Now that spring is finally with us, and we've got this home thing, this was the first week-end we really had to start all those outside things that responsible home-loving homeowners do every waking minute of their livings during the week-end. And p.s.: in case I haven't mentioned this before, I am completely inept when it comes to outdoor household duties.
It's definitely something I didn't miss when I left Josie with the homestead. Now, don't get me wrong: I can get the job done. But there is pain involved, and some things I really hated doing. I didn't miss not mowing a lawn for ten years, for example, after I moved out.
When Corb and I agreed to buy the house, we bought it with him clearly knowing this was a weakness on my part. There was no buyer beware, here. He knew that he liked to landscape and that I liked watching him landscape. Oh, yes, we agreed that I would help out. But there were limitations.
Anyway, we decided to start on the gutters this week-end. The gutters at Green Victoria are in dire need of doing. The previous owners had moved to Maine during the spring, and cleaning out leaves and other debris from the downspouts of their previous monstrosity had not been a priority. So, yesterday, we went to Loewe's, bought ourselves a nice long hose and a big huge ladder, and there I was, climbing up ladders, dredging out crap with my garden gloves, and then, watering the downspouts to make sure they were clear and free of the muddy sludge that had formed at the bottom.
And I was pretty good at it, too, until we reached the back gutters. The ladder had to go up a lot higher to reach them, and I suddenly realized I wasn't the biggest fan of heights. Corb was at the bottom, though, holding the ladder and coaxing me through it.
"I can't stand this...this is too high up..." Some people whistle while they work, I keep up a steady monologue of insecurity and paranoia.
"You can do it. You're doing great!" shouted Corb encouragingly.
"There! I'm done!" And then, with the hose still running, I nervously threw it down and proceeded to step downward, when---
I looked down, and there was Corb, gripping his right eye and screaming in pain. "I hate you! I hate you! I f***ing hate you!"
Oh no...had I...oh, dear. I had. As quick as I could, I climbed down the ladder to see if I could help. Corb was now kneeling on the ground, writhing in pain. "I'm blind...I'm blind...I can't see..."
"Oh my God, you're blind! You can't see!" I screamed out, bordering on the hysterical. "Waitaminute..." I looked over. "You don't have your glasses on..."
"Where are my glasses?" He looked at his hands. "Oh my God, I'm covered in blood!"
"Can I help you?" I looked over. Like an angel of mercy, an elderly gentleman had suddenly appeared near Corb. Oh great, of all times to meet the neighbors. He extended his hand. "My name is Dick Whitehead." Dick Whitehead? Who the hell has a name like Dick Whitehead? Suddenly my life was bordering on the surreal. "I'm a retired police officer. Is everything okay?"
"Oh. Hi!" I looked around nervously and shook his hand. "Yeah, we had a little accident with the--"
"Oh God, oh God! Ted, I f***ing hate you. I F***CKING hate you! Oh my God, it hurts so much!!!!"
The elderly gentleman turned a white shade of pale. "He doesn't usually swear like that, I swear."
For some reason, Dick Whitehead (who we have now taken to calling Dick Pimple) left quite quickly. And an hour later, we were driving to pick Theo up from work, without the need for an emergency room, but with the need of a bandage, which was now covered in blood. Corb had a terrible bruise under his eye...and a presentation to deliver in the morning.
"Oh God," I moaned as I was driving, reliving the incident in my head. "It was awful. I was so stupid and careless. How could I have thrown that hose down without looking? Without turning off the water? It was just stupid stupid stupid..." Then, another thought struck me. "Gah, I am so irresponsible! What would have happened if I had been up there with a CHAINSAW and done that? Your poor head would have been sliced off!"
Well, that got his attention. Corb stopped his groaning and looked over at me, eyes full of amazement (well, one eye, at least). "Ted, why in the hell would you be cleaning the gutters with a chainsaw?"
"That's not the point!" I said, wallowing in sadness. And then, another thought. "Oh my God! What if Kaeden had been down below?"
"Ted, why in the hell would your two year old grandson be holding the ladder while you cleaned the gutters with a chainsaw?" Then he held his eye and shook his head. "Please don't make me laugh. When I smile, my eye hurts..."