I’ve never claimed to be Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor. In fact, I’d say I’m more Rip Taylor than Tim Taylor, without the confetti and bad toupee, of course. I may not be much of a tool man, but that doesn’t stop me from trying. Trial, error, and Google have enabled me to do a lot.
Recently, a storm blew through the home place. With it, came strong winds. At least I assume it did. I took some sleep aid and slept right through it. I was a bit under the weather and stayed up there so I wouldn’t risk getting Baby Abigail sick. Either way, I know, as her great-grandparents would have said, “It came up a cloud,” and damaged the roof to the barn.
After that, came the chaos of the holidays, along with the extreme cold weather. Simply put, it was a while before I got around to putting on my tool belt. When I finally got it on, I went to work.
I climbed to the roof of the barn. Ruby stayed at with me the whole time. She legitimately seemed concerned. I should have never tackled this task on my own, but Ruby would’ve taken off up the road to tell mama-n-em had I experienced any misfortune.
I only had to rearrange four long pieces of aluminum, but that was easier said than done. I don’t have a fear of heights; however, I do have a fear of falling through the roof of a dilapidated old barn. I was smart about it and tried to spread my weight out as evenly as possible. After the holidays, there was more weight than I usually carry around, so there was a lot of spreading.
I finally got it done and when I did, I just sat there. I’d never seen the home place from that vantage point. My family calls it “Terrapin Slide,” because everything always moves so slow around there. I remember riding home from church with maw maw and paw paw in his ’57 Chevy. The church is only a mile up the road, yet it took 10 minutes to get there. I’m only slightly exaggerating.
My late father was literally born at the home place way back in 1945, so it’s special for a lot of reasons. I’m sure he spent a lot of days working in and around the barn. I could see the hard work, fun times, and love that emanated from the homeplace. It brought back great memories of those who are no longer with us. I even called up a cousin and talked with him for a spell as I sat atop the roof.
As I was preparing to climb back down the ladder, I noticed that I hadn’t overlapped the aluminum properly and had to start all over. I didn’t mind. I had time.
What should have been an hour-long project turned into an all-day affair. That’s okay though. I had a wonderful time, got the job done, and didn’t die. That’s sounds like a special day at the home place to me.
Jody Fuller is from Opelika, Ala. He is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier with three tours of duty in Iraq. He is also a lifetime stutterer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, please visit www.jodyfuller.com