Faith vs Fear

Faith vs Fear

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Up on the Roof

We've spent the last few weeks on a "re-roofing our house" adventure, including spending the 4th of July on the roof. We were having trouble with a leaky roof and decided last month that it was time to fix it. Good thing. It would never survive another winter without major problems. We decided during the bid process (something David obsessed over, but we did get a good deal) that we could save money by taking the shingles off and preparing it for the new ones ourselves. Well, yes, we did save money, but it has been more of a labor-intensive project than we anticipated. It took us, along with help from 3 of our sons, 4 days to deshingle the roof. Our house is about 50 years old, and the roof had 3 layers of shingles to take off. Lots of hard work! I ached for a few days in places I didn't know I had. We're starting to realize we aren't spring chickens anymore.
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. 


  1. Dear sallyo,
    Sounds like it was a big chore! Our house needs re-roofing before next fall, and the initial bids were way more than we expected. But we're going to get more.

    I believe that physical work is very important, and these kind of accomplishments--big or small--make us feel good about ourselves.

    I must admit I'm surprised David thought more people would volunteer to help. Perhaps you live in a small community where people do that. We don't, and I would never expect it.

    But, if I wanted people's help, I'd ask them rather than getting annoyed because they didn't offer.

    In my opinion, bipolarity isn't an excuse for not saying what we need or want. And learning to deal with other people disappointing us is another life lesson that many of us--bipolar or not--need to learn to cope with.

    But, that's just me!


  2. Too true, Susan. The hard work was really good for him.
    The problem (and I should have explained it better) is that in our local church congregation (ward), there has been a long tradition of members helping each other through hard times and with projects like roofs, etc. He mentioned it to some friends in the ward, and when they were a little less than enthusiastic about helping, he took offense. I think that trait is probably part of his personality, and not necessarily the bipolar talking. Though when he gets in that state of mind, his mood swings intensify, and he blows it all out of proportion. Not much fun, but he eventually works through it.
    We have always felt close to the members of our ward, and It is true that our ward is getting older, like we are. We really should have been more proactive about asking for help; I'm sure they would have responded. One of my failings is that I don't always ask for help when I should.
    We're still dealing with the roof contractor. The shingles had to be back ordered, so we're still waiting for the roof to be finished. We're hoping it'll be done this week.
    Good luck with your project; it is a big one.


Welcome! I'm so glad you dropped by. I'm always happy to hear what you have to say.