My aunt Beatrice Warde wrote a book about the Blitz called Bombed but Unbeaten, about how ordinary London citizens got used to going about their daily business with pluck and resignation amid the smoking ruins left by the Luftwaffe's most recent visit. It came to mind yesterday as I stepped onto our front porch under a cascade of crashing debris. The guys had to claw me a path through the stuff, which was knee-high on the front steps.
The Great Roofing Epic seems to be going amazingly well: no sorrowful pointing to "surprises," no "worst I've ever seen in 20 years on the job" comments, etc. The crew works harder than I've ever seen guys work, and we've almost become used to the sight of them dangling or grappling outside our windows. Our next-door neighbors on both sides have borne their share of disruption with good grace, and have dealt tenderly with our shattered nerves. (It helps that they are both pro-am DIY types and not petunia-growing little old ladies.) Above: Guy installing custom extra-wide gutter, seen through kitchen window. Is it distracting to wave, or rude not to?
We knew the porch roof was in bad shape, but this section of fascia board seemed like a downright masterpiece of rot, a mural of multimedia corruption. What would you like with that alligatored lead paint, ma'am—mold? moss? carpenter-bee holes? dry rot? Or would you like our special with all four? This piece was replaced before being capped with aluminum to await its new gutter.
Supposedly the guys will be done in one more day. And then, the house will look...remarkably the same!