Astute readers will have noticed that Buster shows up here, in all his Zen beauty and inner stillness, to steady me when I am coping with fear. And so:
It's a blissfully peaceful October day here at the CrazyStable, but we have, with the stroke of a pen, set a whirlwind into motion. This is the calm before the storm.
We have vetted a roofer (Angie's List, Better Business Bureau, local recommendations all checked out)...and we have given him a huge check with which to buy enough shingles to cover the vastness of our ancient leaky roof. We decided on slate-blue colored shingles...because when you're spending this much money on a job no one but a passing helicopter pilot will see, you kid yourself that such choices matter terribly.
What matters terribly is that the roofer can figure out how to channel the torrents that have beaten holes into a section of roof we call The Valley of Death. Because, despite the fact that our roof is a rotting century-old heap, it's still remarkably functional everywhere else, at least to the naked eye. We are essentially spending the price of a luxury European vacation for three (including gourmet meals) to plug one leak. Granted, it's a leak that has destroyed a $2,000 plastering job in our rental unit and made it rain in our laundry room...but it just feels so...wrong.
Functionally, it's the right thing to do, but it still feels wrong. Cosmetically, we couldn't be getting less bang for the buck, unless you count a beauty shot for Google Earth. After all this madness, the exterior will still be clad in its tattered cedar shingles, the porch will still be peeling, and the budget won't stretch to cover everything left to do, inside and outside, after 20 years of deferred renovation. But if the roof is leaking, you can't move forward with anything else. (There must be an O. Henry story in there somewhere.)
The whirwind--dumpsters, men with ropes, flying nails and shingles--begins the week after next; before then, there's a massive amount of prep to be done, inside and outside, to fend off collateral damage from dust, tromping feet, and vibrations. They are going to demolish our roof right down to the studs. I should be zooming about, swathing things in drop cloths, moving potted plants to safe locations, laying in supplies of clean water and first-aid supplies and hazmat suits for the kitties. Instead, I want to curl in a ball and whimper.
Just think, though. Soon I'll be able to do laundry even when it rains! That's worth the price of a Grand Tour...isn't it?
Buster Keaton images: The Damfinos.