Lulu and I survived the installation of the new main and front porch roof. When the roofers arrived at the ungodly hour of 6:30 am they began removing the old shingles. This activity produced a sensation of the house shaking and swaying. It was like being on some godforsaken carnival ride, the kind you agree to ride to appease a 5 yr. old. The sort of ride were once seated you begin to question your own ability to gauge personal safety. Then before you know it the ride ramps up and you find yourself fervently praying that the carnies tightened all of the nuts and bolts. Throughout the duration of the ride you envision yourself being thrown like a sack of wet cement onto the unforgiving blacktop. That kind of ride.
Lulu and I being accustomed to a stationary structure around us found this shaking sensation very unsettling. Then there was a lull in the shaking and old shingles began raining down past the windows. At first this new development intrigued Lulu. I expect she thought it was a new sort of prey to be hunted and killed. Her intrigue was short lived. The shaking began again. It should be noted that upon the shaking of the house,the forbidden tootsie roll makers (the cats) exited the premises like rats abandoning a sinking ship. Their loyalties are best summed up as conditional. Lulu however, being loyal, stayed by my side.
Needless to say we survived the house shaking. As the roofing efforts continued the shaking was replaced by the sound of the nail gun. For those of you unfamiliar with the noise a nail gun produces; the closest I can approximate it to would be the sound of small arms munitions going off in successive volleys, for hour after hour after hour. This racket was accompanied by the sound of an air compressor. It was thumping along like rotors on a deranged helicopter. All of this was punctuated by Lulus near continuous, stacco, backwards barking.
The noise continued unabated for hours like some sort of medieval form of torture. My nerves were frazzled and Lulu was exhausted. When I saw the bossman arrive to collect payment I was relieved. It isn’t often that I am happy to hand over large sums of money to others but today was different. The bossman accepted the payment and regaled me with the wonders of the new shingles as I signed the invoice. He told me that the shingles came with a 50 yr. guarantee. I looked up at him, pen still in hand and giggled. I think I may have scared him when I said with an obvious hint of delight, “Ohhh that means they will outlive me!” He smiled quietly and told me I could keep the pen I had used to sign the invoice. No doubt he was hoping I would be distracted from the topic of my previous comment.
In retrospect, I suppose he did not know how to interpret my delight that the shingles would outlive me. Little did he know I was not excited at the prospect of my own mortality but simply giddy that I would not be experiencing such a day again. I, thinking the project near completion was devastated to hear him say, “Oh and we will be finished here in another 2 or 3 hours.” My happiness collapsed into a weary wave of despair. I shook my head in affirmation of his comment and walked back into the house. The next few hours passed as did the preceding ones, in an unrelenting nerve wracking cacophony of noise.
Once the roofers were packed up and left the premises the cats nonchalantly wandered back into the house like nothing happened. Lulu has taken to her bed in a state of utter exhaustion. Tomorrow she will be happy to see us go to work so that she can sleep all day. I am hoping that the shingles do indeed last 50 yrs or more! Next project, painting the porch! Quietly.