I really do not mind being a deer season widow. Most Saturdays I’m able to wake up with the whole bed as my domain and a full pot of coffee already hot and ready in the kitchen. And there’s usually a child up and moving around that can ferry a cup in my direction
But I’m never one to stay in bed long. These lovely cool mornings call me to don my morning attire and head out to the garden. Although production has slowed down some, there are still peas and peppers and the occasional cucumber.
This morning our fig tree caught my eye. Being one of the varieties of fruit trees we inherited when we moved here, it is really in need of trimming back. Something I don’t plan on being timid about once we have our first cold snap. So the fig tree is quite large and very close to the roof of our carport. I’ve already made a batch of fig jam from earlier harvests but there is a recipe for a fig tart I’ve been wanting to try from the P. Allen Smith cookbook I won at the Arkansas Women Bloggers Conference.
I had noticed that there seemed to be quite a few very plump and ripe figs at the very top of the tree. I have a very nice A-frame ladder but it still doesn’t let me reach those figs up at the tippy top. So it was on this morning that Ben and David had left for the woods and Luke was deeply involved in saving the world one Minecraft block at a time and Phoebe was still comatose that I decided to climb on the roof and pick the elusive fat figs.
Now I am an experienced climber. When I was a kid there wasn’t a tree on our property I hadn’t scaled and memorized the perfect path for reaching the top. But one does notice, as an adult climbing a tree, that weight is one element of the equation that you think about a lot more than when you were a kid. I should confess that my ladder was a tad short thus requiring me to stand on the very very top. You know, well past the step that clearly says, “DO NOT STAND ON THIS STEP!” But by this time I had a firm grasp of the edge of the roof and could easily lay my upper body on to it. At this point I realized my next move needed to be very carefully executed or I would knock the ladder over pushing off. Once on the roof my cautious factor went up a few notches because I didn’t have my phone and if I did get stuck up here or worse yet fall I wasn’t really sure anyone inside would hear me.
The pitch of the roof isn’t very steep so moving around wasn’t hard but I was careful and scooted about on my rear lest I get to careless up on the roof. The great thing about fig trees is they are very flexible. I comforted my fear of falling with the fact that if I were to loose my footing I could grab a branch and it would act as a bungee cord on my plummet towards the ground.
But I was lucky and managed to pick a half basket of figs before I decided to head back. I stayed up on the roof for a bit. One, because it was just so pretty. I wished I had my phone so that I could have taken pictures. The sun was just coming through the tree tops and the wind was breezy. Two, I wanted to really plan out my decent. Just as I was careful to not knock the ladder over on my way up I was going to have to be doubly careful going back down without being able to really see where I was going. I needed my foot to hit the apex of the A-frame spot on so as not to leave myself stranded or worse yet dangling from the edge Christmas-Vacation-Style.
This feat took no less than 5 tries. I will admit it was beginning to make me sweat a little each time I’d try to gauge my step and the ladder would tip and sway. And all of a sudden the trip down was seeming a lot higher than the trip up. But finally, with a bendy fig branch in my grasp as my safety line, my foot made perfect contact with the ladder. I was never so glad to be climbing back down to earth. Each step closer the pounding in my ears diminishing.
With my figs of course.