Friday, April 24, 2009

The Saga of the Sheets

Greetings and Dear Laura:

Hi! I really will get a regular post up one of these days! Things are calming down, as of right now no one is coughing, throwing up, in the emergency room or cardiac ICU, and the next scheduled hospitalization in the family is a good 3 weeks away.

(Oh, I did have to relate a little tidbit from the recent past. My parents now have the same cardiologist. My dad had a chest cold that caused heart complications - it started the day after my mom got her pacemaker. 2 weeks later he landed in the ER at Lutheran Hospital, and mom's cardiologist walked in - the one who had prescribed her pacemaker. He saw my mom, smiled and said, "Mary! Did you get your pacemaker?" Then he put his hand on her chest and said, "Yep, there it is!" I had to laugh - your cardiologist is the only man who can greet you by putting his hand on your chest! He also said that God obviously made them for each other - they both were having similar symptoms - rapid, uncontrolled heart beat. I thought that it's pretty good, after 50 years, they still make each other's heart race!)

Anyway. The Saga of the Sheets. (I posted the beginning of this tale of Facebook, but now that we have the rest of the story, I thought it should be an actual post.)

Last week, I switched back to my old mattress/bed set, because the queen set my parent had given me turned out to be too firm. My old set is full size, so I was excited to get my treasured sheets out of storage - high thread-count cotton in a striped pattern with my bedroom's hard-to-find shade of blue included. Saturday was a beautiful sunny day, so I washed them, and hung them on the line while I headed to the yarn store to knit. I noted as I hung them that there was barely any breeze, unlike two weeks ago when I worried whether or not the clothes line (umbrella style) would hold up.

I came home later in the afternoon, and found the clothes line bent over to the ground with two pillowcases and the mattress pad still attached. The flat and fitted sheets were missing. While glaring at my dog, Purl, I searched the yard all around the house, and down along the creek bed, but there was just no sign of them. I couldn't imagine that my parents had picked up the sheets, and left the rest, but I went inside and announced, "If she chewed up my sheets, I will kill her."

My mother was looking out the back windows, and she pointed and said, "The dog is not your problem."

Across the creek, in the top of one of the Very Tall Trees, hung the fitted sheet. The flat sheet was wrapped around a branch on another tree. The fitted sheet was about 50 feet above ground - the flat sheet about 40 feet.**

That was some thermal up-draft. And rogue wind gust.

In my family, your general laundry problems fall under the purview of the females. Males are usually only involved when the machinery breaks down, and now it seems, when the laundry is relocated to the tops of the Very Tall Trees.

My dad called my brother and mentioned something about sheets and trees, so Andy drove over with a 6' pole. A vastly inadequate solution. They shook their heads and pointed and said things like 'climb, chain-saw, gun...' Probably there was mention of beer as well; I try not to listen.

The thing with the fitted sheet was that it was hanging at the tiny end of a long branch. The other sheet was wrapped around a thick branch, near the trunk. While it was UP HIGH, it was theoretically within reach. The fitted sheet was the problem.

Andy returned at dusk with a gun, and took a few shots at the branch with the fitted sheet, hoping to ....I don't know, shake the branch enough that the sheet would fall off. Dad came back out and they discussed different caliber, trying to shoot the branch at a point where it would break and fall.....whatever.

(I will stop to point out that while these sheets were expensive and have been discontinued and it took me 2 years to find some that I liked, and I generally LOVED these sheets - while they were shooting, I was surfing the web for replacements. Just sayin’)

I posted the story to this point on Facebook that evening, and the next morning my Pastor brought a sling-shot that shoots tennis balls to church, and gave it to Andy to try to hit the branch with.

However, by this time the fitted sheet had gotten wet in the rain and blown free from the tiny branch it was tangled in. It in fact blew back toward the clothes line and landed in the yard about 15 feet from where its journey started! 1 sheet recovered! (Yes, Andy and Pastor were disappointed that the sling-shot didn't get a try.)

That left the flat sheet. Waiting in the sidelines was my nephew Aaron. When he heard about the problem, he got a gleam in his eye. He's a lineman for the power company, and this was a personal challenge. If we could recover the fitted sheet, the flat sheet was his. Now all we had to do was wait for the rain to pass.

Wednesday was the clear day, and we got the call after supper that they were on their way over. His wife, three little girls, my parents and I were the audience. He and Andy crossed the creek by fishing boat, and then attacked the tree. It was amazing to watch - as he neared sheet, he had to unhook his strap twice to get past branches, and I know that I stopped breathing at that point! He grabbed the sheet, stuffed it into his sweatshirt, and shimmied back down, all without incident!
Click here for a slideshow of the pictures.

So, mom got most of the stains out, and last night I slept on my rescued sheets.

Yes, it's true. I'm a magnet for the weird-ball stuff.

Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter)

** I adjusted the height that the sheets landed based on Aaron’s estimates. Go with the pro, that’s what I say.