Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mom & Kids 1, Shingles 0

Today, we conquered the beast and won! Let's clarify ...

There's been a flurry of home improvement going on around here. Mostly Todd painting, replacing windows (remember THAT post?!!) etc. And replacing a good portion of the roof.

Two weeks ago, Todd worked his 3-day 12-hour shift work week, came home at 7:30 am, checked the weather and ordered shingles to be delivered - that day! Then he got up on the roof with my 13 yr old and started ripping shingles off. Of course, I fretted and prayed that he and Chad wouldn't fall off the roof, plus I tried not to worry about his lack of sleep. By 8:00 pm, Todd finally went to bed, after being up 28 hours straight, working most of that time. The next day, back at it, full speed replacing the shingles. He was racing against the weather. I was parts runner and pray warrior, since Chad was on the roof again with Todd. Now, I can't remember if he got it nearly finished that day or the next but I do remember that the minute he walked in (after dark) it started pouring rain. God was good (as always). Todd was pleased he got that section of the roof done over the bedrooms, bathrooms and living room. The rest of the house will have to wait until 2009.

O.k., there's the scenario. That section of the roof had been done 3 times (that's the limit around here that you can layer new shingles over old ones). That's why he had to rip off the old roof first. And where did all those shingles go? The lawn, of course. And guess who's job it was to remove all those shingles? The crew, with me as foreman (er, forewoman).

Every day I looked at those shingles, I dreaded it more and more. Rain came and I was relieved to have an excuse. On nice days, it was just too nice to work, we had to go for walks or whatever, anything to delay the inevitable. Finally, the time came and we all went out to begin.

Gloved and sunscreened, we loaded a few old tarps into the back of our enormous work van and started removing shingles from the lawn. Any idea what happens to grass when you leave something on it for several days and it rains? Not just mud but all kinds of crawling things moved in. Ugh! Every shingle had to be shaken to remove anything alive. And the nails! Oh my goodness, nails everywhere! My younger two were given nail duty while Chad and I hauled shingles. Attitudes were lousy. No one wanted to do it. It turned out to be a rare hot day. We lasted all of an hour and went back in.

The next day, I managed an hour of work but had to go onto other duties. Todd laid down the law ... if any child doesn't help with the shingles, they would be punished! Sounded good to me. Next good day, everyone went out for another hour, more cheerful this time and we got more done. But it seemed like it would never end (like this post). Finally, today Todd said we only had 2 days of sun before it would rain another week. Feeling the pressure, I headed out with Chad this morning, came in for lunch, then everyone went out to work. It was a really windy day and gorgeous but we had to press on. After an hour, the kids retreated but I set my mind to get it done. And we did! Each child came out for a short period to continue the work (they all felt sorry for me, I think!) and all in all, the kids saved me 4 hours of work. I prayed that the Lord would help me get it done by 4:30 and He did! I went into the house, put my filthy clothes in the wash and went to my bedroom. Flopped on the bed and cried! My husband was awake and getting ready for work. He was really impressed that we had gotten the job done so fast! I am so, so happy to have it done.

Except ... tomorrow we have to take the van to the dump and unload all those shingles. I am not afraid.


Leingang Family said...

There's nothing like home improvement to bring a family close together. :o) Actually, despite the sometimes less than perfect attitudes, it really does allow the family to really come together and help each other out.

EEEEMommy said...

Atta girl!!! I'm proud of you for accomplishing it! And I relate to you more because you cried when you were finished. Fight through and then cry. ;)

appleleaf said...

I read your HSB post first so know the end of this story, unlike you at the time you wrote this.
All I can say is this sort of thing makes me understand why people hesitate to begin huge improvement projects.

Mama Self said...

Way to go! I know that was a huge undertaking; you've got to be relieved now. :)

In base housing we don't have to worry about those things, but it'll be here long before I'm ready, I'm sure.