Stories Told

Up on the roof

Autumn’s never been my style – give me the warmth of spring and summer instead. Even though the colorful trees are beautiful in my neighborhood, they are mature and plentiful. They dump a huge mess on my lawn every year at this time, and collecting their bounty consumes weekend after weekend. Fortunately, my lawn tractor makes it easier. I just drive around the yard and let the leaves collect in the bagger – or, if I’m lazy, I just mulch them into powder and leave them on the lawn. I was lazy all last season, and it looks like I’m headed for a repeat this year.

If there’s anything I enjoy about the annual leaf harvest, it’s cleaning the gutters. No, really. I take my leaf blower up there and have the job done in no time. And then I linger a little, enjoying the quiet, looking out over my neighbors’ rooftops. I so enjoy those few moments of pure peace. I wonder if anybody sees me just standing there searching the sky.

Two tall, skinny trees stand near the house out back. They’ve dumped all of their leaves already, cramming the gutters full. When it rained last week, I watched water sheet over my gutters as if they weren’t there. So I went topside over the weekend to solve that problem. Because the rest of my trees haven’t finished shedding yet, I’ll have to do this job again in a few weeks. I’m cool with that.

I can solve all of the world’s problems while driving my tractor around the yard. Read about it.

Last updated on 16 February 2020 by Jim Grey

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13 thoughts on “Up on the roof

      • ryoko861 says:

        I wore out my first one. Went right out as soon as it was apparent it was dead and bought another one!

        My neighbors get on their roofs and blow leaves. I’ve never seen that until I moved to PA.

  1. You look shockingly comfortable standing on your roof. This is not something we love doing at our house. Also, do you have acorns? Our oaks are dropping a crop right now… much noisier than leaves. Like tiny, exploding, rolling bomb blasts.

    • Jim says:

      I have but one oak tree, and it’s far enough out into the yard that its missiles land only on the ground. My favorite is when a squirrel lands on the roof. Holy cow, you’d think it was the Apocalypse.

  2. I remember climbing up on my parents roof when I was a kid and looking at the stars. Those huge tv antennae towers we used to have made it easy to get on a roof without getting a ladder. Is it dark enough in your neighborhood that you could see anything in the sky?

    One of the good things about living in the open country is that the wind usually blows most of the leaves out into the fields.

    • I’m a lifelong city boy, so at night the city’s glow obstructs my view of the sky. In college, a buddy took me out to his farm in Middle of Nowhere, Indiana — and for the first time, I experienced true dark, and saw stars apelenty.

  3. Lone Primate says:

    I’m immediately put in mind of the poster art for the Coen Bros’ movie A Serious Man, which shows its central character standing on his roof in a similar pose. Mind you, I don’t imagine you were as lucky as he was to see what he saw while he was up there, given how late in the year it is. ;)

    • Funny, someone on Facebook who saw this photo posted the cover from the 1992 flick Army of Darkness and said that this is what was going on in my mind while I was up there. Apparently, I’m inspiring movie references all over!

  4. I don’t believe in raking or blowing leaves until they’re all down. I understand the temptation, but ther’es just no point. :-)

    • Except when heavy rain goes over the leaf-filled gutter, down the side of my house, and into my crawl space!

      Moreover, the leaves fall so heavy and thick in my yard that waiting until they’re all done makes dealing with them a nearly impossible chore.

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