Friday! Will’s birthday and the Louisville downtown gallery hop. I left work and drove to Ballard High School. It’s two days in a row climbing here. Its location is conveniently situated between work and Rachel’s parents. I parked in the faculty lot at the school just below my sycamore. I chose to keep my Greenhaven uniform on for ease and laziness. As an after thought, the all brown outfit may have aided in my desire to blend in and go unseen, but as I’ll explain, that wasn’t the case. I looked around for people before starting. Quite a few cars still remained in the lots.
I jumped for the first strange, vertical, and small limb then quickly climbed up it walking up the trunk with my feet. I moved into the larger limbs and began my steady rise. That is until someone said, "Oh hey there’s someone in the tree." I looked down and wouldn’t you know it… it was Blair Bachman. I said, "Hey Blair!" She said not so familiarly, "Hey, I know you, you’re Andrew’s friend, right?" "Yeah, Todd." She explained how she had heard a rustle in the tree while walking to her car thinking it was a squirrel. She was surprised it was me. I then explained how this was my 303rd day in a row. Then the best part: another woman walked up. A fellow female basketball coach, Lindsey, I believe it was. Blair introduced us and Lindsey asked if my hands were cold. I told her they weren’t, which was true despite the frigid weather. I told her I was lucky. She just looked at me strange. They walked on, whispered and laughed. It was a pure and simple reaction of not understanding my motives. I didn’t explain, but I got the feeling it wouldn’t have helped that much. I guess it really isn’t that big of a deal and I should expect those responses, but honestly, I’ve received more positive responses than negative ones.
Well, I climbed the rest of the way to the top.
It wasn’t windy like the first time. That made it really fun. I took some pictures
and appreciated the beautiful coloring on the bark.
I didn’t wait long before I climbed back down and rode away from my alma mater to pick up Rachel to go out to dinner and then to art and friends. The whole interaction in the tree made me feel younger in that uncomfortable way, not the good way.
2-3-09: Looking back at this entry I thought it was strange that out of all the possible faculty and staff the first person to walk into the lot and spot me was someone I knew. Pleasantly strange. And much like high school, it was annoying to have two girls walk away from me and whisper and laugh. I don’t miss that. I was hanging out with Leigh Ann at her new house last night and we were looking at old high school pictures. I guess there was plenty for girls to whisper and laugh about.
Last Saturday, January 31st, I went to my parents’ to do laundry and have dinner. While there I decided to climb a tree in the day light since I haven’t done that much lately. I went outside and the trees were alive.
The bright, warm sunshine was melting the ice covered limbs.
Chunks and pieces fell making the limbs bounce and recoil. The sound was like Rice Krispies in milk… a world of Snap, Crackle, and Pop. I went back to the tennis court to get out from under the falling hazards. I spotted two small pines on the other side of the green court fence.
One had lost most of its branches and the top.
The other seemed still well intact with ice covered needles.
I figured that would be a good tree to protect me from falling ice. I walked over and went to the pine trunk.
It was leaning over and the top side was covered in ice. That mean the underside was clear and that is where I got started. I grabbed the lowest limbs which did have ice on the tops but were small enough for my hands to grip tight enough to not slip. I went up a few sections of limbs before I was out of options. I took a seat on the branches and took out my camera. I first took a couple minutes of video to try to capture the movement and sound of the trees.
Then I took pictures.
I was more interested in the small discoveries of encased needles
and the tree’s structure.
It was not the most comfortable seat and my hands were getting cold from holding ice, so I climbed back down. These ice climbs have not been very exciting, but the sights and sounds have been amazing.