My daughter Jess and I were doing a small job for a friend of ours. It was just a tiny task to finish up something we began last fall. There were two sections that needed new wooden shingles on the front of their building. One section was about twenty feet up in the gable area of the building. The other piece was just a small triangular area where one had to lay down on the roof to finish.

Now, being of age 73 and at times not too steady on my feet due to an inner ear problem. There are times, my balance presents problems. We decided maybe Jess should do the section with the twenty-foot ladder. I would do the section where I could just lay down and finish that area. I have to tell ya that Jess just does not like ladders. Especially this one that feels quite flimsy. Even though it will hold my weight (a bit more then hers), she was not comfortable with the ladder. The thing is, the job needed to be done. These two tasks would finish what we started last fall. Of course, I did not argue about doing the job while laying down. Nice to have a task such as that once in a while.

Things seem to be going well with the lady on the ladder. Once in a while though, the words that came from that area were quite strong. Of course, I would just chuckle a bit. It was not long those were almost constant. “What is going on”, I chuckled to her. With a moderate amount of profanity, she described those tiny small triangles she cut out of the wood shingles. She would spend the time to create them just right. Then when she went to use the finish nailer to put them in place, they would break. Sounded just like my dad when things were not going right. Eventually the two small tasks got done and we went on to another small task.

This time I was the lead person and she was the helper. This little task was on the ground for the most part and quite easy. So, I thought. We had the job almost 90 percent finished. and it began to rain a little. Now a little rain is not bad, unless you have to stand on a ladder right under the overhang. Another ten minutes and we would be done for the day. A little wet was ok because the job would be done. All we had to do was make the final three connections and we were done. But, as the saying goes, “if something can mess up, it will” and it did. The last connection was not going together as it was supposed to. Rain was falling, the overhang was pouring water down my back, the pipes were not going together. Thus, I began to use construction words to try and get them to fit. But fit well, they did not. At this point, my helper just started chuckling. “What’s the matter dad?” “Not going well!” she snickers just a bit. Yup it was indeed her turn to do the jabbing.

The two pieces were almost together and all it needed was a firm tap with the hand and it would be most fine. The two pieces separated as I struck at them and my thumb and a stainless steel clamp got together for a tearing session. I voiced my displeasure and the vital red body fluid started flowing. Things looked really bad with everything all wet and rainy. The two liquids got together and began to color just about everything a nice red color. Down to my elbow, down the pipe, down the ladder. It was at this point I made the wise decision to wrap the thumb in something, anything, that would stop the flow. We needed to finish this job. I have to stop here a moment for a bit of wisdom to send ya way. I was told when younger, if you cut yourself, let it bleed a bit. This cleans the cut. Unless of course, it’s a massive injury then by all means stop the flow. Also, on one occasion ole Jess cut her thumb and others were quite anxious about it. I just asked her if she could move the thumb ok. It proved it was just a flesh type cut and we would fix it when we get home. Of course, she puts the same question to me. “ Yup”,…. I can see what looks like bone, but it works most fine.” So, we just wrapped it in tissue and secured it with black electrical tape. When we went back to finish the connections, she begins to laugh at the site of all that color. All she had to do was hold the pipe steady while I connected them. This required her to stop laughing and hold the darn pipe steady. This became quite a problem for her. I will say here, that I was laughing right along with her. It seemed to go together just right, coloring everything red, the rain flowing down my back and the pipe, and using those words dad used.

We got er done though and went home to properly fix the thumb.

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