Hanging Up

(And Sometimes Hanging Upside Down)

There was a time when I had been in the hospital for some reason or other, and shortly after being “released” I was back at work.  My body wasn’t working exactly efficiently.  There were a few times I was a little embarrassed by the result.


One of the jobs I went to was for a lady who was getting, or had already obtained, a divorce.  She was selling her house and moving west.  She needed some work done to make it more appealing.


Her ex-husband had turned the garage into an automobile repair shop.  I don’t know who had done the wiring, but it left a lot to be desired.  When cable wire with a ground had been introduced as a new material for electricians, some electricians didn’t know what to do with the ground.  Whoever had done the wiring on this garage had clipped off all of the ground wires in the boxes and thrown them away.


At the time I was there to fix the wiring I had on hand a new product that was, basically, a splice cap designed to just work great in instances like those.  There was about a ¾” long piece of ground wire in every device box.  I was able to place a longer ground wire in one of the ports of the splice cap, and then cap the small piece of exposed ground wire to produce a longer ground wire.  Today the boys use these caps extensively when they are wiring a house.  They are not just for splicing anymore.


As you may guess it was a pretty delicate operation that required intense focus and dexterity.

I had to take apart all the wiring in the garage, including in the “attic” above the ceiling.  Well, to be accurate, it wasn’t really an attic.  It was more of a crawl space.


In the crawl space I had to get back into one narrow corner above the ceiling.  The toe of one of my feet was resting on the sheetrock tacked to the ceiling.  While I was making a valiant effort (with many grunts and “aye gollies”) to splice wires in the boxes in the ceiling, the sheetrock broke in half and was hanging down into the garage.


I was left hanging on the bare rafters.  It was at this time that my cell phone, in my shirt pocket, began to ring.  I was trying to get the cell phone out of my pocket without losing my grip and taking a short trip to the concrete floor below.


It was my wife on the phone wanting to know when I would be coming home for lunch.  Usually a cell phone is handy, but at that moment it was anything but.

My frustration must have come out when I answered the phone because my wife wanted to know why I was yelling at her.  In my time of inconvenience I had to explain to her that I was hanging upside down from the rafters, trying to figure out how to get out of there.

After almost 62 years of marriage we are still learning patience.

She was about 10 minutes away so she came and rescued me.