Peace on the rooftop

28 07 2009

Just a couple more photos from today before I head to bed….  and sweet peace.

(Read Uncovered, below to make sense of the pics.)

Very large and spikey frozen missiles

Very large and spikey frozen missiles

Patient Impatiens

Patient Impatiens

Ripped shingle, rusty nail

Ripped shingle, rusty nail

Solid panels of honey-colored plywood

Solid panels of honey-colored plywood

Rest and peace

Rest and peace





Uncovered

27 07 2009

Today it’s our turn to fill the neighborhood with nail-gun syncopation.  In June a hailstorm picked our town to rescue the roofing industry from the recession.  To make sure the honor was bestowed properly and completely, the sky launched frozen spikey stones larger than golf balls at houses, neon signs, windows, and vehicles for an incredibly long quarter-hour.

One of the smaller (1-inch), but more beautiful hailstones

One of the smaller (1-inch), but more beautiful hailstones

The next onslaught went on for weeks—contractors and sales people rang our doorbell, called on the phone, and left fliers in our screen door.  A pile of literature grew on our counter… and then landed in the recycling “Paper Retriever” at church.

Banging, scraping, and constant machine gun-like firing has been the next wave, and today we are adding to the cacophony.  Yesterday, the neighbor’s roofers punctuated my Sunday afternoon nap.  Today, ours will shorten their children’s naps.  (I imagine they didn’t take naps at all yesterday when the roofers were on their roof!)

Sitting under the destruction is more than unsettling—much like the storm, only longer.  My nerves haven’t recovered from last week when my husband was in the hospital.  Pictures on the walls around me are shaking, and ceiling lights are swaying.  Grandma’s heirloom coffee cup and saucer just gracefully slid from their perch on the bookshelf, thankfully landing without a chip.  There is very little material between the roofers’ feet and my journal here on the desk.  What makes this worse is that I went outside just a little bit ago to see the roof.

After mourning for my flower-friends (which are casualties—again—first the hard, white hail, now the torn, black shingles… sigh) I looked up at the naked roof.  Most of the plywood is still sunny golden just like it was when the shingles were applied.  They had performed well and protected their charge.  A couple panels on the east slope are grayed and black in areas; these the roofers avoided with careful sidesteps.  Falling through the roof into our bed is a real possibility on that part of the roof!  The contractor assured us that they will be ripped out and replaced.

Why those spots?  What had been different there from the rest of the roof?  We didn’t have any noticeable leaks inside, but there must have been a way for rain (and hail?) to get under, around, or through the shingles and damage the wood underneath.

Last week my top layer was torn off as I drove back and forth to the hospital everyday.  Lack of sleep, traffic, weird hours, and irregular meal times caused a chink allowing the uncertainty of the situation to trickle into my unprotected soul.  And now, a few pieces of my plywood need replacing.

The contractor said the roofers will be done this afternoon.  Peace is not far off.

IMG_1477




Steering

14 07 2009

“He is NOT going to pull out into BOTH lanes of traffic,” I hoped out loud as I took my foot off the accelerator.  Yep.  He did.

It was all over before my head could take it in.  I had to rewind the video in my mind to make sense of what had just happened.  Pumping wildly, my heart increased the amount of blood to my brain, which helped me remember.

I had been driving downtown for a meeting and decided to take a more direct route instead of the interstate.  Looking at interesting houses and driving through neighborhoods make the trip more enjoyable.  So I was on a four-lane, 45 mph artery driving in the left lane when a sedan pulled out into the right lane causing the SUV ahead of me in that lane to stop.  I slowed, wondering what might happen next, when the sedan’s headlights pulled into my lane right in front of me.

There was oncoming traffic to my left and no time to hit the brakes or lay on the horn.  As the video in my mind played, I let out a hoot!  Just like in the movies, I had deftly steered my way through the obstacle course, tires squealing, at 40 miles per hour– in what now seemed like slow motion!!

My reaction had been automatic—coming from the part of my brain that doesn’t have to think about what to do; it just took over.  Not waiting for explanation or reason, it saw what I needed to do and made it happen before I could have a conscious thought or make a plan.  My survival instinct must have been steering, because I don’t have any experience dodging cars—except for bumper cars at the fair!  🙂

Thinking about what happened last night has made me a little philosophical this morning.  I’m asking myself some questions:

What are my gut reactions, especially in relationships?

Do I default to self-preservation or the other person’s best interest?

Is there a way to modify my default settings from self-interest to others-interest?

What do you think?  I’d really like to know.





Invisible Fur

6 07 2009

Violet Mandy

A couple of weeks ago, the two cutest dogs in the entire world were here.  Two long-haired furry (but very loving) beasts +  hot temps = dog fur shed everywhere.  Each time I vacuumed I found a small (lifeless) puppy in our bagless vacuum!

Before people guests came to visit this past weekend, I didn’t have time to vacuum again, so I bent over– down-up, down-up– all over the house, picking the black tufts from our light-colored carpeting.  Several days with our company went by, and all was well until the video-playing guests moved from the couch to the floor after I was in bed one night.

The next morning when I walked into the living room to open the curtains I was a bit confused.  There were fur clumps scattered on the floor again.  Since the dogs hadn’t been in the house and I don’t believe in spontaneous generation I used my highly-developed powers of deduction (I’m a mom!) and figured that all the moving around on the living room floor during the video game the night before must have consolidated a light, coating of un-vacuumed dog fur into tufts.  The guys’ movements forced the previously invisible fur into view.

Fur floor

Picking up tufts by hand + vacuuming the same floor = twice as much work as it would have been to vacuum the floor in the first place!  That’s why I don’t usually take shortcuts.








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