Now that the roof on the house is done, we’ve moved on to the workshop. After coming to “grips” with my fear of heights by emulating a tree frog John has had me up on the roof of the workshop helping out again.
Reasons I hate the workshop roof:
1) It is only accessible via extension ladders, those are tall and scary.
2)Getting onto the roof from the scary ladder is even scarier.
3)I’m not even going to talk about getting back onto the ladder.
4) Once on top the roof is flat, but very small, falling in any direction would be certain death.
5)Five turkey vultures were soaring and circling, clearly they knew about the certain death.
So up on the roof, far, far out of my- feet on the ground- element I was, shall we say, a little testy. Later with my feet firmly on the ground I apologized to John and explained that I was just having a hard time dealing with the fact that one of us was going to pitch off the roof and die at any moment.
Then I thought about what I said.
I have since resolved to try to make my last moments with my husband friendlier ones.
While John and I had been talking hypothetically about re-shingling the roof since last fall it wasn’t until last weekend that we set a date, you may have realized by now that that date was only a week away.
I’d like to dispense a bit of free advice here and mention that if you are planning an epic project like this it would be helpful to set your date more than a week in advance. I’d also advise you not to have your hot water heater die around 10pm the night before it starts, if that were to happen it’s possible you would spend the weekend without hot water. If you spend your roofing weekend without hot water I hope you have really nice neighbors that will let you shower, you’ll need one!
While our one week of planning was a bit frantic we did manage to make a plan, order supplies, and line up help. Our help consisted of a few friends that we were able to convince that what they would really like to do for part of their labor day weekend is give us a hand on our roof, and of course we got my family involved. In addition to the fact that they came with most of the know how (remember Memorial day weekend?) projects seem to be what my family does. I hear other family’s get together and eat, or camp, or golf… mine does things like, take down dead trees, build fences, clean barns, and roof houses.
This is the,
“What in the…”
“How on earth…”
“Why did they…”
stance that anyone working on our house gets at one point or another.
This unfortunately brought us to the “Tyler?” part of the project. At this point Tyler, who was in charging of telling his family what to do so we could ignore him and do it wrong, was being called all over the roof.
“Tyler now what do I do?”
“Tyler how do I put drip edge on here?”
“Tyler how do we fix this hole?”
This slowed down our progress by quite a bit and irritated Tyler, but by Saturday night we had completely deconstructed the roof and had it sort of put back together. The shingles were arriving via boom truck Sunday morning, and we were not quite ready for them…
Shingle delivery guys don’t care if you are done prepping the roof they just show up when they are told. So Sunday morning there came the shingles, and the grey sky, and the evil, evil, weather forecaster who every fifteen minutes on the radio liked to remind us there was a chance of thunderstorms on Sunday night.
More help arrived and with my kids being taken care of and the weather looking iffy I went up on the roof…
Please note that this is not an insignificant thing. I do not like heights, I don’t like them at all. But, the girls were being watched, and there was nothing to do on the ground so I went up to the shortest roof over the mudroom where there was also nothing to do. Then my brother looked at me and said something really inspirational like, “Shut up, get over here and help me.”
So I did.
I helped out on top of the house for the rest of the weekend. This is why I have no more pictures of the project to share. I was on the roof, and I was doing it without crying or hyperventilating but I wasn’t about to use one of my hands, that I was really hoping were acquiring sticky tree frog-like properties, to do anything that wasn’t completely necessary, like take a picture.
By Sunday night we had some shingles on, the rest of the roof was ready for shingles, Tyler went home, only my Mom and Dad were planning on coming back and the rain had started.
Sunday was a bad night. Sunday evening we made a lot of phone calls.
Monday morning the phone calls had paid off and things were looking up. John’s parents whisked the girls away first thing in the morning. Then my Dad’s friend saved the day by crawling around like a monkey and doing all sorts of things to shingle the highest of the roofs that I can’t even think about, much less type about, without wanting to sit on the floor. While John helped out on the high roofs, my mom and I finished most of the low with Dad pitching in where he was needed. As we worked, I studiously avoided looking at anyone crawling around higher than me, walking near the edge or doing anything that looked like slipping. This is because I had learned that watching any of those activities made me really wish I was back on the ground. The problem was as soon as I wanted to be back on the ground the thought of navigating steep slippery roof and rickety ladders was also way too scary. So instead I would will my toes to also acquire tree frog like properties and stick where I was.
I like to think I was persevering in finishing the job rather than that I was frozen in terror.
Just as we were really starting to get sick of anything that looked like a shingle, we had one last friend show up to help finish things off, and we did just before dark on Monday night!
Thanks to all our helpers. We never ever would have gotten it done without you all!
Tyler for all the work and the question answering.
Jeff, Steve, Stephen, our friends who like us well enough to help shingle a house.
Jessie who came to pick up her puppy Saturday morning and didn’t leave till she had helped do everything from tear off to kid care Saturday night.
Jess, who came along with her own baby and helped watch both of mine as well.
Tom and Chris who let us shower at their house since we had no hot water.
George and Lois who ran to Menard’s, cleaned the kitchen, and helped watch kids.
Mighty and Marcia, who lent us tools and told me what color to pick.
Rick, the man who saved us Monday morning.
Pat and Al, for taking the girls so we had a chance to not only finish the roof but do clean up unencumbered Tuesday morning.
Granny and Grandpa, who not only helped finance the project and sent along food everyday but also came out to help in the house and run to Menard’s on Sunday.
and to Mom and Dad who did it all, all weekend long!
Over the big Memorial Day weekend, we headed to Pewaukee to help my Mom and Dad re-roof their house. Below should be (emphasis on the should I’ve never attempted this before) a time lapse video of the project. At the end of the movie you can see the shingles going up above the garage and over the porch they are brown so look close! Notice, how the video ends before the roof is completed…
Sorry ’bout that guys…
I wasn’t actually on the roof though.
Because I would hate that.
What I have learned about roofers is that they eat a lot and that they get really tired.
This is my Mom.
I think she is sleeping.
What I have learned about myself is that sometimes chasing after kids and trying to keep them from climbing ladders while making dinner for…counting on my fingers…oh man it was eleven if you count the babies, is not a lot fun even when doing it with your best friend!
I mean really do they look like they had fun to you?