It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to write about the doings in Downeast Maine, but this time of year is busy. We’re buttoning up for winter and the mad dash is on to finish up outdoor projects.
Not too long ago I discovered a leak in my shed roof. As an aside, a “shed” in Downeast Maine is considered to be an unheated room attached to one’s house. My house has a shed and I use it to store pellets for my pellet stove, tools, recycling bins etc.
The carpenter who originally planned to replace the roof called and announced he was too busy to tackle the job, so the hunt was on for a new carpenter to replace the crumbling mess before the autumn rains began.
So I hired a carpenter who was new in town and looking for work. The idea was simple: he needed work and I needed a new shed roof.
After 41 years I should know that absolutely nothing is that simple.
The project began in earnest but after nearly a week, the roof (which covers a 10 x 12 room), was nowhere near completion. As a bonus, the weatherman was cheerily predicting three days of rain and 60 mph winds.
I stared up at the half finished roof and thought, “Oh joy,” (Okay, maybe my thoughts were a little more colorful than that, but you get the idea).
I guess now’s the time to tell you that my shed shares a common wall with my bathroom.
I had nightmares about a deluge of water pouring in between the walls, mold growing like spanish moss, while tons of wood pellets exploded like sponges.
Then the unthinkable happened: the roofer, who I may remind you was new in town, took off. Yup, he split town. Hit the high road for parts unknown.
I guess Eastport wasn’t to his taste.
Three days of rain and gale winds on the way, a half finished roof, and I was more than a bit irritated. But there’s always a bright side…
I’ve mentioned several times the unbelievable generosity of the people in Downeast Maine. People without two nickels to rub together will give you anything they have without question.
Life can be hard in an economically depressed area like this and we look out for one another here.
In a state of anxiety and righteous anger, I called my good friends, Rose and Robert. I ranted and raved about the audacity of the fleet of foot carpenter.
They sympathized, they empathized, like good friends should.
Would you believe it? Robert showed up the very next day, tools in hand, and worked like a madman. Shingles on, cedar shingles replaced, new corner boards on, just as the first drops of rain began to splatter against the new roof.
The man is amazing.
Like magic, my nightmares of spongey wood pellets disappeared.
I got out my wallet and tried to pay Robert but he wouldn’t hear of it. He laughed and said, “Put your money away; that’s what friends are for.”
What do you do with a friend like that?
You thank them profusely and thank your lucky stars, that’s what.
Not only am I fortunate enough to live in one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, I am truly blessed with the friendships I have made.
So, Robert, as I sit here listening to the rain pound the roof, confident there won’t be an explosion of wood pellets, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.