Getting home from farmers market on Saturday I was greeted with the sound of air compressors, nail guns, and cursing. The sound washed over me as I walked up the steep incline of my driveway and zigzagged through the tangle of cords and discarded shingles. The sound that got to me the most was the swearing that was directed at old joints, missed nails, heat, and nothing at all.

This sound was the sound of my childhood. Don’t take this the wrong way I had a great childhood and most of the men on my roof and walking around my house contributed to that, they just did it with some colorful language. I could tell, even after 15 years of not working with them, which swear belonged to which man, and this was oddly calming amongst the chaos. Something I was not able to catch amid the cursing in my youth was the odd intelligence that it tends to cover. Listening with slightly older ears I heard wisdom and confidence that I wasn’t able to pick up before.

My daughter asked why all those “old guys” were up on the roof instead of someone younger. My answer had to be thought out a bit. I’ve noticed that my husband and I are at an age that is lacking in beer drinking buddies that are willing to show up on short notice to roof a house. These guys that would have been able to do this 5-10 years ago are now busy with their own families and houses and we’ve lost touch. This is not a complaint, we have entered a time where the people that surround us are true friends and while I still like to talk to those from the past it’s not quite as important to stay in touch.  Also those “old folks” know what they are doing and without them I’m not sure that the roof would have gotten done. Scratch that, the roof wouldn’t have gotten done.

I feel incredibly blessed to have such wonderful, knowledgeable, opinionated men in my life. Without them my life would have turned out very different. Being called Beffers and arguing with my dad was great. My fear of heights kept me from being very helpful but I still feel that I took away a lot more from the experience then I did when I was younger and less afraid of heights. Hopefully some day I can return the favor in some way that doesn’t require a ladder or lift, and the knowledge gained will allow my husband to boss around our kids when their roofs need to be reshingled. It was a great weekend and I’m very thankful to all those that were able to help us out. Again, not having a large family to help and be helped by is something that I can’t imagine and hope to never take for granted.





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