I'm feeling a bit too lazy to do any real research, but I do remember reading that the average prevailing wind here is 10.5 mph out of the southwest, and that we average 4 days per year of 50+ mph winds. Otherwise, it's pretty breezy here on a normal day, even during the heat of summer, and I enjoy that aspect of our weather.
After some recent windstorms, however, I've begun to think of our pleasant cheek-caressing breezes as more a slap in this homeowners's face, when our roof began to decorate the yard.
Day one of the windstorm occurred, like most other hilarious domestic emergencies, when Eric was safely out of town. Shingles blew hither and yon, cracking and crumbling on impact, with yours truly valiantly cleaning up the mess that was my yard. Of course, when I reported on the problem, his helpful response was, "I can't do anything about it right now."
|Not my real roof|
There is just one problem. I have all the grace and coordination of a week-old puppy, and fifty years of accidents and injuries have taught me that I don't belong on high structures or uneven footing, at least if I want to keep my basic skeletal integrity. This easy fix of "tarping" was not in my job description and I didn't need a fortune-teller to predict what would happen it I tried to learn this particular skill. Eric said to wait until he got home, then we'd figure out what needed to be done. Fine by me!
Turns out Eric had some grandiose scheme to star in his own home improvement movie. From the ground, it appeared that only a few shingles needed replacing, so he thought he'd do that himself. But with more nasty wind and rain in store, I was insistent that we call our insurance company and get the claim process going. Even though we knew we'd be pretty far back in line, since southern Indiana and several other states had suffered true devastation from tornadoes, we still needed to file a claim and get it inspected.
|Someone else's roof|
Eric told me of his plans to tear-off and replace the roof with his buddy.
Him: "So I'll buy the materials with the insurance money, the me and Bubba will re-roof the front and pocket the extra cash. Bubba just needs a steady beer supply for hydration on the job, and a bottle of single-malt as a completion bonus. Genius, huh?"
Me: "Genius - yes! Before you start, will you go shopping with me for my funeral dress? I need to look extra nice as a widow, since we are woefully under-insured. Something veiled for the graveside, that can transition to a clingy sheath with a plunging neckline for the distraught scene back at the house."
Him: "What funeral? You didn't mention anyone dying..."
Me: "I'm planning your funeral, and I didn't mention it before because I didn't know you were planning to die."
Him: "I'm not following you. I was talking about the roof, you are talking about funerals."
Me: "If you and Bubba think you can roof our house, you are insane. It would be the death of one or both of you."
Him: "Why do you say that? You are always bragging on my ability to fix things around the house. That's all I'm talking about."
Me: "No, what you are talking about is two middle-aged, flabby guys with desk jobs doing the work of young, experienced professionals. It's not happening."
Him: "I've replaced shingles before and there are plenty of middle-aged, flabby roofers, so I don't see your point."
Me: "My point is, you are the sole support for this family and you cannot be spared for some toughness contest on a high, uneven surface. If you are so confident in your roofing talent, and don't think it's too dangerous to risk the future financial security of this family, I have a little wager for you. Sign an agreement that says you want me to use the death benefit to buy an Jaguar XJR convertible and have a face lift and liposuction. I want to be an eye-catching man magnet to help me transition to my lonely future. If you are sure you won't die, then you have nothing to lose by signing."
Him: "Ha! As if. You know, Bubba's wife wouldn't forbid him from helping me. She has more faith in him than you have in me."
Me: "Are you kidding me? Mrs. Bubba already bought the handcuffs and sedatives, the minute she got a whiff of Bubba's exciting plan for a virility contest at high elevation. She won't even let him do the bungee bounce at the mall! Why would she let him go to a 3-day keg party on our roof? Do you think she's any more capable of replacing her husband's income than I am? You doofuses are all that stands between we women and children and the homeless shelter. So stay off the roof, or start dreaming of me in my Jag."
Him: "This is harsh. I was looking forward to the exercise, working outside in the nice weather, fraternizing with Bubba and some of the gang who wanted to help. You ruined my male-bonding fantasy. What else am I supposed to do until football season?"
Me: "Keep your shirt on, literally and figuratively. I've got plenty of projects you can do that don't involve heights or steep slopes. You can build some shelves in the sewing area, dig up the tree stump, replace the wood where we ripped out a cabinet or paint the kitchen. Take your pick. These jobs are so manly, I feel the Jag fantasy receding, being replaced by a painting fantasy. And you are the star."
Needless to say, Eric and Bubba are disappointed that they were robbed of an opportunity to display their macho handyman talents for the neighborhood, all because of the silly worries of their nearest dependents. I, for one, am relieved to have resolved this matter, because I wouldn't have a roof over my head if it wasn't for Eric, and I'd like to keep him around awhile. And if we are forced to hire a crew of young, good-looking roofers who work shirtless and need lots of Gatorade and water delivered, well, that's just the price I'm willing to pay to keep Eric safe...and out of trouble.