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Seniors and the Antenna

Last week was 2nd Annual Wild West Knitting retreat. Don’t worry, for the second year in a row, I didn’t get invited. I did, however, get invited to work in the store while everyone else went to the retreat. Actually, I wasn’t invited to work in the store, I was ordered to work in the store.

I guess the old saying, “A man is king of his castle” does not apply to knitting stores.

Living at 7000′ in the foothills of Northern Colorado has one major drawback. OK, maybe more than one, but we are only going to talk about one today. We do not have cellular service. I know that I have written stories about my disgust for smart phones, however, cell phones can be vey convenient.

With this in mind, and advice from one of my neighbors I decided to change my cellular situation. I decided to build a cellular antenna. My neighbor has had a cellular antenna on his house for years. To make my decision even easier, my neighbor gifted me some of extra parts from the installation of his cellular antenna. I actually was gifted the parts last summer but I ran out of time to get everything hooked up and functional.

Last week, when I should have been writing a story, I was in fact working on my cellular antenna. My neighbor(s) and I constructed a 40′ pole to act as the support for the antenna. Forty feet is about the height of a four story building. We (again, mostly my neighbors) built the 40′ pole at a neighbor’s house because that’s where most of the tools were. My neighbor's house is about a half mile away.

If you are wondering how we we were going to get a forty foot pole to my house I am about to tell you. My neighbors and I debated the best way to get the pole to my house for what seemed like hours, (Now you know why I haven’t been writing. I’ve been debating.) The decision we came up with was we are going to need more neighbors.

I have never met all of my neighbors, some of them live quite a ways away. However, I know enough of my neighbors to help transport the pole to my house.

Soon we had assembled quite a workforce. One of the “helpers” was in his seventies. Three of the helpers were in their sixties. Me? I was the youngest. Yep, that was it, five senior citizens.

When you assemble a workforce of five senior citizens, they will arrive with very strong ideas on how the work should be completed. After a debate we/he decided we should attach the pole to a vehicle and try to “drive” the pole to my house. While one of the seniors was preparing the vehicle, four of the seniors picked up the pole and started walking. I wanted to get a photo of four old guys carrying a forty foot pole a half mile but I had a pole in my hands.

When the pole arrived at my house, the seniors started debating. I had stood quite a few flagpoles in my construction career, so I was pretty sure even with this group of ”helpers” we could stand this pole. Before we could stand the pole we needed to debate. A few minutes into the debate, I was told my idea wouldn’t work and we had at least two better ideas.

By now, (two hours into the project) the seniors are getting snippy. We are starting to give each other that look; that how could you be so stupid look. However, no one wanted to be the jerk of the neighborhood so we all played nice. We all worked to hook up ropes for pulling the antenna up and vertical.

We decided we would use a tractor for lifting. We could not agree where to put the tractor for lifting. My idea; well let’s just say was outvoted by the head senior.

We started lifting the pole with the tractor. Once the pole was in the air above the tractor the seniors could not keep it from swaying. Three of the senior started screaming, “Put it down!” Too late! The seniors lost control of the pole at it came down, on top of the tractor. The tractor did not get hurt (as well as none of the seniors) but, the pole is now bent ninety degrees. The facial expressions were changing to anger.

Now we need to straighten the pole. Would you like to what we needed to accomplish that? Another neighbor! This neighbor lives a little farther down the road. I had never met him, but the others had. This new neighbor had pole straightening tools and welding equipment. Did I mention he was in his sixties?

We were five hours into the day and some of the seniors need to get home. It was agreed we would quit for the day and try again the next day, after getting the help of the welding neighbor. I decided to try to get some younger help, even if I had to bring them from town.

The next day, the group started assembling to help stand the pole. Unfortunately the straightening simply took longer than we hoped so I sent everyone home with the intent to stand it the next day.

The next day the seniors started assembling. We had lost two of the original senior to doctors appointments and other things they need to do. That was not a problem as I had recruited a twenty something youngster from town to help. Another neighbor (in his fifties) heard about the the project and arrived to help.

We positioned the tractor and started to lift using the same methods we tried before. It wasn’t long and the seniors were yelling, “Put it down!” We didn’t bend the pole this time.

We agreed to try another method. One of the senior went home to get some more tools. One senior just went home.

When a smaller workforce the twenty something myself and the remaining seniors decided to try something. We lifted the pole with the tractor and held it in the air. While it was in the air, the twenty something would suggested I move the tractor and push the pole up with the tractor. We agreed to try it. This was the method I suggest two days before. Yep, it worked.

With the pole standing now we need to tie it down, to keep it standing. Did I mention it was a very hot day?

The hotter it got and with all the bruised egos because some of the ideas didn’t work the angrier and meaner the (head) senior got. I decided I would try to defuse the tension by getting lemonade for every one.

When I brought the lemonade out of the house I noticed one of the seniors was face down in the grass. I yelled for one of the seniors to react to the man that was down. The senior I alerted looked at the man face down, shrugged his shoulders and kept walking. I yelled for the twenty something, to help. The twenty something ran over and yelled,, “Hey senior, are you alright?’ The face planted senior replied, “If I was alright, I would be standing.” Ol'Face plant rolled over and we gave him some lemonade.

The pole is standing (so are the seniors) but the antenna is not hooked up yet. I needed to stop working on the antenna and write this story. I will keep you up to date.

Our crazy lives!


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