I am on my lunch break, waiting for my tomato soup to cool off enough that I can dig in… so I thought I would take a few minutes to tell you a funny story that happened to Mark and I this weekend.
Saturday was a beautifully sunny day that started out with a 9:30am soccer game for Mark over at Cleveland High. It got over shortly after 11am and we dashed off to take care of the long list of things we had on our agenda. The parents were coming over at 12:45pm to carpool over to Veda’s ballet recital in Gresham, Mark needed to take a quick shower and we hoped to get a bite to eat somewhere in there.
We were driving up Stark street, past where Claire used to attend after school care at the YMCA, below Mt. Tabor where the street winds around the top of the hill. It’s a narrow road, and the houses off to the north have a spectacular view of the northwest part of the city, and Mt. St. Helens. I just happened to glance to my left and I saw a very peculiar sight. A ladder was leaned up against some very tall and thick bushes, with a little old man at the top of it facing outward. The ladder was leaning towards the road, like it could fall over at any point and the man looked very confused. I interrupted Mark from speaking and said “Woah, did you see that? That didn’t look right!” Mark hadn’t noticed so I quickly explained what I saw. “Do you want me to turn around?”, he asked. We both sighed and looked at the clock, and I hesitantly said “Well, no, I’m sure it’s fine”, knowing we were on a time crunch. But then we got stopped at the light just a few blocks away and I changed my mind. The last thing I wanted was to read in the paper the next day that an elderly man had fallen and was seriously injured, or worse. Mark made a u-turn and as we came up to the house where the man was, we knew he was in trouble as soon as we could see him. Needless to say, he was very happy to see us! While Mark braced the side of the ladder that was slowly falling to the ground, I climbed up to help him remove his shoe from the foot that was caught in one of the ladder rungs. I am not sure how he did it, but I’m pretty sure he would not have been able to get down on his own safely. I’m glad that we were there to help.
He explained to us that he was 83 years old, and this was his Kiwifruit bush that he was pruning away from the power lines. As he came down the ladder, one rung at a time, he would pause to tell us a little more about the reproductive process of the Kiwi. It turns out, they are very hard to pollinate because you need one male for every couple female plants and males are particularly hard to come by. Or was it the other way around? We were only half listening because we were still thinking about the schedule we needed to keep. He was very sweet, his name was Ron (which I thought was very cool since my father’s name is Ron). He asked us our names and told us that in September we should stop by and he’d gladly give us boxes of Kiwifruit.
We left in a hurry but felt very good about what just happened. High fives were in order. It’s not every day that you can say you saved an old man from a Kiwi tree. Here’s hoping he hires a gardener in the future!