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A walk on the wild side — or how to get your mind in the gutter

Bet you don’t think your vocation is entertaining to watch. Certainly, I don’t imagine anyone would want to see me clicking away on the computer keyboard all day long. It would be like watching paint dry, I’m sure.

But some jobs lend themselves to fascination. After I clocked out today, I found myself glued — in the manner of an 8-year-old boy — to the construction work under way across the street. They’re putting the finishing touches on the second of two new homes.

The first is a modular, dropped in to replace a derelict Cape ruined by some well-meaning, but inexperienced contractors. A couple of years ago, they gutted the house, dug a hole in back for an addition, then removed the house’s main joist. That house sat empty and sagging like the back of a horse bound for the glue factory for many, many months before it was finally razed.

The contractors weren’t there to see it, though; after they realized their stupid mistake, they took their Port O John and ran, never to be seen again. The house that replaced it is a real beauty — and you’d never guess it was a modular.

The house I’ve been watching today was built the old-fashioned way, after its predecessor was gutted and taken down to the first floor. With three tiny blonde girls, the family needed more space and now they have a lovely place to spread their wings.

They’ve moved back in, in fact; there are just a few nits and nats left on the punch list. Today as yet another round of thunder began rolling in, I watched two fellows remove from their van a length of aluminum gutter as long as the house is deep. Then, nice as you please, one of them carried it across the lawn, up the ladder and walked it up and over the peak of the roof.

It was rather like a circus act, and I was too mesmerized to grab the camera in time to memorialize it. I did take this shot a few minutes later of the gutter being installed.

Wish I had been just a little quicker with the camera so you could see this fellow’s co-worker walking across the roof, gutter in hand, as though out for a Sunday stroll.

By the time I’d clicked the shutter, it had been nailed into place and the men were on to the other side. Easy, peasy.

I couldn’t help wonder about the kind of person who takes this kind of dangerous work in stride — you know, like those Life magazine photos of the men who built the Empire State Building.

There is no way I would get up on that roof — rain or shine — even with so much as a plastic fork in my hand.

How about you?

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About Terri S. Vanech

Wife, mother, communications specialist, Jazzercise instructor and recently reunited adoptee. I'm living out loud -- and trying to make it all work -- in midlife. Having a sense of humor sure helps.

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