Friday, November 13, 2009

Further adventures

Apparently, some of you have nothing better to do than to sit about waiting with bated (not baited - can't imagine you with worms in your mouths...) breath for further installments of deathless prose from Yrs Truly. Well, can't say this will be deathless.

I am at Poppa's aka my father's. This, to some of you means nothing but to others has a resonance. My Dad is 88. Today he worked me into the ground with repect to leaf raking and hauling, raccoon wire removal (apparently once the dambugger crane flies go dormant, the 'coons lose interest), apple picking (2 trees and I'm bringing a boxful home for sharing - sign up now), and carport roof leaf removal. It is the latter which I wish to bring to your attention.

When this house was built (late 1800s/early 1900s and we have the hand forged nails to prove it), cars were not invented. Whoever lived here probably had horses or Shank's mare and did not see fit to build a stable for either. When we arrived, there was a carport/garage which my parents saw fit to incorporate into the house as a "family room". This happened after spending a winter entertaining themselves and their friends in the dining room because my amour d'annee would arrive on Friday evening from uni and we would establish ourselves in the living room in front of the TV for whatever was on offer while we caught up on not having seen one another for a whole 5 days. Once the carport/garage disappeared into the best room of the house, another c/g needed to be constructed and was.

It was built 2 vehicles wide beside the family room with a flat roof outside my brother's second floor window. It is a practical construction for this climate 11/12 of the year. In fact, for most years, it is 100% practical. There are, however, the occasional years when FLAT roof construction is impractical (as in bloody stupid). Last year was one such year which led to the Jrs spending Christmas morning shovelling the damroof (not to mention the driveway which we will not get into at this moment) before stockings and breakfast - well, maybe not stockings but definitely breakfast.

Snow is an issue. So, too, are the broadleafed deciduous and noble/Douglas fir trees which edge this property.

Here's the thing: Going to build a flat roof? Make sure there are drains along the low edge. Check.

The tricky part is: make sure someone is here to clear the broadleafed deciduous leaves et fir needles off the damroof because if you don't SOMEone is going to be out there with the blowtorch (and hair dryer but not so much anymore) to clear the ice off the drains. All it takes (trust me) is one goldanged wild cherry leaf to cover the drain opening and one has the beginning of a Mess.

It struck me as "peculiar" that despite the amount of precipitation there was no run off the roof. Observation led me to realize that no one had been on the roof since last Christmas. Sighhhhhhhhhhh.

O how we need you, digitus camerus.

Picture Moi clambering out Late Bro's window avec rake et Poppa clambering out same window (3rd try due to stiff hip joint) with leaf blower et broom. Picture water in rooster tails blowing over the edge into the gully. Picture drains being opened and gouts pouring down. Picture me thinking about the rescue team perhaps not having to rescue my father from his own flat carport roof.

Picture a day of warmth and soft winds (dragging more of the damapple leaves from their trees), picture the bloddyroof clean swept and the drains open, picture me pushing my father and his gimpy leg back into my brother's room, picture The Old Guy et Moi sitting about the hearth in the family room feeling a bit worn down but not defeated.

It's been a good day.

Still breathing


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darn it ... should have been there with the camera! Sorry I missed the latest 'roof' escapade... K.

7:59 p.m.  
Anonymous AlisonH said...

I hope you don't mind that I'm sitting here laughing. I live in California. Half of our roof is flat; it was the style in the 50's. And yes, leaves=backed up rain watering the insides of the house if we don't keep them swept off.

Which is how my daughter and I ended up there one morning. Note that I have a very altered sense of balance. Which is how all the sudden she was looking at empty space, going, Mo o o o o m?....

Good thing it's only one story high. Sprained both ankles.

I'm in awe of your dad going up there!

1:22 p.m.  

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