Sunday, December 16, 2012

The bliss of quiet

For the last four weeks, I've been subjected to roofer madness. The two-building complex where I live got a new roof. Not just new shingles but the roof built from the studs up and new gutters and new drain pipes and new eaves in places and new porch roofs and a new roof on my covered patio, which has leaked for the 18 years I've lived here.

It took a crew of 15-16 men  to tear off the old stuff and build the new stuff. There were three different crews: roofers (Hispanic), gutter guys (a grumpy old guy with several kids working for him), and two handsome Russian carpenters. Then there were a slew of supervisors and advisers and onlookers. They had hammers and compressors and nail guns and more hammers and tromping feet and loud voices over the noise of the hammers and compressors and nail guns. There was also something that sounded amazingly like a large dental drill.

I live at the far end of the courtyard, off the street. It's usually pretty quiet here, especially in the winter with the windows closed. But for four weeks, it's been bedlam most of the daylight hours. Many days the generators and compressors have racketed steadily for 8 hours. While I could have taken my laptop and worked elsewhere, I felt it important to stick around and reassure my three cats, two of whom were very frightened by the noise.

Yesterday morning, two guys came. I passed one of them on my way to drop off the recycle stuff. "We're done," he said. "Final clean-up." I wanted to hug him. I didn't, just smiled and thanked him. He and his crew have been very respectful and tidy and have done an amazing job. They've been pleasant and courteous and I'm so glad they're gone.

For two days now, it's been quiet. My jaw is starting to unclench and my shoulders to drop. Ah, the bliss of quiet!


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