What goes up, hopefully comes down.

Last Monday we got outside electrical outlets put onto the house. One in front, one on the side facing the street, and one in the back by the deck. We got a great deal and the electrician is a former Gill Studios employee Dave Smith.

Today I decided to try out the new electric leaf blower with the outside outlets. The gutters needed to be cleaned and my Mom said it was quick to do with a leaf blower – all I had to do was get up on the roof.

Here is my problem. I don’t like heights. Yes this house is a piddly single story ranch house and should be no problem for anyone to get up there and back down. I’ve tried before numerous times to get onto the roof and chickened out quickly one I was at the top of the ladder and tried to take my foot off the ladder and place it on the roof. All that runs through my head is “HOW WILL I GET BACK ONTO THE LADDER TO GET DOWN!!!!” So I panic and go back down the ladder.

Well today was a nice day. Beautiful 78 degrees and a calm cool wind with sunshine. So I practice with the leaf blower on the driveway and the deck so I won’t have any surprises on the roof. I go up the ladder with blower in tow and place the leaf blower carefully on the roof next to the ladder but out of the way. Now the hard part, to get off the ladder and onto the roof. I make a couple of stance tries and then finally get up onto the roof, but not completely off the ladder. I say to myself “Okay this is how I need to place my feet to get back onto the ladder and down.” I make it to the roof and sit for a second or two to take in the view and get comfortable with the height.

Not too bad. My roof is about at the same height as most of the second story windows around me. This is okay. I sit on the roof and start up the leaf blower and practice a bit in the sitting position. There are a ton of leaves and fall hasn’t even really got going yet. I can walk on the roof pretty good but when I get to the edge I prefer to scoot around on my butt and carefully lean over enough to get the tip of the leaf blower down into the gutter and blow all the crap out.

Okay, now I’m finished and need to get back down. I unplug the leaf blower and carefully toss the cord onto the deck then place the leaf blower and my gloves near the ladder but out of the way.

This is were I sit on the roof for a half an hour to forty-five minutes trying to get onto the ladder. I can’t seem to remember my leg positioning when I got off the ladder and onto the roof to reverse it and get back onto the ladder so I can get down. At least I found the whole situation funny. Unnerving, yet funny.

I called my friend Ron and got some suggestions from him – I made several attempts, then talked to my Mom for a while and then it was time to try and do it again.

The ladder is very narrow about only a foot wide and I am a big fat pig and the whole thing is freaking me out. I see the ladder falling away with me halfway onto it. If Shannon was here to hold it I doubt there would have been much of a problem. But Shannon is not here and I’m sitting on the roof baking in the sun shine.

So I figure it out in my head where to put my feet and try again and chicken out again. Okay! So I sit real close to the edge and just look down the ladder and deck and just get comfortable with the whole thing. (When I stand on the deck I can touch the guttering so it isn’t a great distance)

I think calming thoughts and take a deep breath. I put my right foot onto the ladder (like so many times before) and then decided to put my left foot through the ladder opening at the top instead of around the side like before. I slide my left foot down my right leg to the step. Okay now I’m on the ladder but still stuck. I am leaning onto the roof so much that I can’t get my foot off the rung and down onto the next rung. Great! So I push my self up off the roof surface and try not to think about me and the ladder falling away from the house. Now I slowly slide my foot from the rung to the next but I can’t feel it. I’m slowly twisting my toe of my shoe searching for that darn rung below. I finally barely touch it and then try to move a little more so I can get a good solid step onto it. Once my foot was solidly onto that next rung I was home bound. There was no other problems after that. I doubt I will go back onto the roof unless someone is here to hold the ladder for when I get back down.

My hands and arms are exhausted from the stain of trying to get onto the ladder from the roof. Plus the surface of the roof is very crumbly so I felt I was not going to get a good grip but just slide off.

At least I didn’t kill myself. Yeah!

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