Cleaning the Gutters

I looked with trepidation at the wobbly ladder. Ed was showing me how to raise and lower the creaky thing. He leaned it against the roof and said, “Be careful.” I grabbed onto the sides and placed my right foot on the first rung. I looked up and took a second step. The aluminum ladder, which had looked so solid in Ed’s hands, now looked like thin metal spires heading up into the clouds. As I took a couple more steps, the ladder shook and rattled against the aluminum gutters. I retraced my steps and quickly got back on solid ground.

“It’s really shaky!” I told Ed.

“That’s the nature of an extension ladder,” he calmly said.

Ed’s calm statements infuriate me.

The other week, I consistently heard a squeaky noise when I backed up the van. I asked Ed what it could be.

“I don’t know,” he calmly said.

See? Infuriating!

He gave me the number of an auto shop he thought we should start using; it would be cheaper to go there than take my van to the dealer. Ed actually knew that pesky squeak was probably the brakes. I called and made all the arrangements, including having a friend take me to pick up my car when it was ready.

After spending most of the day without a car, my friend came to drive me to the auto shop. As we were driving, she casually said, “Oh, my husband takes care of our cars.”

ARGH! Inwardly I seethed. Back when I was single, I had always thought it would be nice to have a husband who would take care of my car. This hasn’t transpired. Logically thinking, I know why my husband doesn’t take care of my car. I’ve always done it; he has to work and I stay home; it’s not that big of a deal. I won’t even go into the time Ed forgot to call me back when I was stranded in a Walgreen’s parking lot with car trouble.

I did get a husband, however, who takes care of the gutters. Why in the world would I want to climb up that extension ladder and start cleaning gutters myself? Because I wanted to see the new roof and new gutters that I had chosen on my own. Ed’s long hours at work left me in charge of calling various roofing companies to get estimates. I had compared different types of shingles and gutters. I considered roof vents and chimney covers. I wanted to get a closer look at the roof I chose.

I grabbed the sides of the ladder while Ed calmly held the side and started stepping up. Once I got up to the gutters, I looked at the roof.

It looked pretty much the same as it did from the ground.

I began throwing the leaves out of the gutters and onto the ground. Ed puttered around the yard, doing other work that needed to be done. By the time I took the ladder to the back of the house, I was moving it around and up and down like a pro.

Noisy car? No problem. Clogged gutters? Got it. There’s a water shut-off valve in my bathroom that doesn’t work. I’m going to calmly tell Ed we need to call a plumber.

up on a ladder
It was windy up there!

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19 Responses to Cleaning the Gutters

  1. He forgot to call you when you were broke down? I would have been steaming! Yay for you for climbing up there! I could never get up that high to clean gutters… my legs would be shaking too much from being scared. Although I am a little handy around the house, my husband likes to take care of the big things because when he completes it, I always tell him he is awesome!
    My recent post Wax On, Wax Off

  2. My husband is a drywall sub-contractor. I’ve always been thankful he’s such a handyman. I’m not remotely mechanically inclined and the few times I’ve tried to do anything like that, I’ve injured myself to the point that my husband has asked to just refrain from even attempting to do things around the house.

  3. Hooray for you. I hear you too. I love my husband, but sometimes I wish he was more like my father, who does gutters, cars, drywall, plumbing, you name it — Dad can do it. He works at Harley-Davidson as the head engineer. When I temporarily worked there, I was told by several employees that my dad is the smartest man in the town. He very well may be. There’s 3,300 folks here. But my husband is the most patient. Great post. Sorry for the random story.

  4. Go you! There's a certain satisfaction that comes from self reliance. My husband is the calm type who's like, "Don't worry, I'll take care of it" and then 6 weeks later he still hasn't done anything. I don't know why I keep believing him when he says things like that. I feel like I'm Charlie Brown and he's Lucy promising not to move the football.
    My recent post Gemma Teller and interior design philosophy.

  5. Oh, no! There is nothing worse than a calm husband voice when I feel like the situation calls for a little oomph. It usually causes me to say something more insane just to get some sort of reaction. (My husband does the car stuff because I have an abnormal aversion to driving into garage bays that have those holes in them. I always think my car will fall in. I can't drive in to car washes where you have to drive up so your wheel catches in a groove either. But he knew this before he married me so it's fair) –Lisa
    My recent post Naptime Should Be Mandatory

  6. We say around our house that the only thing one of us can do that the other can't is breastfeed the babies. But, in reality, I hate doing the crappy kind of house stuff that my hubby does and he's not great with the laundry, LOL!
    My recent post Eulogy

  7. I totally understand the thing about men brushing things off like they're nothing. My husband does it and I hate it too.

    But look at you, counting off all the things that you can do without a man…way to go!

    Girl power all the way! LOL.
    My recent post So Pretty…

  8. I am still single and need to do everything myself. If I need help I ask, but I tend to try myself first. That way if I succeed, I feel all the prouder! And when I see I can't do it, I ask for help from family, friends, co-workers. And somehow, people don't mind! As long as I don't go asking about every little niggly thing!
    My recent post One week!

  9. It's funny that you wrote this now, because I've been thinking a lot about assigned jobs since my husband and I moved into our new house about a month ago. He is amazing at anything having to do with home improvement, and oversaw all of the construction we did on the new house, things that I am completely not interested in. I usually take care of the bills, laundry, and cooking, things that he hates to do. It's funny that, even though we both work full time, our jobs have kind of taken the stereotypical "gender roles," but it totally works for us.
    My recent post Traffic

  10. Good for You Ginny, going up on the ladder! I think you should take on the valve issue. I usually google all my projects before hand!

  11. My husband is really calm, too, and sometimes it drives me nuts, especially because I'm more like Chicken Little! You were totally brave to get up on that shaky ladder, especially on a windy day. I'm all too familiar with the winds we get.
    My recent post The Christmas Present

  12. We are like you two. We operate pretty much as a team with no "assigned" jobs. Certainly, there are things that I'd prefer he do (like gutters) and likewise for him. It's just as natural for him to be catching up with the laundry as me mowing the lawn. We do what needs to be done. He does one very nice thing for me that I like tremendously…Whenever he drives my car, which is often, he fills it with gas. Can't remember the last time I pumped.
    My recent post Monday Listicles: 10 Things That Are Better Than Average About Me

  13. I am laughing out loud at your description of how his "I don't know" made you seethe…that exact same kind of thing drives me bonkers! Good for you for braving the ladder and the gutters! πŸ™‚

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