Friday, September 08, 2006

Perspective

What a week! The roof is leaking in two places. Being a tin roof, it is practically indestructible. But also, being a tin roof, when it goes, it goes, and it’s not easy to find someone to fix it anymore. Fortunately, we’ve located a geezer (is seventy-four considered a geezer age?) who has been fixing tin roofs for fifty years. And he runs up that ladder to the roof faster than a teenager. Amazing to watch.

Seems as how they’ve changed the material in tin roofing. No more lead paint to protect the galvanization so thus they need more attention. Who knew? Anyway, that roof must be more than forty years old by now, so it served well.

In addition, if the geezer can’t do it, there’s a guy named Junie Bug who also fixes tin roofs. In these situations, it’s good to have a back-up or three.

That wouldn’t be so bad, but the car died the other day. In fact, it died at a funeral. The minister had to jump start me so I could chug down to Roger’s to have it seen to. Unfortunately, Roger isn’t open on Wednesdays so it had to wait being seen to until he returned. Turns out the battery was dead beyond repair, just like the roof. Also the brakes and the shock absorbers need some seeing to. However, Roger put in a new battery and said the other problems could wait till the next oil change.

And during all this, workmen were tearing out all the old flexi-pipe from our heating system. It had become infected with mold early on, and was getting worse each summer. Of course, no one – including the contractor who had it installed -- told us to vapor seal the crawl space to prevent damage to the pipe. It wasn’t until last year, while I was researching heat pumps and such that I found out about the need to seal the crawl space and install a humidifier. Which was done…for about three thousand dollars. At the time it seemed like a lot of money, but in comparison to a tin roof…it’s a mere trifle.

When the workmen finished installing everything, including these nifty air filters in the intake vents, they turned on the outside unit…and it tripped the breaker inside. Guess what that means if it happens more than once a month (and it happened three weeks ago)? It means a whole new outside unit, that’s what it means. They’re coming on Tuesday to show us what’s available and to break the news gently on how much it’s going to cost.

I think I will go lie down and listen to the rain plink in the bowl from the ceiling. If you unfocus your ears, it sounds rather musical.

To keep things in perspective, I remind myself that I went to a funeral this week and I wasn’t the guest of honor. That’s a comfort considering that Samuel is long past worrying about his roof…or his car…or his crawl space.

Rest in peace, Samuel.

2 Comments:

At 12:02 PM, Blogger james higham said...

And Samuel was? Perhaps I'm not meant to be here.

 
At 11:56 PM, Blogger Dymphna said...

Guess I wasn't very clear, was I?

We live in a rural, mostly black area in the foothills of the Blue Ridge. Much of the land around us was owned by a man who was the grandson of slaves. He worked hard and managed to acquire parcels of land, much of which he farmed (I think).

There were twelve children who grew up and went away to make their fortunes in the big city. As they have begun to retire one by one, they've come home to build homes on their pieces of the original tract their father accrued.

Samuel was one of those. Not very old, but not young either. He built a nice house, adopted two little girls, and settled down to his well-earned retirement. But he died last week, and his passing jarred me out of my week of on-going entropy, making me see -- as the Coast Guard honor guard folded the flag and blew taps -- that my problems were minor in comparison.

Putting things in perspective, in other words.

I go by his empty house now...the church, the house, the graveyard all being within walking distance of our house...and I think about my self-absorbed complaints as I wonder about this loss and what it must mean for his girls.

Is this clearer than my foggy post?

 

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