Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Very Small Disaster

There are lots of leaves in my yard.  Billions, I estimate.  There are still more leaves on the roof of my house and in my gutters.  I've been doing my annual woe-is-me thing about this in the hopes that Charlie would take pity on me and do something about all those leaves.  However, when I whined to him about it...this schidt is not what I imagined.  Read on.

Charlie had the day off today and declared it Leaf Removal Day.  He cleaned out the gutters at White Trash Bob's house, at the house of the Ex-Mrs. WTB, at WTB's rental house, and finally at my house.  So there he was, on the roof of my house with my electric leaf blower, blowing the leaves off the roof and out into my yard.  (The logic of this escapes me, but whatever.)  He was on the roof at the front of the house, above the parlor. Meanwhile, I slept in my warm bed at the other end of the house, blissfully unaware that a very small disaster was about to happen.

Charlie was walking across the roof with the leaf blower when the extension cord caught on the porch roof.  So he yanked on the cord to free it.  Then he yanked on it again.  Then he heard an awful scrrrrrrrrrrape and had just enough time to think, "What the hell was that?" before he heard glass breaking and realized that he'd knocked the ladder sideways.

Charlie peered over the edge of the roof and saw the ladder at a horrible angle some feet away.  It occurred to him that he was now trapped on the roof of the house.

Then he leaned farther out over the edge of the roof and took a closer look.  The ladder was poking through one of the stained glass windows on my front parlor bay.  "Jaynie's gonna kill me," he thought.  And then, "I better call WTB for some help."

Glazing compound is the only
evidence of the accident.
WTB arrived from across the street in short order, pulled the ladder free from the window, and set the ladder back up so that Charlie could climb down.  Together they assessed the damage.

"Jaynie's gonna kill me," Charlie said.

"Not if she doesn't know about it," WTB said.

"How's she not gonna know about it?!  The ladder poked through the middle of the window!" Charlie said.

"Yes," WTB countered, "but she's asleep, isn't she?  We can take out the broken window, buy a new piece of glass, fix the window, and clean up the mess before she wakes up."

Charlie grinned, "That just might work."

Some hours later, I woke up and chattered along happily to Charlie about how much I'm looking forward to my days off and how pleased I am that he cleaned out the gutters.

"You're the best!" I said, and gave him a big hug.

"No, I'm not," he said.  "I'm really not the best..."

"You are!" I insisted.  "You are the best.  Just think about all the stuff you do for me."

Then I noticed that Charlie wouldn't look me in the eye.  My Spidey-sense began tingling. "What?" I said.  "What happened?"

"Dammit," he sighed.  "I can't lie to you."

Now ordinarily, I'd say that's a good thing...but when he told me the truth about what happened while I was sleeping, I sorta wished that he was capable of lying.  Or at least, of lying by omission.  I would really have preferred not to know that he poked the leg of a ladder through the middle of a window that's been in my house, unbroken, since about 1887.  I almost cried when I saw the pieces of wavy glass in the trash.  On the other hand, as ladders-through-windows go, this wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been.  Only the clear glass in the middle was broken.  The art glass panes around the outside are still intact.  At least Charlie didn't fall off the roof or go through the window himself.  And I have an honest man and a repaired window, both good things.


  1. I like the new "look."

    Great story, with a happy ending. Like you said, it could have been worse.

  2. Sorry about the beautiful old glass, but I am happy that Charlie was not hurt. Thank you for stopping by my spot. I was so very glad to see you! My sister has been gone for 2 1/2 years. I still can't believe she is gone. She would have been 85.

  3. What a beautiful window. Have we seen that before? I'd remember it, I think.

    Almost all of it is still 1887, it looks the same (for a minute there I was visualizing a window with a design and my hair was waving on end), and you have two great guys as friends. Life is good.

  4. You could replace it with old wavy glass fairly affordably. Just buy an old window that is large enough, remove the glass and either cut the glass yourself or take it to a glass shop to have it cut. The wavy glass makes a big difference.

  5. Bummer but it's great that the colored glass was not damaged.

    I agree with Sharon. I pick up old windows all the time just for the glass.

  6. Sharon, I hadn't thought of that. Good idea! There's a flea market not too far from here that has about a hundred old windows stacked up all over the place. Bet I could get one there.

  7. I would have freaked out if it were the colored glass! I'm very glas it was only the clear. Do you have a storm window that you could keep over it to protect it? Or is there a lip in the trim so you could have one made to fit it?

  8. Wow ... of all the horrible things I imagined before I got to the post-scrape part -- this was definitely the best case scenario! Sucks, yes, but definitely NOT as bad as it might have. Charlie, and his sidekick WTB, really ARE the best. :-)

  9. Hi, Jayne! Even though Charlie broke your beautiful window glass, I am pleased to know that he told you the truth and you forgave him for that. You made the right decision to remove the leaves because those could damage your roof and gutters. These leaves could serve as home to mold formations that would have broken down the roof and the gutter over time.

  10. Aw. I’m sorry what about happened to your beautiful window. By the way, cleaning the gutter in your house is important because the lifespan of your roof and gutters depends on how well-maintained it is. As we all know, those two are essential to your home structure because this serves as our shelter from the storm and other calamities.

  11. That was close! =| Was he wearing safety harness while on the roof? If he weren’t, and if it were his feet that got caught in the extension cord, then he could have fallen off from the roof and gotten injured badly. It’s good though, that you remind him of clearing the gutters from all those leaves and whatnot. That’ll save your roofing system in the future.

    Richard Boles