Through the years, I have found myself to be one to not ask for help no matter what. I have built decks where you didn’t know if you were coming or going. I once stacked rock for a porch footing that ended in my having to get a shot to get my shoulder working again. The death defying solo act of hanging a ceiling fan at a height where objects below looked like toys and using a ladder that should have been outlawed, causing my wife to go to the back porch and pray out loud until I finished, was probably number one on my list of stupefying feats. But I’m a man, and we just seem to do things like this, causing children to marvel and wives to understand why Eve gave Adam that first piece of fruit, because it was just so easy to do.
Over the years, I have slowed down on some of the exciting things and have found that I now take the advice that Andy gave Aunt Bea about getting the deep freeze repaired when he said, “Call the man!” I have reached that age where “calling the man” works much better for me, and Medicare also appreciates my doing so as well. Guess I have seen too many folks my age falling on TV lately without their emergency button around their neck and not having one of those bathtubs that you can walk into makes me more concerned about the things I can get myself into as an old dude.
There are still a lot of things one person can do alone, but there are just some things that take more than one. Folding a fitted sheet may work for some people, but mine just come out in a wad. I did remedy that by just owning one fitted sheet per bed. When the time comes to wash, I wash it and put it back on the bed with no folding required.
It takes two people to check really good for ticks, no matter how you do it. There is no way in the world to hold a mirror and get tweezers to work properly at the same time on your own body. That’s a fact we just have to live with. If you can make it work with ease, then you may have more concerns than ticks.
Another household chore that requires two people is the occasional turning of the mattress. You may accomplish this with very little help if you have a twin or single, but when you get into today’s queen and king size double-deckers, then you better have an additional strong back close by.
Located in my chambers (doesn’t that sound majestic) is a fairly new queen size mattress that almost requires a ladder to get into each night. When I bought it, I was given instructions to turn it regularly to keep from voiding the warranty. Turning meant to move the head to the foot in a circular motion. That may sound easy if your bedroom is the size of a gymnasium and your bed is flat with no posts, but neither of those descriptions fit my bedroom. My bed has posts and the location of the bed in the room does not lend itself to a lot of movement. The mattress also has the weight of a steamer trunk and isn’t easy to grab a hold of.
After waiting too long to make “the turn,” with the mattress developing an image of me in the very center, I decided to take it upon myself to follow the instructions and turn the mattress. Today, I can tell you I should have “called the man” or at least someone with a good back, but instead, I once again did it my way (I think someone else said that who is no longer with us”¦hhmmm).
After clearing everything off of it, I grabbed one side of the mattress to slide it around. The next thing I knew I was face down with a mouth full of pillow top and two feet sticking straight up in the air. The mattress had not moved.
Not to be out done by a sack of cotton, I slid both arms under one side and lifted with all my might. This time it moved sideways, knocking pictures to the floor from the nightstand and pinning me against the wall. With nothing else to do but lift it up, I got one leg under the monster, pushing it upward until it now hung like a plate on a juggler’s stick on one of the bedposts.
As it hung unbalanced, but with me now freed, I made a mighty leap knocking it into a spin, and like a miracle it fell into the proper position on the box springs, only losing a couple of family pictures and the telephone in the process.
That morning, after putting the fitted sheet back on and making up the bed, I proceeded to recover from the hardest wrestling match I ever had with a bedroom item. In the future when the thing needs to be turned again, I may just order a new mattress, because another fight like that just might put me in a hospital bed.
Pettus L. Read writes for the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation. He may be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org