Ah, the joys of domesticity. Today, in anticipation of the weekend barbecue, I am working my way down Camera Girl’s list of chores. I have swept and mopped the front deck, washed the windows, cleaned the lawn furniture, bought a new toilet seat, bought some stuff I needed to install a couple of air conditioners, bought some stuff to clean the cars and dug out my ladder to clean the first-floor gutters.
Yesterday unexpectedly, the roofer, Wayne, showed up out of the blue after three weeks of radio silence and said he was ready to look at those couple of shingles that had come loose during an EF5 tornado that had moved the house onto my neighbor-across-the-road’s property. The neighbor’s been real good about us living on his land. Of course bringing the plumbing and electrical services under the road cost me a good deal but I was looking for more interaction with the neighbors anyway so it’s been a great experience, all in all.
Anyway, Wayne (by the way all roofers in my experience are named Wayne) came over with the ricketiest wooden ladder I’ve ever seen and set it down against the house. Now, the spot where he wanted to climb slopes at about a 45-degree angle and he proceeded to even it out by piling a couple of boards under one of the ladder’s feet. I’m looking at this and thinking, is this guy insured? Wayne’s assistant has the job of putting tension on the rope attached to the ladder. Looking at this I’m trying to form a diagram in my head of the forces at play in this little scene. Wayne’s weight, Bob’s tension on the line, the frictional force between the boards and the soaking wet grass underneath them and the absurd angle of the ladder and the ground and the force of my blood pounding in my veins watching this insanity. I felt like I was participating in a Three Stooges routine in real time. I suspect I was Moe but I wasn’t completely sure.
Miraculously every one walked away alive and intact including my repaired roof shingles. Wayne charged me a paltry eighty bucks and I felt like I had gotten off easy in the lottery of life but vowed to find another Wayne in the future. Unfortunately, Wayne’s perambulation on top of my house woke up my granddaughter who was taking her mid-day nap and this didn’t endear either myself or Wayne to Camera Girl. We already had a previous roofer named Wayne that she despises due to various offenses against the code of acceptable contractor conduct. So this only reinforced her hatred for contractors in general and specifically roofers named Wayne. I will say in defense of the earlier Wayne that he is a staunch fan of Donald Trump and even placed an enormous Trump sign on the side of his work truck.
Of course the danger with outside work in New England is you invariably discover some new and worse damage to home and environs. I am always fighting a losing battle against snow and moisture damage. I recently replaced and painted some external woodwork (stairs and railings) and already I saw rotted sections. But not being someone who quits easily, I am formulating a plan that involves wrapping these areas with waterproof tarps during the winter months. This seems kind of crazy but the alternative is to replace the wood with something impervious to snow and rain. I’m guessing concrete or stainless steel are the only sure bets and that would be very expensive.
And walking around the yard I noticed the deer finally put me out of my misery by eating every last one of the daylily flower buds that were growing in one of the more remote beds. Blah, blah, everyone has to eat, blah blah. I’m going to move those damn things this autumn and put them within stone throwing distance of my house. I hope they bring wolves back to New England and they eat these deer into extinction. Yes I do.
So today was a useful day. And doing outside work kept me from thinking of Dementia Joe and how badly our country has been damaged. Tomorrow I’ll return to contemplating the end of western civilization. But today I got the chores done.