Friday, September 10, 2010


back aways

Okay, the last time we saw our merry band of roofers they were sailing along, slowed down at chimney duties, snagged with crummy material/double-crumbed with damaged replacement materials/up in arms momentarily with authorities, and all the while the torrid weather beat down on Mother Earth.

That was then.

By Saturday the soft windy edges of Hurricane Earl reached the maple leaf shores of Vermont and threatened to put a damper on the spirits of our revitalized roof crew, Sweetheart and me. Greg was down in Massachusetts for the day tending to a family wedding. The Irish and the Polish. Sweetheart and I were up here saying aloud to Earl, "Calm down a second, willya, just give us a second." And you know what? Earl did comply.

That's all I needed to build up an 18-foot ramp so we could get our steel sheet onto that, raise it 3 feet up onto a crossbar, and with it all leaning and buttoned in on the high scaffold, while one of us shot up the ladder to hold the high end, the other steadied down below. If Earl passed by, and he would, we would hold firm. As the winds died down, the ground person would join the co-worker up on the scaffold and with a minute or two of luxury time before the next wind came through, lift the tall sheet, tilt upward onto the roof, and I'd sally it up to the ridge using the purlins as footing and Sweetheart would steady and move sideways below. Within seconds the sheet was in place. Take a breather. Yes, feel the return of the wind across your back, hang tight, wind passes, chop in a first screw and we're anchored.

The rest is falling in love.

photo © c/o susan & bob arnold
drawing © bob arnold