and ask, “Did I really do that?”

We have a flag pole.  It is a 20′ pole which is sunk about 2′ into the ground with a sleeve and concrete base.  Theoretically, that means the pole can be removed.  In practical life, I tried and couldn’t budge the thing.  Oh well, for the most part it worked.  Then we had a storm.  It bent the aluminum pole.  I bent back the pole and bought a galvanized steel pipe to fit into the middle of the aluminum pole and made a plastic ring to provide a joint between the two at the top.  The bottom just set into the sand which was place under the concrete per instructions.  This set up has worked rather well.  When the rope got worn, I cut it, taped a new rope to the old one and pulled through the new one.  That procedure occurred twice until the last rope, being smaller, got stuck in the side of the pulley and broke.  Well, crap.  Now the flag was just above half mast and there was no way to raise or lower it.  A storm remedied that problem.  The flag was down, but there was no rope and no gold ball on the top of the pole.  Well, after letting it sit for a couple of weeks, I decided it wasn’t going to get better by itself and the uncomfortable job needed to be done.

The ladder was not quite tall enough for the pole, so an additional height was needed.  The truck was utilized for this purpose and once up, the ladder had to be secured.  This required the car to be placed to the right side of the ladder and a tow rope secured with a tie-down strap to that side of the ladder.  A gift from siblinginbox was utilized on the other side.  This was a rope which was tied to the other side of the ladder and extended to the fence post by the gate.  The rope was long enough to return to the ladder and then the front post of the house.  That provided three directions of security.  I was guessing that with my weight, the ladder should not move towards the truck.  Well, the gold ball was placed in a pocket and the rope pulled through a belt loop and up the ladder I went.  Once past the middle point, the pole bent more for every step I took.  My nervousness increased at the same rate.  About 4′ from the top, I stopped and backed down the ladder.  Another tie was applied from the pole to the front bed of the truck.  Now everything was held in 4 directions.  truck with ladder

The next time up the ladder, I made it to the top and screwed the gold ball up there.  I didn’t match the threads well and was not able to unscrew the thing, so said, “scrap it,” grabbed the wrench, and tightened it there.  The rope was next.  I tried to get it through the pulley bracket cover and it kept getting stuck.  After several attempts and biting a bend in the rope, I managed to get it through the opening.  Yea!  Remember that I’m holding on with one hand and trying to pull the rope with the other.  Well, gravity worked.  The pulley lowered the coefficient of friction and the rope ended up on the ground.  Trip three was planned.

On the third trip, I taped a bread tie to the end of the rope and pulled the thing back through the belt loop.  On arrival back at the top, it took several tries and readjustments with my mouth of the bread tie, but finally went through the pulley and this time I had a better grip on the long end of the rope.  Job done.