Monday, January 2, 2017


January 2, 2017

There was a time when I would have charged ahead and done it myself. Maybe it's that I'm getting wiser in my old age, or maybe it's that time last summer when I climbed the roof of our Cassadaga house to replace some shingles that had blown off the peak. That was as close to the edge of disaster as I ever hope to be. That roof was at least a 1-12-1 pitch, which for the uninitiated, is pretty steep. And high. It is a big house, and that peak is three stories above ground, which means it's a long way from peak to patio, and if one took the journey a bit faster than planned, it would hurt. A lot.

I had climbed up with half a bundle of shingles and a hammer. The pitch was so steep that the shingles kept sliding down the roof. I had to pitch them over the peak to make them stay till I could place them properly and nail them down. I had my legs on one side of the peak and torso on the other to keep from sliding off the edge, all the while trying to maneuver myself and the shingles into place. It was tricky business, and I was very relieved when I finally was able to put my feet on the ground again. Thinking back, it was a pretty stupid thing to do.

Today, my plan was to get the extension ladder to fix the fascia that had blown off the front of our house. Again, for those unfamiliar with the term (you know who you are), the fascia is the trim under the roof, the part perpendicular to the ground. The part that is parallel to the ground that connects the fascia to the house is called the soffit. Our soffit is OK; our fascia is hanging.

My extension ladder isn't big enough to reach to the peak where it needs to be. I went over to our son's to borrow his, and had to dig it out of the snow. It's big enough, but when I went to load it onto my truck, I realized that there is no way I was going to be able on my own to stand that ladder upright and extend it to the peak. Last year, I might have tried. Today, it looked like a strained back just waiting to happen. So I did the unthinkable. I waited. And texted Nate to ask if he would be able to help sometime this week.

Guys don't like to ask for help. Yesterday when Abi was locked out of her car, Linda called Johnny next door to ask if he could come over to get her car opened up. I didn't want to ask on New Year's Day, but it was no problem for her. Johnny came over and had her in her car in about five minutes. But I still don't like to ask for help. Doing so goes against the grain. And yet, there are times when we need help. Which is why God put us in families, and in the family of faith. We weren't meant to do life alone. Life is a team effort, and we cannot do it alone any more than we can play baseball or football alone. We can throw the ball around, but it takes a team to actually play the game.

So I'll wait till Nate is available. And maybe I'll even learn to ask for help for other things. And be ready to offer help to others (mostly guys) who like me, may be reluctant to ask. And thankful that I've developed a slight bit of wisdom.

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