Monday, Nov. 15, 2004
Dear Diary:

So you ever had one of those days when you wonder to yourself, "Why oh why wasn't I born with sticky little suction pads on my fingers and toes?"

No?

Ah, just me then.

Well, on the weekend we got to the point where the spousal unit needed to install flashing on the west porch roof in preparation for putting the tin on the roof.

We (and by that I would mean "he") had to pull nails out of the bottom of the siding on our home so we could work one side of the "L" shaped flashing under said siding the other side of the flashing would fit over the tin.

See, with flashing you seal off the natural path water would take when you make an addition to your home. Is there anything more scintillating than construction details? Huh? HUH?

Getting the flashing under the siding is a two person job. Neither of the spousal unit's brothers were available to help which meant that I would have to go up on the porch roof and be his helper.

I have a terrible, irrational fear of heights.

Now, as the spousal unit quite reasonably pointed out, the roof on this porch is anything but steep. Plus, at the highest point I would only be about 12 feet from the ground. PLUS, it wasn't as if I would be standing on some sort of slick surface. The top of the porch had been boarded with rough sawn lumber, after all.

So, in essence he was asking me to climb a relatively short ladder up to a practically level surface, a surface that offered excellent traction.

How could I refuse?

Up the ladder I went, without a problem. I crawled up to the top of the porch roof on my hands and knees. I kept my eyes steadfastly on the matter at hand and the two of us together with much pushing, muttering and prybar work managed to work the flashing under the siding.

Mission accomplished.

With almost simian dexterity the spousal unit walked to the edge of the porch and then scrambled down the ladder. "C'mon, I'll hold it for you," he said.

I began to inch down the surface of the porch roof towards the ladder. On my hands and knees. At an excruciatingly slow pace. I got to the bottom of the roof and made the critical error of looking down. My stomach flip flopped and my knees turned to water.

"I can't do this."

A lesser man would have rolled his eyes and lost his temper at this irrational display of sissypants crymonkey stupidity, but the spousal unit is made of stronger stuff. He tried teasing me.

"I guess we could pitch a tent for you up there. I can wave at you through the livingroom window throughout the winter."

I started to laugh.

"Once you get a foot on the ladder you'll be fine," he coaxed.

Staying on my hands and knees, I tried scootching backwards and feeling for the ladder rung with an outstretched foot. I couldn't contort my body from that position to get to the ladder and waving my foot over the void below me made my stomach flip flop again.

I let out a little whimper of terror. At that point I was shaking.

The spousal unit climbed back up the ladder. He made me stand up. He stood on the left of the ladder and made me stand to the right of it, each of us with our backs to the ladder. Then painstakingly, micro motion by micro motion, he showed me how to get on the ladder by doing it himself.

Down he went. Again.

"You can do this." In reply I gurgled out some primordial sound of terror. The sun was setting. If I didn't get a move on, I'd have the extra bonus of having to do this in the dark.

Deep breath. My left hand grabbed the top rung of the ladder. My left foot found a rung. I swung my right foot off the roof and suddenly there I was, on the ladder. An aluminum ladder that was making a distinct rattling sound because I had plastered my body to it and my knees were shaking at speeds normally associated with vibrators.

The spousal unit had to climb up a few rungs, and with his hands on my waist helped me ease down the ladder. Having two feet on terra firma never felt so sweet.

"See, that wasn't that bad," he said, soothingly. I acknowledged that he was right and apologized for my irrational fears, promising more mature behaviour another time.

Another time far, far into the future.

Far, far, far into the future.

Then he reminded me of a simple fact. There is another porch on the east side of the house and it, too, will need flashing, probably next weekend.

Know what's #1 with a bullet on my To Do List? Bribe brothers-in-law to show up next weekend.

Bribe them big time.

--Marn

Mileage on the Marnometer: 848.6 miles.
Ten percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.25 per cent thereTen percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.25 per cent thereTen percent there rubber duck.
Oh man. This is going to be hard
Goal for 2004: 1,000 miles - 1609 kilometers

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