After feeding one day my father-in-law asked me if I could help him with one little thing. Of course I said yes, his request seemed simple enough on the surface.
All he wanted was for me to go to the back of the Quonset and grab an extension cord when he pushed it in through a hole in the wall then plug it in. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. He took the cord hopped on his four-wheeler and buzzed around to the back of the building. It took him a bit to get there, that’s how long this building is. I began my trek through the inside of the building. At first I traveled unimpeded winding my way through farm implements parked with a masters skill. As I reached the last row of equipment, seldom used and covered with years worth of dust I had less luck. There was a clear path between a tall straight truck and the sloping wall, pitch black in the shadows cast by a single dim bulb somewhere near the entrance.
Remembering my ventures into the Quonset last summer I thought of the large brown barn spiders whose webs made a net across every undisturbed surface, I was unable to force my self into that black tunnel. Now I like Spiders, especially the barn spiders, we have one every summer that we keep as a pet over our front door. I also realize that it is the middle of winter, the spiders are dead. The thought of walking face first into unseen webs at eye level, knowing that they had been there, imagining gigantic spider skeletons, was more than I could handle. I backtracked in the dim light looking for an alternate rout. Across the width of the building dusty implements were stacked with in inches of each other. From out side I heard him calling asking if I was ready. I told him no, not yet.
I was growing frantic no one was capable of parking so many vehicles and balers that close there had to be somewhere I could fit through. He hollered again was I there yet and again I was forced to tell him no not yet.
Back and forth I paced in desperation, I was not going to crawl through that dark narrow path, but I wasn’t finding any other options. Again still surprisingly patient he asked, was I there yet? He really thought there was a path along the side of the Quonset. Again I replied no not yet.
I gave up I was going to have to venture down that terrifying path but I was not going unarmed. My search began anew. This time for something to carry in front of me. A weapon with which to clear my path. I finally found what I sought clear back by the doors, a broom, a large shop broom. From the back of the building I heard the familiar cry, are you there, can you see the cord? I didn’t bother to reply he wouldn’t hear me any way.
Frantically waving the broom in front of my I dove into the depths. Spider webs fell left and right until I could see thin beams of light coming through the wall. There it dangled the bright orange extension cord. I could finally reply that yes I was there.
“Good” he said “I think there’s a plug in somewhere back along that wall.”
I turned to look behind me filled my dread refreshed. Not only was I going to have to go back in, I would have to grope blindly along the wall for a plug in? I had come this far. I drew upon my scant remaining shreds of courage and dove in.
I escaped from the ordeal physically unscathed. Mentally I’m not so sure. I do know now what I am capable of and the endless depths of my father-in-laws patience.