It’s been a few weeks since I entered into the blogosphere. While I’m sure no one noticed (except Beverly), I have to chuckle at myself and my selective approach to things. After thinking I have nothing to write about and murmuring to myself…writers block, a voice in my head whispered, “don’t confuse grandiosity with being lazy.” So there you have it. On a project earlier this week, the inevitable surprises presented themselves.
The words of the one and only late, great Gilda Radner came to mind…”it’s always something” she used to say on her very funny SNL skits. Somehow that little phrase takes the pressure off and drama out of whatever unexpected event (usually not a good event) may be happening.
Less than 24-hours later, I was meeting with a customer who is a volunteer maintenance point person for a beautiful, but aging, building. As we toured the various things that needed mending, she looked me square in the eye and said…”it’s always something.” I let her know that only yesterday I was uttering those very words. We shared a chuckle and went about our tour, somehow both feeling a little lighter.
After a very busy and positive week in business, life, and training, I settled in to a nice peaceful Friday evening at home. Beverly and I noticed one of our Frenchies, Minnie, was hobbling and not able to hop around as is her usual custom. I thought this was probably a result of roughhousing with our other Frenchie, Tillie, and that it will most surely pass. By the end of the night, not only was Minnie immobile, she was clearly in trouble.
Beverly and I have had more than our share of doggies emergency’s over the years. For me, once the denial that something is wrong passes, and the panic of, “oh shit – not again,” comes and goes…it’s time to take action.
A call to the emergency vet hospital and off Beverly went (in the middle of the night, of course) with little Minnie wrapped up in her favorite blanket. I was not there with the vet, but Beverly explained later that Minnie has, in essence, a back injury that is very painful which explained her lethargic state
I should say that as usual, Beverly handled the whole episode with her usual calm. Everyone made it home safely from the vet and we have a convalescing (but alive) little dog to care for.
My last thoughts as I drifted off into a semi-peaceful slumber were, you guessed it…”it’s always something.”
There are a handful of subjects that I will drop everything to talk about:
Roofing, of course (although, I could use a breather there)
Running (especially when we’re talking about me)
Beverly, my lovely wife
Last, but not least, my dogs
We have two dogs that keep us entertained, and are often the bright spot in our lives. Yes, they require a lot of attention for their various needs, but hey, for all the joy they provide I always feel like I’m getting off easy.
Dog #1 is Tidy Tilly. She is a purebred French bulldog and quite possibly the cutest creature on the planet (see I’m already gushing). She prefers the warmth and comforts of home.
Dog # 2 is Minnie Mouse. She is also a Frenchie, but we think she may have a little Boston Bulldog Terrier mix. Minnie is a rescue dog. Beverly caught wind that she was on her way to the SPCA after her second (or third) owners decided they didn’t want her anymore. Beverly took immediate action and intercepted Minnie Mouse before she made the almost certain fatal trip to the Pound. Minnie had some real issues, but after a year of love and care is settling into the life we think she deserves.
Now, here’s where it gets fun. I discovered after a few months that Minnie liked to run. I mean run. I decided to take her out for one of my weekend runs. She was in heaven. She could run 5-6 miles without so much as breaking the proverbial sweat. Our weekly runs are now a staple, and a highlight of our week.
Minnie seems to know what day it is, and knows the difference between work cloths and running clothes. On what she knows are running days she waits by the door stretching; watching my every move. When I say stretching, I mean she looks like an elite athlete at the starting line of a big race. She is getting ready to roll!
While I grab the leash and her little water bottle, Tidy Tilly, whom we also call “little Miss Princess Pants” can be found hiding under a blanket, Beverly’s robe, or burrowed in one her many cushy beds. She wants absolutely no part of this adventure. Watching her antics before Minnie and I head out has become as much fun as the run itself.
At this writing, it is raining hard yet again. Today’s run is in jeopardy. Yet, Minnie watches in anticipation, and Tillie waits for her cue to hide.
