Yesterday, I removed our storm windows and replaced them with screens. Our master bathroom window gives us easy access to a flat area of our roof. As I worked on this particular window, I noticed that leaves had collected on a portion of our roof. Since I had yet to put the screen back in, I decided it was a good time to climb out and clean the area.
It’s a relatively safe space — if there is such a thing when one is walking on a roof. I gathered handfuls of wet leaves and chucked them over the side of the house. By the time I’d cleared the first pile, I noticed another batch that was not in such a safe area. I used a broom to reach over the peak and scrape this second pile across the gutter and onto the walkway below. Stretching out as far as possible, trying to get every single leaf off of my roof, I thought, this is probably not the best idea. I saw my neighbor walking his dog by our house. He paused to glance up at me, and I don’t blame him for smirking at what he saw.
A moment later, Maddie was on the roof behind me, crouched and smiling. “What are you doing, Dad?” Before I could protest, she put her hands up and said, “Mom said I could come out as long as I stay near the window.”
I sat across from her and that’s when the Fozzie popped his head up in the window, a favorite stuffy held gently in his mouth. “No dogs allowed on the roof,” I said. That’s where I draw the line.
Maddie and I chatted for a bit, Fozzie sneaking a peek from time to time, hoping I’d have a change of heart. The warmth of the shingles, my grandfather’s ancient broom handle stretched across my lap, and the scent of spring all conspired to keep me from moving. But I thought about how incredibly stupid it was for me to reach over the top of that roof with a broom. What if I’d fallen? It was foolish on any day, but with the overwhelming demands of health care workers screening, treating, and healing patients with the CoronaVirus, it was a selfish move.
I followed Maddie back through the window, installed the screen, and went back to the easy, safe work of getting ready for spring.