So, I have this small obsession with my mother-in-law’s cherry tree. I really like foods that can be made with these tart cherries, like cherry crisp. I’ve been waiting (not-so-patiently) for the cherries to be ripe this year. Last year, I think they were ready by the first week or so of June. But this year, we had such a wet spring that they weren’t really ready…until yesterday.
It came down to Sunday afternoon, a very tired child, the need to go home soon, and a cherry tree that finally had some cherries ripe. Mostly towards the top of the tree. Which meant…we had to pick what we could, fast. Hence, the ladders came out.
First, I attempted to pick what cherries I could close to the ground. After all, I’m past 33 weeks now and my balance, well…isn’t what it used to be! They always warn pregnant women not to climb ladders, and there are good reasons for that. But sometimes, you know…you want what you want when you want it. Right?
Anyway, as we’re outside at the tree – me on the ground with my daughter, my husband on a ladder – the sky turns gray and some distant thunder threatens. Okay, our time to pick is now very limited.
My husband climbs into the bucket of a small tractor (think the type of “bucket” used to scoop broken asphalt off a road and dump it into the back of a dump truck…that sort of ‘scoop’ more than ‘bucket’ really) and my father-in-law lifts him way up high into the tree. Telling me as he does so that they call this tractor “The Widow Maker.” Oh, how fun. Luckily my husband wasn’t more than twenty feet off the ground, so if he’d fallen he’d have been hurt…but alive. I think. He didn’t fall though. (In case you’re worried…he’s done this about 100 times before.)
I climbed up the ladder myself and start picking cherries. It was so strange, I felt dizzy and like I might fall if I did too much or turned in any direction too quickly. I managed to pick about a third of a bucket before the rain started. At that point I’d gotten what I could off the lower branches (including all those I could reach from the third step of the ladder) and I didn’t feel comfortable climbing any higher. I was offered several chances to go up in the “bucket.” Um, no. I’d feel very uneasy doing so not pregnant, I definitely wasn’t doing it when I was 8 months along!
My husband stayed out to pick cherries awhile longer, in the rain. All in all, we got 6 or 7 lbs. of cherries before my son (who we’d put down for a nap) woke up wanting a new diaper. I asked him if he’d rather go back to bed (he was so tired still) or get in the car and go home. He said, “Car. Go.” He would not let me put him back to bed.
That was the end of our cherry picking adventure! And I think I know pretty well now why pregnant women shouldn’t climb ladders: even if you feel strong and “normal,” your balance is just not the same. It’s too easy to fall. Which is why I didn’t climb more than a few feet off the ground even when I did get on the ladder!
Have you ever climbed a ladder while pregnant? Why? How did it go?
Top image by whologwhy