It's time for one last lazy weekend before we are called forth on the Quest.
Several quests, actually. Daughter will journey into high school, which we hope will be more Rivendell than Mordor. But this fall, the forces of darkness and redemption will be coming right here to our door, and in fact will be ripping the roof off our house.
Yes, the CrazyStable is finally getting its new roof, although it remains to be seen whether or not the budget--a Frodo-scaled lump of cash with big intentions--will extend far enough to replace our rotting cedar-shingle siding (with new cedar, not vinyl or aluminum)...much less to fix the remaining interior ruins. We're taking bids now, from a colorful cast of characters. So far, all the bids exceed the original downpayment on the entire house, but we expected that.
What's really daunting is the collateral damage that will inevitably result from a crew of guys, even a good crew, tearing off up to five layers of roof shingles right down to the joists. A roofing jobsite looks like Saruman'a Orc factory at full throttle. Plants are trampled outside in a hail of debris and four-inch nails; inside, dust sifts out of every pore and mysterious cracks appear. Worst of all, men will keep coming up to me and saying things like "Ma'am? You wanna come see something here?" which is contractor-ese for "Hit up your ATM with an armored car and a steamer trunk."
After years of listening resignedly to the plonk...plonk...plonk of rainwater in the pans in our laundry room during every downpour, it's unnerving to finally face this massive expenditure to make it right. Part of me wants to just ditch the job and spend the money on travel. (Hey, the house apparently survived for decades with no gutters or leaders; even with continuing water damage, it would probably remain standing at least until we retired.) For the cost of this roof, the three of us could see London, Paris and Rome. Damn you, CrazyStable.
(And no, we can't just patch it; been there and done that.)
We will not do the Grand Tour; we will get a new roof. We will try to hire the best team we can get to go up there and make things right. There will be dumpsters, and nails will rain from the sky. But for just this one more weekend, we will relax and try not to think about it.