded.  I think we found the box for the Tandy Computer we bought in 1985.
     We enlisted the help of the kids and Brian who was home visiting.  We were organized.  It was a beautiful thing.  We started in the house attic.  Pat went into the attic which has a plywood floor in the storage area. Pat handed boxes down to Patty who stood on the ladder.  Brian, Anthony, and I trudged up and down the stairs to the dumpster and back.  Connor served as doorman, in a vain attempt to keep some heat in the house.  The Middle School lesson plans I had so carefully stored for 17 years vanished into the depths of the dumpster.  I think that I heard angels singing.  But that is another story.  Ten minutes later that attic was empty, so we moved down to the garage.
     We lost the doorman and the 17 year old in the move.  Pat set the ladder on the stair landing and climbed back up into the attic.  This attic has a piece of plywood across a rafter.  Anyone going up there has to remember to step on the joists or risk falling through the ceiling.  Sheetrock is not meant to support any weight.  As an added hazard, because we had boxes of siding on the garage floor for another project, our large tools - including the tile saw, were placed pretty much under the part of the attic that we were emptying.  Fortunately, there were just a few boxes and some old games up there.  I yelled at my husband to be careful.  I didn’t yell because I was being bossy, I yelled because we also had an air compressor going because the laser machine in the garage was running a piece.  We were multi-tasking.
     Patty resumed her position at the base of the ladder and Brian and I took the junk out to the dumpster.  We were decluttering!  We were getting stuff done!  I was thrilled!
     When I noticed that Patty was also missing in action, I incorrectly assumed that she had followed her younger brothers into the house to get warm.  Patty was actually up in the attic.  I discovered this when I walked back into the garage and saw Patty dangling from the ceiling!
Here is where my daughter was hanging!
     There was my beloved daughter, dangling through a huge hole in the ceiling, over the tools and the saw.  Through the cloud of plaster dust, I could see one long leg, her bottom and the skin of her waist and back.  Her clothing looked like it had been ripped by a nail. Thankfully, there wasn’t any visible blood.
     Pat was on the ladder, head in the attic.  I screamed, not that anyone could hear with the compressor going, and rushed up the stairs and the ladder trying to get to Patty.  Pat blocked me.  He yelled at me over the noise of the compressor, telling me that she was fine. As you may have guessed I argued this point.  How could she possible be fine, she was hanging out of the ceiling!  Pat refused to let me up there correctly surmising that I would also fall through the ceiling.  But Pat wasn’t rushing up there either, remember he hurt his shoulder.  Instead, Pat calmly talked Patty, who had managed to straddle the joists, back onto the beams and out of the attic.  When she was safely back on the ground with no bones broken, the experience became a bit of an adventure to her.  As for me, I went outside, kicked the dumpster and said some very unkind things.  It was not my finest moment.
falling through ceiling
Home renovation is not for the faint of heart.
    Now I know what you are thinking.  What scripture matches this occasion?    
 Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:  ~Is. 59:1
     Accidents happen shattering our sense of self control.  There are times when the floor shifts beneath us.  Our feet slip and we are left dangling, feeling unsupported. We feel alone, scared, devastated.  Sometimes we suffer watching a family member in a life threatening situation.
     But the truth is we are not alone.  God is in our midst.  We are precious to Him.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  ~Rom. 8:38,39
     Whatever you are facing today, remember God loves you.  He desires you.  He forgives you.  He died to bring you to Him.
There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, who rides across the heavens to help you and on the clouds in his majesty. The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.   ~Deuteronomy 33:26-27      

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