Monday, June 30, 2008

Like a Good Neighbour....

On Saturday, with the looming threat of rain, I decided I had wasted far too much precious rainwater and it was time to connect my rain barrel to the eavestrough system of my house. Mark was down in the t.v. room and asked me several times if I needed help.
"Nope," I insisted and headed outside.

I marched across the road and borrowed a little three-step ladder of sorts from the Pilons and lugged it back to our place. I ran all around the house trying to find the right screw driver and again Mark called to me, "Need help?"
"Nope," I called back.

Outside, I set the ladder not quite directly underneath the spot where I would be disconnecting the eaves trough from what I call the downspout. There are round rocks directly below and I worried this would be unsafe because the ladder wouldn't be stable. So I had the ladder on flat brick and I had to climb to the top and reach a bit to unscrew the downspout. While I was doing so, I felt small drops down my arm and I reached up and put my hand into the eavestrough and it was completely full of water. Obviously, there was a clog somewhere and the water had been collecting. What I did not realize immediately is the weight of an entire eavestrough full of water.

When I removed the last screw from the elbow of the downspout, the eavestrough shifted a bit. I reached up to disconnect the two parts and dismally realized only too late that the downspout had been supporting the now-heavy eavestrough and as they came apart, the weight of the eavestrough pulled it away from the roof of the house. Luckily, I had my hand on it and I was able to hold it up (because there was also a tv cable wire strung from the roof, under the eavestrough, and to a large hydro pole at the back of our hard. As the eavestrough shifted angles, a waterfall poured down the entire right side of my body. I was completely drenched and very stranded.

"Mark!" I called tentatively, trying not to sound too panicked. I knew, however, that the doors and windows were securely shut to keep the hot air out of our air conditioned house.

"Mark!" I called again louder, realizing that there was no moving until someone relieved me from my precarious perch.

"MARK! HELP!" I finally screamed as loudly as I could.

"Are you alright?" a voice finally came back at me.

"Mark, is that you?" I asked.

"No. It's your neighbour."

"The eavestrough has come off in my hand and Mark's inside."

In moments, my neighbour Tim, was opening the side gate. I wondered for a second about the sight that would greet him. Pregnant lady standing foolishly atop a small stepladder, holding up part of her roof in her right hand, completely slicked down with rainwater and possibly an exposed unshaven armpit. He reached up and was able to support the eaves trough while I ran to get Mark.

When summoned, Mark heard the panic in my voice and immediately sensed an emergency. I have never seen anyone run up stairs so quickly. I think he was somewhat annoyed at being lead to believe there was an impending disaster when, in fact, the crisis was, for the most part, past.

The boys problem-solved and propped up the eavestrough with a shovel against the rose trellis. With both hands free, Tim said, "I don't believe we've met yet. I'm your neighbour Tim." "Hi Tim, I'm Mark," said Mark as they shook hands.

Then Mark went and bought a real ladder and cleaned out the gutters and hammered the eavestrough to the roof anew.

Yesterday morning, Mark went out to the hardware store and when he returned I was assembling a chiminea in the garage.
"Do you need any help?" he asked.
"Nope," I replied.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ummm. i just spent the last year being told that pregnant ladies aren't supposed to do that stuff -- often by you!! let mark do everything until november ... this is the only time it is guilt-free!!!

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