A: Oh, you really aren’t going to believe this one …
… and the saga continues.
The day dawned … well actually it hasn’t quite dawned yet … with the sound of the local trash hauler going up and down the street. We have two haulers who service the various houses, so that’s two times the noise every Thursday morning.
As I lay in bed, light on, debating whether to sleep till my alarm went off or not, I heard the sound of people moving outside. So I pulled back the curtains and blinds to see …
… two little beacons of light shining back up at me.
Making the rash assumption that it was my Amish friends, I hurriedly finished dressing. Not wanting to offend their sensibilities, I went to dress in the other room. Amish sensibilities notwithstanding, my curtains show the tiniest bit of silhouettes at night with the lights on. Not usually a problem here in the country.
Have you ever tried to dress in the dark at 0-dark-30?
It occurred to me that it might help if I turned on the lights downstairs all around. I do have electricity, after all. And besides, they had left a few things in the front room overnight.
Opening the door I was met with a unique? funny? creative? … okay … the strangest sight. Picture with me if you will. Since it is still pitch black outside and a picture wouldn’t come out anyway.
Three Amish men … in Amish work outfits … with Amish hats … standing out in the yard, such as it is … with flashlights … strapped onto their Amish hats.
Tactical Amish Commandos … now there’s a phrase not likely to show up in the list of Google search arguments that got folks to this page.
“Were you able to contact the man who makes the gutters?” I asked Jacob.
“No, I didn’t even try” he replied. “Can you call him and see if he will get here today? He is probably already working, but he has a phone in his truck.”
Amish. Has to be Amish.
Lots and lots of wood.
Oh, this is going to make me popular with my neighbors.
And just when I thought it was going to be a dull day in Amish-Roof Land.
I hear the knock at the door, and outside is the youngest member of the work crew. A shy dark-haired young man … no facial hair … single.
My first thought, crazy though it was, involved me sitting on them like a mother hen.
So how does one go about defrosting three tubes of what will now and into the future be used to seal my roof from impending leaks?
“If you can warm them to eighty degrees, please?” he asked politely.
Oh sure. Eighty degrees. No problem. I’ll just use a meat thermometer.
Out in my kitchen I was faced with a dilemma. Boil them on the stove? Probably not a good idea. Microwave? No … with my luck I’d have exploded Metal Roof Sealant inside my microwave permanently.
Where a normal person might just pop them into a warm oven to heat up I, on the other hand, have a gas oven whose lower baking element has been broken for over a year.
I did mention that I am not Betty Crocker, right?
But looking for the fastest way to heat these tubes up, I fired up the broiler and let the oven rapidly heat up. Then placed the three tubes in the oven to defrost.
A few minutes and several nervous checks later, I got the tubes out and took them to the door. There I found my clean-shaven Amish worker patiently waiting for the tubes of sealant.
“If this isn’t warm enough” I said, “just bring them back and I’ll heat them some more.”
Four and a half minutes later, there was another knock on the door.
“Could you keep these warm for us until we need them?”
So back out to the kitchen I went. This time, as the tubes were cooking I was busy filling a shallow pan with boiling hot water. So now, even as I type, the three tubes are comfortably sitting … immersed in a turkey roaster … waiting to be called to duty.
The oven is off.
I am thinking I am the only person in the state today who has cooked Metal Roof Sealant tubes.
We English have something called indoor plumbing … and from time to time we use it.
I needed to use it. And I had Amish all over my lower and upper roof … running parts … installing metal roofing … and generally being right outside the bathroom window.
No, I do not have a downstairs bathroom.
Just think about how you might go about using the bathroom … stealthily … without lights … yeah … that.
Looking outside I saw that the workers were all standing around looking at the chart of my house … far away from the roof.
How fast can you say indoor plumbing?
At this point I proudly present to you, the roof over the front porch of my house. More or less. I am thinking it still needs sealant. And for sure it needs gutters and downspouts.
But there is no more hole … no more temporary roof … no more sagging wood of any kind.
And yes, this is the view out the bedroom window. You can see the off-season garden, the compost area and the creek running left to right. And my roof.
Yes, the sound you hear is me smiling.
OK, so now I am faced with a dilemma.
The Amish are cleaning up a bit as they go … redding up as it were … an admirable idea.
In the side yard.
In the dead leaves.
By the trees.
Near the house.
The old, wooden house.
And now he is adding gasoline to get the fire really going.
What could possibly go wrong?
As you can see by the picture taken out the kitchen window, the gasoline worked. Very well.
Just in case.
Or as the man said when I mentioned water and the height of the fire … “Yeah, I was wondering about that.”
Yeah. Me too.
They munching on whatever was packed for them this morning … sitting by the cozy little fire … looking at the trash burning.
Yards close … and worlds apart.
And once more excitement reigns supreme in the continuing saga of Holly Getz A Roof.
This means I will have seamless gutters, downspouts … and will be doing business with Jacob’s friend.
Never hurts to give business to friends.
One trip to the bank and a fistful of money later and I am prepared to pay the Amish … assuming they are going to be done today.
The gutter man charged a bit less than Lowe’s would have for 5″ gutters … and his are better quality metal (so says he) and they are seamless (so says me) … so I am pleased with the results.
The downspouts seemed excessive, so I asked.
It appears my house will be in downspout heaven with not a chance of any run-off problems in the near future.
Today and tomorrow a cold front is coming through … possibly along with several inches of snow.
The wind started picking up a bit ago. They kept working.
The temperature started dropping. They kept working.
The rain began to drizzle. They kept working.
The sleet is now pinging off my still-in-the-window air conditioning unit. They are still working.
While checking to see if they needed more gasoline in their generator, they said they are running a bit slow and may not get all the gutters and downspouts done today.
Running Slow … for Amish … which of course compared to English speed translates into “only moderate break neck speed”.
Pretty sure I don’t know any other three-man crew that could disassemble a roof, replace all the end wood in anticipation of gutters, replace half a porch roof entirely, install insulation, and almost finish installing a new metal roof in a little over a day and a half.
Oh, and burn the burnable trash and haul the non-burnable away …
When I said to the one young man how I was astonished that they were working in these conditions, he replied “Well, we have to get it done.”