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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Old Painter's Ladder

Monday evenings is put trash on the curb evenings in our city. And because I'm a fan of treasure hunting, I either walk the streets (sounds racy, doesn't it), ride my bike, or have Hubby drive me around to see what treasures await me finding them and bringing them home. This week, Hubby and I went out, going to an older neighborhood to drive the streets. Unfortunately, we came up with zip. We returned home, and I started out for what I was hoping to be a six mile walk. Less than a mile in, I spied a pile of junk on a side street, so I veered that way to inspect. As I approached, I saw what I knew was the top step of a ladder. A wooden ladder. I'd been searching for a wooden ladder for months, wanting one to put in the garden for the pole beans (which turned out to be bush beans) to climb. The ladders I found in antique stores were marked well over $100, and I wasn't about to pay that. Online, the ladders went anywhere from $50 up to $200. Me being the cheapskate that I am, was holding out. Lo and behold, my holding out paid off. There in front of me was the ladder I'd been dreaming of finding, underneath two lamps with tattered gold lampshades. I pulled the ladder out, my excitement growing with each detail I noticed--metal rods underneath each step, the wooden center handle, and some original bolts still holding the steps in place. A few bolts had been replaced, but the replacements had aged and suited the ladder. The paint splatter all over the ladder made me smile, and I wondered who had used it, what rooms had been painted with this ladder's help. My amusement over the ladder was short-lived, however, when I realized I was too far from home to carry the ladder back, and I didn't have my phone on me to call Hubby. And other trash pickers were out, searching for the very same treasures I was; I'd seen them pass by when I'd started my walk. My only option was to bury the ladder beneath as much trash as I could, walk home, and return with Hubby. So that's what I did. I took the two lamps and some other trash and covered the ladder, being sure to hide the top step which had caught my attention in the first place. Then I raced home, all the while fearing the other trash pickers would realize my attempt to hide this beautiful find and take it before I returned. When I ran into the living room and told Hubby we had to go, come on, quick before the treasure is taken, he laughed and followed me out to the truck. Thankfully, he understood the magnitude of the situation and punched the gas pedal, getting us moving quickly down our quiet street. We arrived back at the scene of the treasure ladder to find it still tucked nicely under the lamps and other household trash. I carefully removed the lamps and lifted the ladder, placing it in the back of the truck.

The ladder now graces a spot in my garden where next summer the pole beans will wind their way all over the lovely, paint-splattered steps.

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