"If I had known I would be climbing these stairs, I wouldn't have worn clogs today."
I was standing at the midway point of our bell tower, a mix of beautiful old lumber and the epoxy beams used to shore it up when it began to lean sometime in the past decade. (Go here for a picture of the belfry being put back in its proper place.) The occasion was the hanging of a giant Christmas wreath on the front of the church. We have a wire and pulley system for getting it into place.
I'll be honest about two things. I had not even been up to the balcony, which we use only for some storage and access to the bell since it has only one stairway. I absolutely had not gone beyond into the guts of the bell tower. It's not exactly like the church tower in "Vertigo," but it makes me a little nervous. This is not because I have a fear of heights; not exactly. But I do have a fear of steep places being climbed into by people for whom I feel responsible.
Which is to say church members.
At 1FP a couple of years ago, I watched a Trustee and a consultant climb first one rickety ladder, and then another, disappearing out of view as they looked for the source of a leak. I actually felt nauseated that day.
It's probably not my responsibility, in the sense of being the one who holds liability on a practical level, but I still feel concerned. Someone once fell out of our bell tower, or off our roof, depending on who is telling the story.
My only worry today, really, was getting back down the stairs. Thank you to Bud, who went down first, though that gave me a brief nightmare brain-flash in which I fell and knocked him down, too! I really would have been okay, even though the stairs are steep. And since I heard no reports of injuries, I assume all the wreath hangers were, too.