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My job

September 26, 2022

Three weeks ago I got the ladder out and put it up (the wrong way round, as someone pointed out) against the house in preparation for doing one of my annual jobs – sweeping the roof and cleaning out the gutters.

Mike and I used to have specific jobs. He chopped wood and washed the car. Because he was afraid of heights and I’m not, I did the roof.

As I have previously explained, this used to be easy peasy when we had an 18 foot ladder, which meant I could lean it against the back of the house at a safe angle and still have four feet to spare at the top, so I could just walk off the ladder onto the roof. No problemo. Then the ladder disappeared and the person who replaced it for us when they were in town bought a 16 foot ladder. Not so easy peasy. In order to have any extra space at the roof it cannot be placed at a really safe angle.

I have no problem, other than the tedium of sweeping, with the job once I’m actually on the roof, but I am growing increasingly fearful of the actual climb and move on to the roof. I kept putting it off and putting it off until yesterday when I saw that there’s rain in the forecast (finally!) on Wednesday. Things to do Monday and Tuesday, so this was the day. Deep breath in, climb first rung, cling to frame, take a breath, next rung, repeat until the cautious swinging of one foot round on to the roof, then the other foot. Sigh of relief.

There was a time when I’d go up and down during the job, taking a break between the sweeping and the demossing and the gutter clearing and cleaning the skylights. In recent years I haven’t because I just don’t want to have to do the ladder more than once. Last year I didn’t even bother with cleaning the skylights. Yesterday, because I started later than I’d intended and failed to take the scraper with me, I didn’t do the demossing. 

When I posted that photo of the ladder on Facebook (when a friend pointed out it was placed the wrong way round), several people suggested this was a job you could pay someone else to do. Well, that’s true, I suppose, but that assumes I can afford to pay someone else to do it, which I can’t. Besides, it’s my job.

And the job is now done for another year. (Mostly done. No demossing and once again no cleaning of the skylights.) 

I really should invest in a new 18 foot ladder (something I also can’t really afford). Or start buying lottery tickets in the hope that I will win a million bucks and be able to pay someone else to do it next year. I really am getting too old for this. 

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