Friday, April 08, 2005


I have just been driven from my home by several truckloads of men.

No kidding. Right now there are fifteen guys at my house. Or perhaps I should say there are fifteen guys on my house. Tearing off shingles and pounding down new ones. By the end of the day I'll have a new roof, which you probably knew I needed if you ever read this post. Anyway, we requested two crews of roofers so they could finish the job in one day. But fifteen hammer-wielding guys slamming away just a few feet over my head was not exactly conducive to writing the wedding scene my editor wants at the tail end of the novel I'm going to pester all of you to buy next March, so I scooped up my computer and fled to my favorite coffee bar, where I would be writing all that bridey-and-groomy stuff at this very moment if this darn place didn't have free wi-fi access, making it possible for me to be here, blogging, instead of working on the stuff I am actually paid to do. (Whoa. Barista, make this next one without caffeine, will you?)

This is a great coffee place. Starbucks (or Caribou), it ain't. It's got mismatched furniture, scuffed wood floors, and soft jazz on CDs. And the coffee doesn't come in paper cups, but nice, heavy ceramic mugs that you can really warm your hands on. It's a great place to work, so maybe I'll get back to that in a minute....

When I ran away from home this morning, there were seven guys on the roof directly above my office. The group in this photo was working on the detatched garage:

Look at that blue sky. Yes, it's a beautiful, crisp spring morning. But I'm not sitting here thinking about flower gardens or baseball games, I am pondering my mortality.

Anyone who has ever bought a new roof has pondered her mortality, I guarantee it. That's because when you buy shingles you must decide whether to sign up for a 30-year, 40-year, or 50-year roof. And naturally, making decisions of that kind prompts a person to consider just how much longer she might be around to enjoy the benefits of a nice, dry roof.

My husband the architect ("Mr. Demands-quality-in-construction-materials") was leaning toward the 50-year roof. The trouble was, those are much much more expensive than the others. And to put it bluntly, I'm about to turn 49 and my husband is in his 50's--does he honestly see us setting out pots and pans to catch drips from the ceiling when I'm 99 and he's--well, never mind that. Suffice it to say that he did finally listen to reason and we bought the flimsy shingles.

But even 40 years sounds like a long time to me. So now as I look up and catch the eye of the cute college kid behind the counter and signal for another latte, I can't help wondering if my husband and I will wear out before our roof does.


Robin Bayne said...

Know those sounds well, our new roof went on 2 weeks ago. Drove the dog crazy! Gave me a great excuse to go down to the bookstore. (why did I ever think I had to take a day off from work to be home for that? LOL)

Anonymous said...

glad that you are getting the roof
done, and I like the view from the roof top too!! :-D

Anonymous said...

Oh, for a coffee shop with actual mugs instead of cardboard-wrapped styrofoam. You're so blessed.

I don't really have a comment, I just like your cool new pic with the Bono shades. Tre chic!

Brenda Coulter said...

Yeah, I'm blessed. The coffee mugs are huge and heavy and wonderful. And I forgot to mention that in addition to the mismatched wood tables and chairs, the place is full of ratty-but-comfortable easy chairs and sofas. There's also a wide brick sidewalk out front, where you can sit at a table and people-watch, and a very private patio out back, where I once saw a couple making out.

Bono, huh? I think quite a lot of myself, but I had no idea I was that cool. ;-)