My experience with the “It seemed like a good idea at the time” phenomenon was, as such incidents usually are, disastrous. It began with my observation of birds in our backyard. We are blessed to have a numerous assortment of birds I enjoy watching when my sons aren’t engaged in chasing said birds off. It occured to me one day that the robins were looking a bit dissatisfied with their diet of worms and insects. Taking pity on my fellow creatures, I got the boys in the van with promises of McDonalds, warning them Lowes would come before Ronald Mcdonald did.
Gleefully scooping up assorted bird feed at Lowes, I thought with a certain amount of smugness what good I was doing in varying the birds diet, and hopefully encouraging more of them to visit my backyard. My sons were kind enough to take a interest, picking out what appeared to be a oversized ringpop, but was, in fact, a hummingbird feeder. Initially, I was thrilled they chose this item, thinking they’d noted we actually have hummingbirds in our backyard, but then I realized the allure of a oversized ringpop wasn’t to be discounted.
Flush with success, I pondered watching even more birds arrive, as the boys chowed down on Happy Meals and threw their toys around. I was also thinking logistically as to where to place the birdfeeders I had purchased. Having bought a pole to attach them to, I figured anywhere in the yard would do, just as long as there was a bit of distance between the birds and boys.
Upon arriving home, I lugged my purchases in the backyard, looking for the best place to put the pole. Luckily, my husband was on hand, as I discovered quickly that our soil is comprised almost entirely of clay, and on this particular day, that clay was extremely dry and hard, making it difficult for me to sink the pole. Apparently the birds didn’t trust my, or my husband’s placement, as every time they landed on the birdfeeders, they took off in flight again, which mystified me, til I observed a distinct leaning to the right of the pole everytime they attempted to land.
Naturally, this had to be fixed. Finding no interest from any of the boys or my spouse, I came up with my brilliant idea, which was to remove the birdfeeder from the pole, and tie it to a tree branch, about eight to ten feet off the ground. My eldest son was all for this. In fact, he volunteered to not only tie it to the tree branch, but also vowed to fill it every day. Upon hearing this, my other two sons decided it was only fair they have the opportunity to fill the birdfeeder as well, to which I heartily agreed.
It was about three weeks after daily bird feedings when my sons were invited to spend the night at their friend’s house, which left me at a bit of a impasse regarding filling the bird feeder. Assuming the birds expected their feed on time, I figured I could just climb the tree and fill it, which I proceeded to do. I’d forgotten how many muscles it takes to climb a tree, and didn’t recall my body shaking so much when I was tree climbing in my own youth, but determined to complete my task, up the tree I went, carefully balancing a cup filled with birdfeed in my trembling hand. I accomplished filling up the feeder, which I’d assumed was the most difficult part of my task, and began to make my way down.
My muscles having already been overtaxed, decided at a crucial moment to let me down in a most dramatic fashion, resulting in me hanging upside down and clinging to the tree branch with both arms and legs. I must say, the view was amazing, but it wasn’t my desire to stay in this position long, simply because I wasn’t in the physical condition to hold my precarious placement on the branch,and the ground looked rather ominous from my perch.
As things turned out, I didn’t have to wait very long at all. I’ve heard people speak about how they felt at some point in their lives, their body was betraying them, and this was my body’s chance to grab my attention, letting there be no doubt who was in charge.
Thus, without enough warning to take constructive action, my arms let go, and my legs, in no mood to be left behind, also let go of the tree branch, resulting in me hitting the ground, and rolling three times head over heel down the slope. I quickly got up, took stock of my body’s status, which seemed, luckily for me, to be in order. Standing up and going over what had just happened in my mind, I began laughing, and wildly looking around to see if anyone had witnessed, or better yet, got me on camera during my little adventure, but alas, no one was around.
The only evidence I had of my adventure was a nice long scrape down one arm. Unfortunately, this same evidence would be used against me in the court of my sons and spouse, all of whom were quite firm in their desire that I never climb a tree again as long as I live…or unless they happen to be around to observe the results of my next “It seemed like a good idea at the time” moment.