Yup, You Just Never know When You Might Need it

Exploring Kansas Outdoors

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Just today at a 90th birthday celebration for a member of our community, some of us sat around a table discussing our tendencies to buy “stuff” at garage sales and auctions we really don’t need at the time. One guy surmised we really do that so that our kids have to deal with it when they settle our estate. Anyway, it made me think about the pool ladder I constantly move around outside my shed because I have no place to put it. Here’s how the story goes.
Several years back, on a nice fall morning, we happened to be in town and Joyce’s radar was actively seeking garage sale signs as we headed through town. We followed signs to a sale in a nice neighborhood a little off the beaten path, and in the yard sat one of those “u” shaped ladders used to get in-and-out of a raised swimming pool. It had my attention even though we had no pool, and for the four-dollar price tag I reasoned that certainly we could use it for something (you know how that goes; you never know when you might need it!) Evidently the owner was having a difficult time getting rid of it, so when she saw my interest, she immediately made her way over to me. She told me “We’re selling it because we built a deck around our pool and have no need of that ladder now, so if you want it, just take it;” … our kind of deal.
Fast forward a few weeks to a crisp winter morning during trapping season. As I remember, weather conditions were far from ideal with frozen ground most mornings and mud by evening, but I still wanted to try setting a few coyote traps. One spot I had near town was at the far edge of a pasture/hay field and was easy to drive to. It appeared the coyotes were coming from the adjoining wheat field, still owned by the same farmer, but getting in there was going to be a slight problem. The wheat field was a couple feet higher than the hayfield and fence surrounded the entire field. Now I encounter lots of electric fence and barbwire also for that matter, but this was four strands of brand-new barbwire stretched tighter than grandma’s corset and fastened onto new “T” posts, the top strand catching my six-foot-three frame across the top of my chest because of the height difference of the two fields. In short, I wasn’t climbing that fence!
As I pondered how this was ever going to work, guess what popped into my mind… the pool ladder from the garage sale. I hauled it out there and lifted one end over onto the other side of the fence and viola; I could now scale the fence without permanent physical damage to certain anatomical extremities. I recall the top wire on the fence being just high enough that it made the ladder a little tipsy, but it will still worked just fine.
I’m sure some of us have sheds full of stuff we cabbaged-onto because “You just never know when you might need it,” and usually it turns out that you never do. This was one time, however, that one of those treasures actually filled a need, and to think it was free! It just doesn’t get much better than that….Continue to Explore Kansas Outdoors.
Steve can be contacted by email at [email protected]

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