A New Me

Abbie-1

Recently while my homemaker from the local senior center was cleaning, she found plaster falling from the ceiling near my kitchen door. Apparently, it had gotten wet. This could only mean one thing. My roof was leaking again.

Why didn’t I see this? Well, with my limited vision, I don’t see things unless they’re close to me. Although I walk by my kitchen door every day, it never occurred to me to look up.

When my homemaker pointed out the offending area, I saw it, and it looked awful. I could just reach it by standing on tiptoe, and when my finger touched the spot, more flecks of plaster went flying. Yuck!

My roof was replaced in 2008 when I bought the house, and I was assured it would last at least thirty years. It wasn’t even ten years old. I called the same roofer, and after taking a look, he reported that the material he used was only supposed to last ten years, and it was aging. Like me, I thought.

As long as I’m getting part of my roof replaced, why not have my me replaced? Maybe I could get a younger me who can see, a me who doesn’t recoil at the prospect of dealing with contractors and insurance bureaucrats, a me who doesn’t hate being around any kind of construction, a me who can drive and not rely on others to get me everywhere, especially in winter, a me with more confidence when walking in treacherous conditions and less fear of falling on ice, braking bones, and ending up in a nursing home.

When I suggested as much to a friend though, she pointed out that with better eyesight, I might not like the way the world looks. It also occurred to me that with no disability, I wouldn’t earn income from social security. To make car payments and support my writing habit, I’d have to go back to my forty-hour-a-week job conducting activities with nursing home residents who fell on ice and broke bones.

Although the other features of a new me would be nice, this investment will have to wait until I get the roof fixed. Apparently, although my homeowner’s insurance will cover fixing the plaster on my ceiling, it won’t cover the replacement of part of my roof unless the damage was a result of a storm. Hmm, maybe with a better me, I could get up on the roof and make it look like storm damage.

***

Note: After I wrote the above, the insurance adjuster came and said that a piece has fallen off the roof, so it’s definitely storm damage. Whether it’s the type of storm damage my policy covers remains to be seen.

***

Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

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4 thoughts on “A New Me

  1. Oh Abbie, I know all too well the woes of a damaged roof. I also know how awful it is to reach up and feel the deterioration of a home.
    I hope this repair extends the life of your roof towards those thirty years. Great post. This brought a lot of thinking and feeling rushing in, like the elements through a damaged roof.
    dp

  2. Abbie–A number of years ago, the entire roof area of all the townhouses where I live was changed. After putting up with this construction for a good part of one summer, I was told that I should be happy because the roof was a “thirty-year roof.” Well, I thought I would no longer be living here or would no longer be living when the roof needed to be changed again. Wrong! A couple of months later, we had a deluge of rain–outside. However, I also had a deluge of rain in my living room! I could not move fast enough to put a large plastic dishpan beneath the affected area. The problem was with the point at which the roof over the living room meets the roof over the other part of my townhouse. Ever since that area was re-done properly, I have had very thankfully no other roof issues–nevertheless, I certainly feel and understand your pain with dealing with such issues–especially in the middle of winter. Best of luck! Take good care–Alice

    • Thank you, Alice. My circumstances are similar. The part of the roof that’s leaking wasn’t re-roofed properly. You’d think the company that did it wouldn’t charge for the repair, since it was their fault. Wrong. Apparently, that part of the roof is aging and needs to be replaced.

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