At the end of October, I started hearing people complaining about the perpetually nice weather. Seriously? What was there to whine about? The trees were aglow with fiery leaves and the mornings were crisp, warming up quickly with the rising sun. I suppose some people like a gloomy, sulky fall days to stroll around in their bulky sweaters and boots. Don’t get me wrong–I do too. However, I couldn’t have been more grateful for a beautifully tepid season than this past one.
So much of the work I’d been doing since returning from our out-of-town internship were outdoor jobs. I finally decided to dig in and take care of all of the house’s black eyes, as my mother cleverly called them (when replacing the windows, Jack smeared tar around them as an effective means of weatherproofing).
By the third week in October, I started gingerly pulling siding off the west. I still had a good portion of the east to do, but I was tired of clinging on a ladder and decided to give my wobbly legs a break and work from the ground a while.
Being grounded only lasted a day before the height of the siding required me to drag over the ladder. I really started getting the hang of vinyl siding and I was surprised how fast it went.
What took me weeks on the other side merely took a few days on the other because I finally got the hang of siding.
The only setback I suffered was on a particularly drafty day. I clung to the fiberglass ladder for dear life while it swayed with the wind. My desire to make progress trumped my fear and I continued to press on.
I made it to the top window peering from Evelyn’s room when I needed to cut a piece of trim. I put up one, went back down to get another and with a blast of wind, the giant ladder slid down into the trim, splintering it to bits.
I knew I couldn’t trust ladders. But, being mad at inanimate objects only gets me so far so I tried to be forgiving. At least the window wasn’t shattered.
The peak of the siding proved incredibly daunting. I didn’t have the nerve to do it on the east side so I sweetly asked Jack to do it for me. Thankfully, he conceded.
That sunny afternoon, however, he was nowhere to be found. He was in class and with the girls sleeping soundly, I couldn’t leave one piece unfinished because I was afraid.
I think the last section took me three times as long as any lower piece. Not only was it high up, it was also at an angle that made it difficult to swing a hammer comfortably. I got to know that peak better than what I wanted.
It’s surreal to think that I was the one atop the ladder, especially with my history of crying when I gain too much altitude. I’m just glad the ladders and I are grounded again and that my fear paid off. And now, the house is one giant leap closer to being finished!