Climbing on my roof had its good moments, great view

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

In previous columns I have shared with you, dear reader, how I dislike cleaning out the garage and yard work. Now I am adding climbing onto the roof as another activity that isn’t on the top of my list.

So, guess what I did recently? I climbed on the roof. I had no choice. Heavy rain was being forecast, and the wind blew the cover off my chimney. Without the cover, the rain falls into the chimney, down the fireplace, and into the living room.

And if rain doesn’t fall in, some birds will, as they have in the past, and it’s a real hassle catching them and putting them back outside as my dogs try to help.

I had been looking for a replacement cover, but so far, no luck. So, the next best thing is to put a tarp over the chimney and tie it down with bungee cords until I can locate a suitable cover.

I have a high-pitched roof, which makes getting around on it kind of tricky if you are not used to walking on steep surfaces without holding on to something.

The problem is that there is not a whole lot on a roof to hold on to.

I give credit to those guys who make their living by roofing houses, especially the steep roofs, like mine.
When Hurricane Ike blew away most of my very old roof, I got to see how they put the new one on. It was fascinating to watch about a dozen guys moving around on the roof as if they were walking on the ground.

That old roof peeled off as it it were paper. It took just a couple of hours to strip it all off. And all the time, the workers were talking to each other, and joking around while the radio was blasting.

By 5 p.m., the new roof was done, the area cleaned up, and the workers gone. They left a few nails behind, even though they swept the area magnetically, but I found them with my car tires.

As I climbed the extension ladder, I was thinking about how easily those guys made their way around on my roof. I was holding the tarp. The bungee cords were in my pocket.

Eventually I made my way up and almost to the chimney. So close, yet so far.

On the positive side, I liked the view up there. My yard looked really good from above, with shady trees all around it. I eventually made it to the high part of the roof, where the chimney protruded.

To commemorate the event, I put the tarp down, pulled out my cellphone and snapped a photo of my wife, Sharon, looking up at me. She was holding Charlie, our Yorkie with a small body and a big mouth.

I asked her to stand there, so that if I slid down and hit the ground, she could call an ambulance.

I was holding on to the chimney with one hand and snapping the photo with the other.

The photo was important because I wanted to post it on Facebook, so that my friends could see the top of my house. So, the tarp had to wait until I posted the picture.

Yes, Facebook friends, that photo was posted live from my roof.

I didn’t realize how hard it is to wrap a tarp around a chimney with the wind blowing and using only one hand. I had to get lucky to get it in position, and then secure the bungee cord around it before it moved again.

After numerous attempts, the tarp was finally secure. The chimney is now safe from the rain.

Then the problem was, how to get back down ... but I managed.

As I wrote this, the rain that had been forecast eventually poured down. But the tarp worked. Sweet success.