Wednesday, December 26, 2007


THE RAIN GUTTER DIALECTIC


From as far back as I can remember, I have always been hungry for knowledge about the infinite aspects of this universe, starting with the earliest queries of my infancy: Where the hell am I? and Why are women so fascinating? and growing on from there, ever hungry.

One bit of knowledge I've recently felt the need to acquire is how to clean rain gutters only when the sun is shining. This desire only arises whenever I'm cleaning the rain gutters with rain cascading in my face, running up my sleeves, down my neck and into my boots as I stretch out to full length and height there on the wobbly ladder in the multidirectional wind-driven downpour, my wife affirming my knowledge-hunger by stepping gingerly out into the skytorrent -- while I have one leg on the top rung, the other leg on the slick deck railing, one hand on a slippery roof tile and the only remaining hand scooping leaves and cedar needles out of the icewater-filled rain gutter -- and asking from beneath her umbrella: Why do you always clean the rain gutters when it's raining?

Somebody must have asked Socrates that question. They didn't teach rain gutter in college, and I never had a house to learn from until this one; we always rented and moved a lot when I was a kid, so all you guys whose fathers made you clean the rain gutters all those autumns while I was gloating at football or baseball, go ahead, you can gloat now.

The thing is, every time I'm out in the sun I'm not looking at any rain gutters, I'm looking at the light from the blue sky or the dark nourishing earth or the vital seeds I'm planting or the shiitake logs I'm drilling or the firewood I'm splitting or the monkeys I'm chasing or the delicate sprouts that need weeding, mulching or support, I'm not gonna drop everything that needs doing right now, as the sun slides nonstop down the sky and time is wasting, to go and get the ladder and lug it around the house and set it up here and there and climb up and check to see IF the rain gutters need cleaning, are you nuts? As soon as it rains I'll know whether or not the rain gutters need cleaning.

So that's the answer, it comes to me like a face full of rain, just as it must have for Socrates: as there is a time for all things, so there is a time for knowledge, and some things are just not worth knowing until it's time to know them. And so it is with rain gutters. But how can I possibly explain that to my knowledge-hungry wife under her umbrella as I hang there in the rain grasping a handful of wet leaves?

Socrates is silent; he seems to have something under one of his fingernails...

7 comments:

Mary Lou said...

LOLOL I wonder if the monkeys watch you and Laugh!

Chosen said...

Technology has come to the rescue with gutters. When I had gutters installed, I had them put in http://www.leafproof.com/ gutter protection and never have to clean the gutters.

However, I understand your pain. I have lights in the driveway with a motion detector. They shut off much too soon, but I never think to adjust them when I'm out working in the yard during daylight hours. I only think of it when it's too dark to see the set screws and the lights have just shut off on me when I need them.

Winston said...

Time is the answer. Leave the gutters alone. It is dangerous getting up there on a ladder, rain or shine. In time, the gutters will clog and overflow. Over a longer period, the soffit and facia will begin to rot and eventually the rot will be visible from the ground. Then you and wife can both see that the gutters are clogged.

Or, at our age, it is better to hire it done...

Chancy said...

THE ANSWER IS:

"It was not raining when Noah built the ark"

BiT said...

Very well

tracy said...

Happy chuckle here. I am with you on taking care of what's important for the moment; and, we can look at this another way ~ the rain gushing on your face and down into your boots is refreshment for the spirit, no?

Bob Brady said...

Actually, Socrates later came to me with a solution, which I will try and implement anon...