I used to hear that expression a lot as a kid. It took me a few years to figure out what it meant. The words were usually accompanied by some hand wringing and deep sighs. So my eventual definition was that when one thing (usually not good) happened, a lot of things followed.
Last week was a literal and figurative example of the beloved old expression. We recorded over 8″ of rain where we live; the roads flooded, trees were down, the power went out, and the topper was that I managed to acquire a nasty bronchial infection.
Normally, all these things happening in the space of a few days would be enough. But I also happen to be in the business of keeping water out of peoples homes and businesses.
Storms like last week are when the importance of what I do for a living is at it’s peak.
A funny thing happened to me last week as I was dealing with flood, power outage, poor health and a volume of calls that was 20-fold of a normally busy week. I realized how important it was that I show up, no matter what.
I have had this realization before, but this time it was even more profound. One customer, exasperated, with water coming in to her kitchen said, “oh, I just needed to hear your voice.”
I understood what she meant. There are times when our trade has a level of nobility to it. This was one of those times.
With Beverly’s usual brilliant assistance, (and my skilled crew) we were able to service our calls, fix quite a few leaks and in many cases, put plans in place to do more extensive work when the weather clears.
The recent heavy rain and high winds have been creating havoc out there. Nowhere more so than on the rooftops of the Bay Area.
There are many reasons why a roof might leak: age, workmanship, design, etc. One of the most common, and less thought of reasons however, is that the drains and/or gutters are clogged.
When water cannot flow the way it is supposed to, it will find somewhere to go! Unfortunately, that somewhere is often right into the house. And without fail, it will happen at the worst possible time …when you are getting ready for your Thanksgiving feast, guests are gathered for a festive open house on Christmas Eve, or you are celebrating grandma’s birthday.
We have had the opportunity to get out there a lot this season and take care of clogged roof drains and roof surfaces covered in leaves and debris from nearby foliage. In some cases, just in the nick of time.
A roof and gutter cleaning is one of the least expensive and most effective ways to maintain a roofing system. I recommend having a licensed roofing contractor do this, as they will also be able to let you know if your roof needs any other repairs.
There is also the matter of being sure whoever is on your roof is covered with the proper insurance.
With over 25 years in the roofing business, I have established a foundation of quality workmanship, continuous up-to-date product knowledge, along with an executive level of service and follow through with our clients. The majority of our work comes from referrals, which is a testament to our performance and commitment.
Much has transpired since my last posting (over one year ago). My wife, Beverly, and I are enjoying running our roofing business with the help of the best crew one could ask for. There have been the usual ups and downs, but we continue to learn and grow.
I have said goodbye to some dear friends this past year, which may be why I decided to raise the bar on myself.
After last year’s HMB Marathon, I completed a 50K event and several more shorter races. I took three hours off my previous 50K time. When I called Beverly to let her know I finished in one piece, she asked, “are you sure you ran the whole course?”
This year I completed the HMB Marathon in 4:41. I came in 36 minutes faster than last year’s time. I trained much differently and the results were pretty dramatic. I was very happy and somewhat surprised at the faster time. I also managed to get through the training cycle injury free.
During the training cycle, I joined up with the Coastside Running Club. Several of the members are the unsung hero’s of the Marathon and are responsible for putting the event on. Many of the members are ultra runners, meaning they compete/complete distances longer than a standard marathon (26.2 miles). As I listened to their adventures of 50 and 100-mile races, a very faint drumbeat started in my head. I swore I would never do another 50-mile race! Yet, as we trained, the beat became deafening.
Yes, I HAD to do another 50-miler.
I knew the first order of business was to enroll my dear wife in the idea. I am clear that there is no way I can tackle something like this without Beverly’s support. With some trepidation, she agreed to support the project. She made me promise I would not do a 100-miler, I agreed to that.
The American River 50 is a great event. It is one of the largest 50-mile races in the country and usually attracts a who’s who of ultra athletes. I completed the race two years ago in 12 hours and 45 minutes.
So, here I am. One year older. Apparently, somewhat faster. And, on a mission. I am excited about preparing for this event as well as chronicling the undoubtedly bumpy road ahead.