Up on the Roof

I managed to put myself into a rather untenable situation this afternoon. After spending most of the day working on clearing some of my porcupine damaged trees, I decided it was time to finally get around to repairing my roof. I should have known better than embarking on such an adventure without any backup, but I am after all a grown man and I should be able to do some things without anyone watching over my shoulder.

I put the extension ladder against the south side of the house, gathered up the tabs that had blown off during the buffeting winds of spring, my caulk gun and a tube of Liquid Nails, and proceeded to climb to the roof. There was yet another late afternoon thunderstorm gathering off to the southwest, but I figured I had enough time to get the tabs matched up and glued down before the rain started. Besides, I’d made certain that I bought the waterproof Liquid Nails so I could use it any time the temperature was warm enough.

Starting on the south side of the roof, I replaced the eight or so tabs that had blown off and glued down a similar number of tabs that had lifted but not torn away from the roof yet. By the time I finished on the north side of the roof, the wind was gusting and a few drops were falling out of the dark overcast. Pushing against the wind, I cleared the ridge. To my surprise, there was no longer a ladder sticking up above the edge of the roof. I checked, and sure enough, the wind had blown the ladder over.

I was in a fix. My wife had left to take supper in for a family who had recently added a new baby. She assured me she would hurry back, but I’ve had some experience with her charitable excursions in the past. I wasn’t hopeful. Worse, I don’t own a cell phone, and our nearest neighbor is beyond yelling range, especially when the wind is howling.

The half hour to an hour I pessimistically expected to wait, turned into an hour and forty minutes. The wind beat upon my house, the rain lashed the roof, lightning flashed, and thunder crashed and rumbled. Where was I, you ask? I sat huddled in the dubious shelter of the lee side of the chimney, and hoped for my wife’s prompt return.

Fortunately the storm was brief, and dumped far less precipitation than we have become accustomed to during this freakishly wet spring. By the time my wife pulled into the driveway, and asked if I was her new roof ornament, I was almost dry.

The moral of the story? When that little voice inside your head says you may not have enough time to get off the roof before the storm arrives, you may want to listen. If you’re not smart enough to do that, at least have a cell phone.

Until next time …