The house in which I grew up, which was (and is) referred to as simply, “The Yellow House,” had a very steep roof. This was a simple fact of my childhood, confirmed into impressive reality when my brother-in-law, Lance, who roofed houses as a profession for a time, gave his considered opinion that the house was an 8-10 or maybe even a 9-10 pitch.
And a very steep roof is good for many things.
One of which was told to me in hilarious fashion by my brother Larry this past weekend as we were visiting him. We were recalling the miracle that we escaped our own childhoods with our lives, and even congratulating ourselves on our, for the most part, minor injuries when we recalled that a neighbor friend had very badly broken his wrist at our house.
Larry told the story:
They were playing on the pool house roof (which, it must be said, was not as steep as the rest of the roof), as the roof was being finished. There was tar paper on the bottom two feet of the structure, but above that only plywood covered by a giant tarp. As the workers were gone for the day, there seemed nothing more fun than to utilize the giant slip and slide that seemed to be made just for us.
And so Larry, so clever, grabbed the garden hose and hauled it up to the roofline, in tow with a giant bottle of dish soap. A perfect slippery mess was made, and each child enjoyed their ride down the slope, stopping themselves before the two foot edge and drop to the back yard below.
But then Josh, a childhood friend of Larry’s went very last, after the tarp was all slicked up real good. He was unable to stop himself, and fell the full ten feet to the yard below.
Surgery was required.
And of course, the story that lives in infamy in the Brock children annals happened in the snow storm of 1993. A great amount of snow accumulated – so much that school was closed for two days straight.
And when the plow came through our drive, shoving great piles several of snow several feet high up onto the flower beds, what was there to do, but to go sledding?
And so, out the upstairs bathroom we climbed, sledding tobogans tied to our wrists, as we built make shift stairs in the snow on the roof – up to the ridgeline we climbed. We walked the ridgeline to where we found a suitable launch site. The day was spent – down the roof, down the snow piles, down the driveway, down the hill to the middle front yard. Then back through the downstairs entry way, up the stairs to the bathroom, out the window, and back up the roof line.
That was great fun.
I wonder now at the water we must have tracked through the house in the form of melting snow, or the day spent with the window wide open during a snow storm.
I’m going to try and write down memories I have – for my little lovelies who always ask “Tell me a story of when you were a kid . . .”
I’m going to call them “Tales for Tuesdays” – and will try to write one a week . . . unless of course something else happens. In which case I won’t.