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Up on the Roof
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I spent most of the morning on the roof. No, I wasn't driven up there by thinking about the publishing industry. A few weeks ago Mary noticed a patch of wood where roofing should have been. I'd have fixed it sooner except for the incessant rain we've had. You have to appreciate the irony.

Hammering a few nails and brushing on cold patch is within my handyman abilities, just barely. Getting up on the sun porch roof is a bit more difficult. I don't like heights. Hate them, in fact. I probably fear being at any altitude above ground level more than I fear stinging insects. I'm sure I'd be giddy in high heels.

Also the roof isn't safe. Which is one of the few advantages of weighing 108 pounds. I can patch the rotted sun porch roof without falling through -- so far -- and I don't have to feel guilty about not giving blood because I don't weight enough to be a donor. Needles remind me too much of stinging insects, or is it vice versa?

Once I managed to pull myself up off the ladder onto the roof I wasn't too nervous. For the most part I stuck close to the house wall and reached to do the necessary repairs. There was still a narrow band of shade beside the wall while everything else was in blazing sunlight. Plus, I know the boards along the wall will still hold my weight. Or at least they did when I cleaned the gutters last fall.

The sun glared off the white coating of the new rolled roofing blindingly. After a few minutes my pupils must have contracted to the smallest aperture. When I looked up and out over the yard I might have been seeing the scene through sunglasses.

Every so often a small shadow flickered across the roofing. A flying insect! Was it armed with a hypodermic-like stinger? I resolutely refused to glance up. I didn't want to have to throw myself over the edge to escape. I also did my best not to think about the publishing industry since I was, uncharacteristically in a position to do something about it, at least from my own point of view.

The hardest part, aside from forcing myself to climb up in the first place, is getting down. I always feel like a cat up a tree, unwilling to risk the descent. There's no point trying to create suspense, though. Since I'm writing this you know how it came out. Now I suppose it won't rain until Christmas.

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