Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Well, That Was Exciting

Yesterday it rained all day and by the time I went out after supper to unplug the fountain the gutters were overflowing. That meant that the downspouts were plugged, so I put on my "yardwork" shoes and my raincoat, got the ladder, and went out back to fix the problem. I have a long history of clearing out the gutters in the rain since our last house had a wet basement and couldn't tolerate having a lot of water around the foundation. It had been raining a long time so the ground was soaked. I set up the ladder and as soon as I stepped onto the first rung it sunk right into the mud. I tried a number of places to put it but eventually had to just figure out a way to climb up. I did and I pulled out a bunch of leaves and maple helicopters so the water started flowing again. It was on the way down that the excitement happened. I guess I wasn't leaning on the house enough or something because I suddenly found myself slamming my shoulder and hip into the house and sliding down it, scraping my side on the meter housing on the way. I found myself way off balance and not willing to just plop down into the puddle below me and with no way to call for help. Well I could have called but no one would have come. I finally figured out a way to lever myself up once I'd realized that I wasn't hurt really, just surprised. It took a couple of hard lifts with my whole body to pull the ladder out of the mud and then I went around the house to check on the other downspouts. Durwood had put some filters over them and the openings seemed to be covered by leaves. Once I moved the leaves the water flowed and all was well. I was soaked, of course, and a bit shaken up, but today I just have little aches here and there. It might be time for some gutter helmet things to keep all the leaves, etc. out and keep me off the ladder in the rain. At least it wasn't lightning-ing.

June 8--Taakoa, Cook Islands. The monsoon winds blew in overnight bending the palms until they bowed so low it seemed like they had to break. My only warning had been shouted by George's boy, Lewis as he pedaled his bike down the path out front. "Papa says the wind's coming, Maria, put your 'tings away." His voice cracked, zooming up and down and then back up with the effort of calling out as he kept the bike moving in the loose gravel in the lane. I wasted no time pulling in my day's washing and folding up the lawn chairs, tucking my grill into the shed, and making sure I had enough fuel for my stove and lanterns. I tacked the edges of the tarp more securely over my bed. I didn't mind if the thatch leaked here and there but I was darned well not going to let it leak over the bed. The monsoon winds would soon blow rain in sheets that would reduce visibility to near zero so I strung lines from the house to the shed so if I had to go out for more fuel I could make my way there and back in safety. I was in for two or three days of forced solitude but the opportunity to be alone with my thoughts was the reason I had come here in the first place.

See what falling off a ladder in the rain does to a person? The picture was sunny. Stay dry today.

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