It was, however, nice to spend some time with David and our son Ben, who spent most of those days with us working on it.
David came through the stress of it fairly well. It was good for him to work hard at something and see the benefits of his labor. He was a little (OK. a lot) annoyed that some of our younger, able-bodied neighbors didn't offer to help, but he worked through it. Several of our neighbors are retired, and they came by with cold drinks and encouragement. I have no doubt that they would have been up there with us if they were able to. He vented at the lack of help to one of our sweet neighbors, and I was a little afraid she would take offense. I was wrong. When I mentioned it to her, she said, "Now that I understand what his illness is, I look at him in a whole new way, and I am enjoying getting acquainted with him." Statements like that make me cry. I wish more of our friends and neighbors had that understanding and compassion.
UPDATE: We are now the happy owners of a brand, spanking-new roof! (I'm sorely tempted to post photos, like a proud new parent, but that might be a little over the top!)
It took a LOT of effort, haggling with the salesman (who oversold his contracts), the supervisor (who didn't communicate with the salesman, and didn't get the shingles ordered when we needed them), the owner of the company (who ended up having to re-negotiate the contract and give us new shingles and a better warranty), and the contractors (who were mad at being taken off another job in order to do ours). I have no sympathy for them; we did our part by doing the tear-off on time, and caught them unprepared to do their part. David did a great job of staying calm, focused, and forceful in getting them to fulfill their part of the contract. The moral of the story: don't pay contractors up front for work that needs to be done, and check with the BBB before signing a contract.
David also has been putting more time and attention to our yard, and just put paving stones in the front yard by the street. It looks so nice, and the project has helped him focus and given him more confidence in his abilities. Our neighbors went out of their way to let him know they liked his work; he was DELIGHTED.