The Geezer Goes Up On The Roof

This post is on Friday the 13th, but the events happened yesterday–so as not to tempt fate.

Because the snow pile in the back yard was diminished almost to nothing, it was time for me to do some real work. This involved some tree trimming–from up on the roof.

No images or videos were taken of the actual job in real time yesterday because I was uncertain of the outcome. Although a shot of me log rolling off the roof might have been hilarious, the Emergency Room charge would not have been.

The tools were simple: an extendable saw and a ladder tall enough for the top to reach about three feet beyond the edge of the roof. The part about the ladder was the recommendation of most people who gave advice on the web about how to safely get up and down from your roof. Interestingly, a couple videos had more dislikes than likes (thumbs down v thumbs up)–way more, so I ignored them. I thought one YouTube video fit the bill and it’s below.

Regarding the video, I didn’t use a bungee cord to tie off the ladder because I didn’t have one. I’m not sure what he tied off to up there. Our gutters have leaf guards on them. My wife, Sena, held the ladder steady. Otherwise, I followed the approach in the video below. I did not stand up at any time. And I did not sing. You should not use my method as an example and probably should hire out the job to a pro.

However, we tried to do that. We called a guy. The guy said he’d get back to us and didn’t, probably because there’s no money in doing small jobs like ours.

There were more things unnerving about this adventure than I care to admit, only one of them being the height off the ground. I had to maneuver the saw carefully so as not to chew up the asphalt shingles. It was more uncomfortable than I thought it would be up there, straddling the peak. Several times I had to stretch out in order to avoid leg cramps.

The actual sawing was a little tricky, not just because the tree would drop buds on my head every time I shook it with the saw caught in the groove of the branch I was cutting. The saw also had a way of binding in the groove, which led to some shaking which I very much preferred not to do.

Sena gave advice, which was minimally helpful, “Try to pirouette as you go, hon; and then try grabbing the branch with the saw to pull it towards you to break it when it’s close to coming off. Do you see any birds up there?”

My days of the pirouette maneuver on a roof have been over for longer than I care to admit. I tried not to look around too much because it made me dizzy.

There’s another thing about asphalt shingles. Scooting around on them tends to leave abrasions on various body parts. But there was no getting around shifting my position to get the best angle with the saw.

I actually managed to get the job done. I know it doesn’t look like much.

You really had to be there to appreciate the difficulty. I had no idea that it would seem harder to get down from the roof than it was to get on it. It’s mainly a psychological block. You don’t have to look down while going up, but you do going down. I briefly considered just jumping down at one point. How big a deal can a broken ankle be?

This reminds me of when I broke my wrist in my teens falling out of the hayloft of our garage. It was a barn originally and the loft was not quite as tall as our roof but high enough to hurt me. Me and a few other kids were trying to make it a clubhouse—typical. There was a vertical ladder tacked to the wall and a small rectangular opening to pull yourself up into the loft. One day my grip slipped.

I wouldn’t call myself acrophobic since then—just a little nervous. Incidentally, we nearly burned the place down by smoking out the wasps who built their nest in it.

I’m not nearly as reckless nowadays.

You’d think that would have been enough, but no. Next was mulching around trees, picking up yard waste, rebuilding the house, and so on.

Anyway, just because I got up on the roof doesn’t mean you should. Next time a little tree trimming above your house needs to be done–let your fingers do the walking in the yellow pages.

Frankly, I’ve been more comfortable on top of other roofs.

Your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s