What Am I waiting for?

Oh my gosh … let me tell you another crazy fear story.
Remember this story about the roof? 
That fear of climbing on the roof hasn’t dissipated.

Early last fall, James got up on the roof and blew it off for me … because he’s awesome like that. But, he wasn’t living with me and he had to make a special trip over and I hate to bother him for dumb stuff that I should be able to do myself.

I watch my next door neighbor (who is my age) climb up on her roof and blow it off.  It has the same grade as mine and is the same height … and she’s brave and gets up on HER roof. My neighbor across the street, Miss Molly,  also blows off her roof several times a year … and she’s in her mid- 70’s!!

The next door neighbor's house

Mid-summer, I found myself …. sitting and waiting  …
powerless and pathetic … asking for help from my man/child … to please come help me blow off my roof
ARGH! What a pansy.

I’m not afraid of heights. I can go over long bridges, look off a tall cliff,
walk across a rope bridge that is tethered over a raging river and climb mountains.
But, I know that the fall from the roof to the concrete would probably leave me wounded
and I have a child with a few years left at home.
If I fall, I will probably break and, in the words of Sweet Georgia Brown,
“Ain’t nobody got time for dat.”

One thing that I have learned through the years is that waiting can be good. If I wait a bit, sometimes situations remedy themselves. The bump will go away, the need will be filled, the desire will subside. I don’t run to the doctor as soon as there is an ache or run to the store and buy something when I first think I need it or a child first asks for it. I wait.

But, as the weeks passed and the valleys on my roof continued to cradle the debris from fall, I knew I had to get up on the roof. I HAD to clean out those little leaf and stick dams that kept water from freely flowing off my roof. They hold moisture and can cause damage over time.

Accumulated leaves are NOT good for your roof.

One afternoon, I found myself particularly angry with myself. I was mad that I would let fear
keep me from taking care of something that is important: my house.
What was I waiting on??? …..
… the wind to magically blow all the leaves off the roof?
…. a great storm to wash the valleys clean?
…. a yard man to come by and offer to do the job for free?
… my fear to disappear?
… my son to make time?
… some new boyfriend/husband to magically appear in shining armor on a white horse … to rescue me?

I decided … it was time!  I was going to go up there. I put my phone into my running armband. If I fell, I would be less likely to land on it if it was strapped to my bicep than if it was in the back pocket of my shorts. I wanted it with me so I could call someone if I ended up on the ground needing help.

One of my fears has always been that the ladder would slip as I flip my leg over the top to place my foot on the roof. So, I nailed a ladder stop into the deck.

I filled the blower with gas, told Glory that I was going up and …
started praying as I climbed.

My awe.some ladder stop.

I have to tell you that it was very scary up there to me.
I scooched around on my fanny
using one hand to balance myself on that scorching hot roof
and the other to hold the loud, vibrating blower.
I thought about Miss Molly across the street.
I thought about how people might drive by and laugh at me because I was SITTING on the roof
like a big fraidy-cat …
but I knew I was being brave
and I worked my way across all angles of the roof.I prayed as I worked
asking God to keep me stable.
And, yes, I mean I prayed out.loud.



God was good to offer me sticks that were right.on.the.edge of the roof
so I had to move closer to the precipice of the cliff roofline.
He was building my trust in Him.


My valleys were dirty.After I had been up there a while, I stood up a little bit
and did some kind-of-hunched-over walking.
I began to feel a little bit comfortable and proud of myself …
so I stood up straight
and, out.loud I said …. “I got this.”  You know how it sounds.  The phrase has a cocky little bop to it.
I’m telling you … as QUICKLY as the words left my mouth,
I had the image of some Tom & Jerry cartoon
with MY FEET being KICKED RIGHT OUT FROM UNDERNEATH ME by an imaginary fella
and me … falling down and toppling head over heals to the ground.
“No. No. No. No. No. I didn’t mean it, Lord. Thank you for your protection! Please forgive me,”
were my words as I was  i.m.m.e.d.i.a.t.e.l.y reminded
that I was only up there because God had given me the courage to try
and I was only upright because He was holding me in that position.

I finished the job … without sliding on pinestraw, tripping on a stick or rolling on a Sweet Gum ball.
And I climbed down without knocking the ladder out of place.
I put away my tools knowing
that I had called up God to help me do yet one.more.thing
that I was hoping, expecting, wishing someone else would do for me
because I was afraid.


My clean roof!

A few days later, my palms began to peel.
I remembered the heat of that scorching hot roof
and how I used my hands to help myself scoot around on the roof.
I knew the little bit of skin I was losing
was a Badge of Honor I got to wear
as a reminder of my courage and bravery.

Every week offers a new way to try on courage
and find another reason to be thankful that I am
and on my own. 
My scorched hand

3 thoughts on “What Am I waiting for?

  1. I remember the bravery it took to complete so many tasks during all those years that I was a single mom so I have a great appreciation for what it takes to accomplish the many challenges you face. That said, because Rich and I have now been married for nearly 28 years and he insists on doing ALL of the challenging tasks and he is amazing at the execution of everything he does, I would face even more struggles if I ever find myself alone at this stage of life. It is a two-edged sword, being taken care of, even in its wonder…and it is still magical and wondrous to me, EVERY SINGLE DAY.


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