Late yesterday afternoon, the Man was still working outside and the boys were getting chilly, so the three of us went inside to warm up. We heard Joe walking around on the roof, and I figured he was cleaning the gutters. After awhile, there was some banging and I thought, "Oh, wow. He's decided to work on the gutters and fascia boards." Earlier this week, a repair guy came out to assess our gutters, and apparently there's about $1,500 of work to be done - which we don't have. So I'm in the tub with the baby thinking, "Awesome. He's really getting it done."
Eventually I trade out spots in the tub with the Man-child who had been going in and out of the house but had been sent inside as Joe climbed up to the roof. The two boys start splashing and being rather loud. That's when there was more banging. Daniel thought Joe was telling them to stop being loud, and I assured him that Daddy was just working and couldn't hear them. Had they not been in the bathtub, I probably would have popped outside to see what was up and ask if he needed a hand with anything, but you NEVER EVER leave your kids in the bathtub alone. After a few more minutes, the banging sounding like it was right over their heads, and the baby got spooked and wanted out. So all of us in our undies snuggled in bed while Daddy caused a ruckus "working" on the roof, and the baby buried his head into my neck for comfort. Note to self: if the baby is freaked out, something might be wrong. Daniel ran outside for a split second to "see what Daddy was doing" but ran right back inside because it was cold out.
Eventually all the banging stopped, and the leaf blower came on. After awhile longer, Joe came inside, and I asked if he'd got much done up there. With a look of bewilderment, he said, "No, I was stuck on the roof. Didn't you hear me banging?" "Well yeah, but we thought you were working. Why didn't you yell?" "I did!" "You should have banged in Morse Code!" "I did!" It turned out that he climbed up the ladder on the steep side over the driveway, and the pitch was too steep to get back down with the ladder without someone to hold it. So Joe eventually Spider-manned over the peak to the side with a lower drop onto the grass. Of course the three of us piled on top of him and gave him kisses and apologies.
So, in honor of my brave husband who was stranded on the roof while his family snuggled in bed, here are a couple tips for roof safety:
1) Never go up the roof without someone down below to hold the ladder and spot you.
2) Always take your cell phone with you! I once read a story about a man who had a diabetes attack and would have likely died had he not had his phone with him. If you don't have a phone, take a whistle.
3) Wear good shoes. If you get stuck up there, let's hope you have better traction than loafers or flip flops. Fortunately, Joe had on hiking boots. However, since those still weren't enough traction for the 45 degree pitch, he had to climb the valley between the two different sections of roof.
4) Have a harness and rope, preferably tied to something.
5) Pay the $40-$100 to have someone else clean your gutters.
Thankfully, the Man wasn't hurt and today as absolutely NOTHING planned that involves any climbing.