My father does not believe or acknowledge this sign on any ladder, he has often used the “not a Step” portion of a ladder as a step and also as platform for reaching high heights. It used to be a Christmas tradition in my family to go and cut down our Christmas tree and then bring it home a decorate it. For those of you who don’t know much about my family I will tell you a little secret, we don’t really do anything on a small scale. Our Christmas trees where 18 feet tall. Yes, 18 feet that about 2 stories of a house; Yes this tree was inside and we covered it with lights and ornaments. Actually my father wrapped each tree branch with lights. How you say? My father would say “Very Carefully” but I will give you the really answer. He would set of a 12 foot ladder in the living room beside the tree and then using the “not a step” portion of the ladder he would lay a solid oak door from the top of the ladder over to the Railing that ran around the kitchen. But we didn’t stop there he would then place a chair, that spun on top of that.  Talk about not using things to their factory specifications, But it did the job. My mom told me that one of the first years we did this I came up from the basement while dad was standing on top of his home made scaffolding and asked, quite calmly, “If daddy dies, can I get a new daddy for Christmas?” And we still continued to get 18 foot trees for about another 10 years, until the year my dad had a nasty skiing accident where he hurt his shoulder. We already had the tree up but we had to take it down. Before this we would just take everything off the tree and lower it down and take it out the front door But this year my dad had a new idea. He said, “Lets take the tree down one limb at a time.” Not a bad idea, but did the mention the shoulder injury and the mega pain killers? Oh yes they were involved too. So we commenced with tree disassembly, It was all well and good until the gardening shears came out. All the ornaments got off the tree just fine but we lost a few lights to impaired shear operator. To this day my father says he only cut one strand of lights, but I was there and that years we lost at least 4 strands of light. It wasn’t long after that we moved and my parents bought a 12 foot prelight tree, but thats a story for another day, lets just say I wasn’t a happy camper.

You know those people in your life that reach for the stars, i always see them standing on the top step of a ladder reaching, body fully extended and just barely maintaining balance. How often do we walk by them and bump there ladder causing them to crash to the ground never to regain the dreams they were reaching for? I think its about time we start to hold there ladders steady, just because you are to afraid to climb up on that ladder and reach for something thats just out of reach doesn’t mean you can’t stay on the ground were its “safe” and support someone. If your not a risk taker, support someone who is, encourage them, hold there ladder, or maybe buy them a taller one. There are ways to be a part of the amazing things that other are achieving where you are still safely on the ground. Athough I am a child never climb up on the homemade scaffolding to decorate or tree, I helped my dad by staying on the ground and keeping the lights from getting tangled and holding the ladder. I supported him and I was apart of what he did and I would never trade that time with my father.

Just because you don’t have a dream so big that it will take all you have to even reach out toward it doesn’t mean you can’t be apart of something world changing. There are plenty of young people especially that need someone to hold there ladder while they reach out for there wild and crazy dreams. They are closer to you than you think, you don’t have to go anywhere, they might be right next door, they maybe your own children, or grandchildren, or maybe a niece or nephew. I promise you if you keep your eye, ears and heart open you will find someone to support. Go out and see who is standing on there “Not A Step”

Until then…