Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Calculating the Price

All personal shortcomings have their price, or at least I imagine this to be true if only to provide for some justice and meaning.

My fear of heights, for example, prevents me from doing certain projects, like fixing the drip, drip, drip of water that comes from the air conditioner on the roof and that, over time, had strayed from its intended course down the gutter and instead was crawling its way down the wall and onto the big tent awning over the back porch, collecting into a permanent damp spot on the canvas, breeding mold and mildew and turning the pretty green cover to black.

From underneath the awning the effect was not visible--everything is still new and green except that now some threads have given way and some fringe has become unfringed.

All this because I cannot climb a latter very far, certainly not the 20+ feet to the gutter, which is accessible only in this way.

So not only did my fear of heights delay the necessary repair work, it caused the collateral damage to the awning. Or did it?

We had to hire someone to make the repair to this and the other gutter boxes. Here's a photo that I took of him on the ladder. I was standing on the balcony outside my office, very much tempted to vomit at the sight of the ladder extending all the way to the patio floor.

We had to drop the awning in order to place the ladder, and this brought the moldy top into full view and convinced us that the canvas must be replaced.

But was the damage to the awning really my fault? Was this the price for my fear of heights?

We brought in an awning guy for an estimate, and he absolved me of all responsibility. It turns out that all of the older awnings around the house are coming apart and must be replaced. All of them are finally relenting to the Florida weather. The awnings have lived out their expected life span. There's nothing you could have done, he said with a smile.

Yes, I am not to blame. Now it's time to pay.

1 comment:

  1. No, I don’t think your fear of heights should be blamed here. Just call for a repair guy earlier the next time you find the need to mend the high parts of your house. Water flowing in parts of your house where they shouldn’t be isn’t healthy. And that might cost you a bigger price to pay. How much did it cost you to have the overhang and the gutter repaired?