This summer unfolded as yet another rollercoaster ride, remaining in one state seldom longer than a few weeks. I ventured to Arizona a few times to visit Christa and family, California two or three times (I can’t recall), Hawaii for twelve days, on the San Juan river in Utah for ten, back to Arizona for two weeks, and finally home a little over a week ago.

In the between time I removed the roof of my house, all four layers of cursed shingles stubbornly refusing to find refuge in the 30 cubic yard roll-away (filled twice). While I have always believed, and repeatedly heard that reshingling a house is a 4-day weekend job, mine was instead two months.

It seemed to be going smoothly, although slowly, until I received a phone call while at work from my friend Chris who is helping me with this project.

Chris said, “Hey man, how’s it going?”

“Well,” I responded, noticing a slight agitation in his voice.

“Yeah, well, (pause) we have problem. So, what’s the worst thing that could happen on this job?”

I replied, “You fell off the roof?”

“What’s the second worse thing that could happen?”

“You fell through the ceiling into my house?”

“No, man. (pause) Not me. Ricardo did. And he’s only been on the job for an hour so he feels really bad. Do you want me to fire him?” I said no, and could do nothing but laugh.

(two days later)
Another friend fell off the roof altogether.

(a few weeks thereafter, while on the road)
I learned the contractor hired to wrap up the shingles on the south side of my house chose to forgo placement of felt beneath the shingles. A few terse words and the shingles were removed, tar paper installed, and new shingles replaced.

Upon return from my trip, I entered my house and was overwhelmed by the smell of wet, century old paster. A tremendous amount of water had come through the opening we cut (but apparently did not seal) for the dormer, dropping a portion of the ceiling into my laundry room and raising the grain on my hardwood floor.

(a few weeks later)
With the onset of fall rain and first snow storms, I awoke to the sound of dripping water in my living room. At 1 am, I scrambled across the wet roof top without roof jack nor climbing harness, in T-shirt and underwear bottoms. I struggled with a bundle of shingles across my shoulders. I tackled the 40×30 tarp which had become a large kite in the midnight storm and secured the corners. The pools of water in my attic later absorbed by every bedsheet that I own, which in retrospect, is not very many.

Yesterday, finally, I was given temporary pleasure in my properly shingled and snow tight roof, including four new skylights (a fifth to be installed –some other time) … until I recalled that I have no insulation and have yet to complete the rewiring before I can sister the 2x4s with 2x6s and lay down a new floor. Needless to say, if I don’t get this done soon, it will be a very cold, lonely winter as Christa will likely retreat to her home in Flag where she does not have to wear long underwear and fleece nor see her breath in the frozen morning.