Thursday, January 28, 2016

Free At Last, Free At Last, Thank God Almighty We Are Free At Last

Well, OK, maybe it's not THAT monumental...

This little guy finally opened my street yesterday.  My neighbor had worked mightily with his blower to clear his own driveway, get down a little piece of our street to a connecting street, and then get that connector open to the plowed street below.  Once the worst of the snow was shifted off the road between his driveway and my front yard yesterday he quickly used his blower to whack a path to my porch.  So even with my driveway still blocked I was connected in case I needed something.  Neighbors have been checking with me when they go to town but I'm so well stocked I could hang on for a month.  I might be sick of canned soups and dried beans, but I'd eat.  I'd also have enough toilet paper - that's something I always stock.

And I did a recount of the wine, including the bottles of white I forgot I had in the downstairs fridge - five reds and two whites.  I'm good for a while yet.

This evening my driveway was liberated.  The fellow who did it had to go back to his regular day job today in order to get some rest - he worked 59 hours in 3 days this week clearing snow. 

Not that I can drive anywhere.  'Cause I did a dumb on Sunday afternoon.

You know how you get so focused on something that other concerns get pushed out of your mind until the moment when things go wrong and you realize you've just done a "Here, hold ma beer" level of dumb?  Well, I got real focused on the snow on the roof.  Codes call for a roof to be able to support x amount of snow, and we were right at that x with a forecast that called for possible rain.  I got real worried about the weight when they started talking about rain.  So I cleared some of the snow off the back deck and went up a ladder to try to shift some of the snow off the roof.  The ramifications of being home alone in an area that had been completely cut off by 40 inches of snow did not break my focus until the ladder was on its way down.  And rolling off into the snow does not save you completely if you don't have time to get completely free and your legs snap down across the ladder, which is what happened.  The knot in the picture isn't actually the problem, although it's good and tender - the hard smack my right knee took is what has laid me up.  It's getting better, but it's weak, cranky, doesn't want to take my full weight, and has a disconcerting tendency to try to snap backward.  And somewhat swollen with deep bruising all around the knee.  I whacked it good.  But at least I didn't break anything.  I'd have been just SOL for a while if I'd broken anything.

My shoveling ended right there; cycles of ibuprofen, icing, and elevating took over.  I've decided that everything I need is sentient and has moved downstairs just to torment me.  I'm gimping around, but I don't feel like I can drive right now because I'm afraid the knee wouldn't be able to take the stress of braking in an emergency.

And you know how when you limp it throws everything off kilter and other muscles object?  My bum muscles are sore.


  1. Old people, ladders and snow don't mix.

    What's next for you? A skateboard when the snow's gone off the roads?

    1. You know what they say about drunks and fools...

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks. "Boo" isn't what I said when I hit...

  3. First. Seems like a woefully small supply of wine. (smile)

    Second. During the bad storms in the nineties the back porch had gotten dangerously covered with wet snow and slush. After pushing most of it off I turned to carefully go down the ladder. That is when the legs of the ladder broke through what I thought was a solid layer and then hit the slick underlayer and flung me sideways off the ladder. I landed pretty flat in the large mound of slushy snow I had just gotten done pushing off the roof, and after a few seconds of checking body parts and getting a no damage report, I headed into the house.

    When I got in my wife looked at me and said, "Did you fall off the roof?" My reply did include a large amount of sailorlike profanity, and I asked if she was checking the life insurance policy before checking on me, or if she was planning on waiting until spring to see if I was OK. It took a little while for us to past that speed bump.

    Take care of yourself.

  4. I've done that "ladder is falling & OW!" - no fun at all. Take it easy, and don't do anything you don't absolutely HAVE to do.

  5. Good neighbors... Are worth their weight in gold! And stop trying to hurt yourself! Get well soon!

  6. Nuttin' like falling of ladders or roofs to get you attention and make you feel stupid. I was once part of the cleaning detail for the downrange barracks over over there in West Germany when I ran my wet rag over one of those wires running along walls they were so fond of over there in those days. I was on the ground 3 ft from the ladder before I couldn't even begin to guess WTF had just happened.

    Once, as a new father and homeowner, I was putting a new roof on the house and managed to step right on the edge. Over I went. Fortunately there was a small bit of lower roof over an exit door and somehow I managed to tuck in, hit that, and not bounce.

    Those were the last of the "no harm done" adventures in roofs and ladders. After a big 30 in. snowstorm some years back, but not many, the flatfish roof over an addition on our new (newer that the first) house was creaking and beginning to crack under the strain of the snow. I got up there with a shovel and started clearing. Then I heard a voice and spotted a neighbor on the ground, shovel in hand, who asked, "You need some help with that?" That's a freakin' neighbor worth keeping, I tellya that.

    After that incident I purchased a snow rake which I used for the first time a couple weeks ago or so. Works like a charm to pull down some snow and keep the ice dams from forming and ruining the gutters. When I'd finished I noticed my neighbor who'd helped me those few years back trying to get some snow off his roof by swinging a snow while precariously perched on his second story deck. Needless to say he quickly had a snow rake available to him.

    I can't recommend the thing highly enough.

    A few weeks back, while helping daughter paint her kitchen, I stepped down onto a ladder rung very poorly. Ladder went out from under me (not the ladder's fault, its a good one, don't buy cheap ones anymore) and I managed to land on my back and roller my face and chest with paint. Back hurt for a week and was feeling better until the ski trip when I somehow managed to catch a ski on something on a simple trail, went flying, and landed right on the same spot. Another week of ibuprofen and a periodic reminder of my advancing age.

    We can't win the battle but we have to fight it.

    Oh, and....

    Q: What have you got when you've got 5 reds and 2 whites?
    A: A paltry and insufficient wine stash.

    Feel better - and you are old enough to know better than climbing ladders to clear snow.

    1. Yep - I actually looked for a snow rake just before the storm hit but they apparently were out. Will pick one up early in the season next time.

      I don't suppose anyone videoed you painting yourself, did they.

    2. No video - I moved to quickly to catch on film ;). Sorta like Ali flipping the switch and being in bed before the light goes out.

      My daughter and wife are in the medical professions. They see too many of us old farts who've fallen off of roofs and ladders. They're never all that thrilled when I climb on things. Give me a bunch of grief. Which is not the best thing to do since then I often wait until nobody's around to go up on the roof.

      Just hit Amazon and order the rake. I also got an extra extension (had no idea what I'd need) but I doubt I'll ever use three, let alone four. It reaches pretty well.