Monday, November 21, 2005

Trouble at the flagpole...

Groups of Christian high school students meet occasionally at the flagpole to pray for their schools and their classmates. Great idea. I am at the flagpole every morning to raise the flag. The spotlight that is supposed to shine on the flag has burnt out so now the flag must be taken down at the end of the day. The flagpole rope is not continuous: each end has clip and these are hooked together when the flag is not on the pole. The other day, as I stood there with the flag draped over my shoulders (must not let it touch the ground) and prepared to hook the first clip into the top hole of the flag, the thought passed through my mind “What would happen if somehow this clip ended up at the top of the flagpole without the flag attached, how would we get it down?” A similar situation happened twice over the summer with the bird feeders that hang suspended from pullies that are attached to the eaves of our house. It was a simple matter then to just get the ladder and pull the end of the rope down. But then I shrugged it off, because the only way for that to happen (I thought) would be for someone to unhook the clips and deliberately pull the rope. So I got the flag attached to the clips and started hauling it up (mentally humming the Star Spangled Banner), and it was almost to the top when suddenly to my great shock, the top clip holding the flag came unhooked and the flag fell to the ground. I was stunned. There was the first clip almost at the top of the flagpole. So I told the boss and he came out and jiggled the rope thinking maybe it would come down but he only succeeded in pulling it higher. “How are we going to get this down,” he says looking at me very intently. “We must have a flag. I’m to old to try to shinny up this pole.” I felt terrible. So I thought a bit, and called the volunteer fire department and asked if they could send a fire truck over with a ladder. I left to go to exercise class and when I returned less than an hour later, the flag was flying proudly at the top of the flagpole. The fire chief called city hall and they sent a utility truck. I noted the next day when I arrived at work that somebody else had raised the flag. Wonder why?

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