Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A bad case of Shingles

This weekend, I went from the top of the world down to the very depths. ...from replacing shingles on the roof in Tooele to dealing with raw sewage in the basement of my mother's house.

A few weeks ago a storm blew through Tooele. And blew, and blew and blew. The wind separated many small things from the houses they were attached to - such as shingles, siding, doors and windows. Fences were blown over. Trampolines were tossed about. Trees were uprooted. Across the street from the Tooele house, three grand old pines were toppled like dominoes. A string of telephone poles south of town were snapped in half like matches.

I was initially told that the shingles in the yard came from the neighbors place. Wrong. The repairs cost less than $40, but it took a day from my life and left a raw patch on my butt cheek. I learned that I am not quite over my fear of heights, but that I'm not as bad as I used to be. I learned that wind torn shingles like to fold in the middle then tear off - not blow off in one piece. I learned how to carefully pull nails under existing shingles, then slide the replacements up underneath them. I learned that repairing roofing is a helluva lot more work than installing roofing.

And I learned that if you spend the day with one butt cheek supporting your weight on asphalt shingles, it will be pretty and red and raw and it won't let you sleep for two nights in a row.

This was on Saturday, January 19th. Two days later, we got 6 inches of snow. For once, the universe arranged for things to happen in the correct order.

Before leaving for Tooele, I noticed the drains backing up in the basement. I hoped to ignore it for a few days before dealing with it. Poor choice. So on Monday, the plumber was there to root it all out. In the past the problem has been the line out to the street, with access from the driveway. This time, it was in the house under the concrete floor. It was rooted out, and toilets could once more be flushed without fear. But when I went to clean the floor (ick), the floor drain.....didn't. So out came the snake, and I got to clear that one on my own. Either I had two blockages that just happened to happen at the same time, or one blockage that was where the two lines join. Either way, it works now. Between the "roof tar clothing" and the "raw sewage clothing" I had an interesting load on laundry to do.

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