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FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK: Roof doctor – another career not for me

Posted on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 9:30 am

With warmer weather naturally comes the urge to get outside and do some much needed yard work.

I don’t want to speak for you but the way it works at my house is: yard work is completely neglected from around early November to whenever it gets warm enough to wear short-sleeve shirts.

I just don’t care. I have enough trees to be classified in a jungle and therefore when the leaves are off it looks like the woodland of death, anyway. So I just don’t get excited about going outside in January to pick up the thousands of limbs and twigs that fall from those trees when I’m not going to be outside otherwise.

But last weekend (no, not this most recent one when snow fell all day Saturday) Holly and I ventured outside for a few hours Saturday and nearly all day Sunday to trim the low limbs, clean the yard  of any down limbs and twigs (you can’t tell it) and clean out our two outbuildings.

The roof also needed some maintenance with some leaves and twigs scattered across it. Guess who got nominated for that adventure?

Let’s just say it’s a good thing I’ve been losing weight or I would have left a 5’11” sized hole up there.

Of course, our ladder is nowhere near big enough. It’s shaky, too. I have to stand on the very top step, the one that’s two steps past the step that says “don’t stand here,” just to have a chance at pulling myself up on the roof.

Getting up there is one thing, now navigating is another.

I stood up once. I quickly sat back down.

Look, I’m not scared of heights. I’ve flown in a stunt jet and loved it. I don’t mind looking off scenic overviews and such. But something about being on a steep roof with a solid 20-foot fall and a light breeze just makes me uneasy. So I went into Spiderman mode and scooted along and occasionally would crawl on all fours.

It may have taken me a while, but with the help of my handy broom I was able to knock everything off that needed to go. And I only let go of the broom once (watching it slide towards the edge and plunge to the sidewalk below wasn’t good for my confidence, either).

But hey, the roof is clean. At least it is until a storm rolls along and rattles my plethora of trees (because that never happens in a Tennessee spring).

It wasn’t pleasant. I’m sure if the neighbors were watching they called their friends, sold tickets and popped some corn. I can’t blame them. I would laugh at me. The climb down was pretty comical to as my feet dangled in search of a ladder.

I don’t look forward to doing it again. As a matter of fact, I’ve been working on my excuses for the next go around: I’m sick, foot is broken, severe acrophobia leading to heart attack and death, it’s too windy …

Any suggestions are appreciated.


-Josh Peterson is the editor of the Manchester Times. He has won TPA awards for his writing and photography. He can be reached by email at or by telephone at 931-728-7577 ext. 105. Follow him on Twitter @joshpeterson29