I was up at Mom’s Saturday afternoon when she looked at me critically. “Swampie! Your stomach is MUCH too big. You’re in danger of developing diabetes and heart disease. You must diet IMMEDIATELY!” Yep, she was absolutely right. “You need to quit that stressful job. THEN you’ll be back to normal!” Well. Most of my stress for the past two months has had to do with her cancer and operations. And if I quit my job immediately, what about the stress of not having any money? Granted, not having money for groceries would be a great calorie saver, but that elevated cortisol would mean that I’d pack away almost all of the calories that I did ingest as fat. And you know if I had to eat crickets, they’d be covered in chocolate.
I sighed silently and didn’t say anything like “Yes, my stomach and intestines ALWAYS swell up and feel like they’re on fire after I’ve accidentally ingested wheat which, since I’ve been running around like a maniac trying to get all the things that need doing done with very little time to do it so I’ve been eating almost ALL my meals out, happens daily!” I just said “Yes, Ma’am, I’ll try to do better.”
So what were we doing on our 9 days of vacation (11 if you count New Years Day and Christmas)? We spent several days taking care of grandchildren who were out on Christmas vacation, I spent several days with mom during and after surgery and for doctor visits, we spent two days replumbing daughter’s house (we’re not finished; however, it works, though we need to do some major carpentry and sheetrock work but we’re totally outta money), and we bought the materials to reroof half our house and my brother, my son, and myself got the repair materials distributed along the roof Saturday. SwampMan was the ground guy. He loaded his nifty lift that he invented which carried the materials up onto the roof for us to unload and put where they were needed. He squished me between the sled and the lift while we were trying to get it elevated to the roof and nearly broke my ribs Friday. I’m getting too slow at jumping outta the way!
We had hoped to get at least half our roof reshingled/replaced during the end of this week before we had to go back to work, but we have not had three clear days without rain which is what my brother said we required. This is the DRY season, damnit! We went the whole dang winter without rain last year. If I woulda known that all we had to do to make it rain was buy shingles, well, we could’ve broken the drought for the whole country. Perhaps the midwest could have chipped in for some of the cost! Seriously, we didn’t know how bad our roof was until we got some tropical storms and downpours through here during the rainy season. Then we had to wait for it to get dry enough to attempt major repairs.
My lil’ brother is an expert roofer. I dunno jack about roofing, but I have to learn. We can’t afford to hire it done, and SwampMan’s knees are waaaaay too bad for him to do it. The plan WAS for me to learn while he was here, then do the front of the house by myself. We only have one three day weekend coming up before he has to leave.
SwampMan and I spent our final day before we go back to school visiting his parents that are four hours north of us. On our drive, SwampMan said he hated to say it, but I was going to have to quit, the sooner the better, and if I don’t really have to go in this week, that would be best because that roof HAS to be done ASAP. Yeah, well, I didn’t really believe that my brother was going to be able to replace bad plywood and fascia board, replace flashing, remove and replace gutters, install new vents, new felt, and new shingles on a three day weekend while simultaneously instructing me how to do it, either. Oh, yeah. We gotta get the old shingles off, too. Well. He’s probably expecting a normal person to be helping him with the roofing. Instead, he’ll get all three stooges rolled into one.
“One thing I absolutely insist on”, SwampMan continued, “Is that when you’re up on the roof by yourself roofing the front of the house, you’re going to have a safety harness on at all times.”
“Yeah, I want you in a safety harness so if you slip, you don’t splatter on the sidewalk!”
“So the alternative will be that I swing in front of the house like a big fat pinata until you get home from work? I don’t think so. Death by splattering would be more dignified.”
“That’s why you carry a knife.”
“To slit my wrists?”
“To cut yourself free!”
I don’t really see where I’d be any better off falling off the roof with a knife in my hand which is basically what would happen if I had to cut myself free while dangling. If you see any news stories with headlines like “Woman falls from roof, stabs self in head upon landing on sidewalk”, well, you know that was probably me. Considering that I would have no insurance to repair the probable injuries I would sustain, I think I won’t be wearing that harness.
You know what my whole problem is? (What, is this a quiz? How many problems do we gotta list?) Shaddup. My problem is that I’m outta shape and uncoordinated. (And old?) SHADDUP! This woman in the video would have no problem if she were dangling in midair. Plus people would be lining up to roof her house. For free.
And I’d just be happy if I were able to walk without faceplanting while wearing those boots!