Cleaning the gutters can be fun

Posted 4/27/23

The rain was pounding so hard Sunday that the drops bounced off the roof. Drops bouncing? That didn’t seem possible, yet they were like hail, just not as far.

I knew it wouldn’t be …

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Cleaning the gutters can be fun


The rain was pounding so hard Sunday that the drops bounced off the roof. Drops bouncing? That didn’t seem possible, yet they were like hail, just not as far.

I knew it wouldn’t be long before the gutters filled and water spilled over the hallway window below. That’s what happens whenever we get a downpour and I haven’t cleaned out the leaves and pine needles.

Sure enough, I didn’t need to go downstairs to know what was happening. It wasn’t just a drip either. This was a Niagara moment.

That got me thinking what grandparents will permit their grandchildren to do, but  their own parents would never let them try.

Not that I didn’t have  their parents’ permission,  soon after getting my 1962 Porsche back on the road from a 25-year garage sabbatical I took my twin granddaughters out for a ride. The car has tiny back seats that fit the girls perfectly. The motor is in the back of the car, too, so I knew they would get the growl of the engine and feel the torque as I revved through the gears. This was going to be a car ride like they’d never experienced.

At the time Ted and his family lived in North Kingstown not far from a two-lane curvy road made for Porches. At 45 MPH and still in third gear you’d feel like you’re were doing twice the speed.

The girls squeezed in. The engine came to life and I back out of the drive. I put her in first and floored it. The car squealed, but not the twins. Once in third , I floored it again and we were doing 45. Next came the curves and I down shifted, tapped the brakes and accelerated feeling the car pull through curves. I was having a blast. The girls were silent.

 I completed the loop, feeling exhilarated when I came to a stop at the house. I looked back. The twins looked bored.

“So, what do you think?”

“What’s that, Peppy,” Alex asked pointing to the handle for the window.

I cranked up the window. “That’s cool. How come cars don’t have those today?”

You never know the impression you can make, which takes me back to the rain.

My grandson, Eddie, was probably six when the family visited about ten years ago. Jack, Jen and Lucy were on a mall mission, but Eddie wasn’t into shopping so he got to stay with me. We biked over to Louie’s Barber Shop where Mark gave him a cut. On the way back it started to rain. It wasn’t a downpour and it didn’t last all that long. The gutters were really plugged and the water poured down the hall window. Eddie was intrigued. What was happening?

“I can fix that,” I told him.


“We’ll go on the roof.” I had his attention. The word “we’ll” hadn’t escaped him.

Getting on the roof is as simple as crawling out a second story window where the sill is no more than three inches above the asphalt singles outside. It’s not a steep pitch so I had no concerns Eddie could manage it.  The roof was damp, but not slippery.

Eddie crawled onto the roof cautiously and once he felt secure stood confidently. We went back to hands and knees once we got to the edge to scoop out gunk, dropping it to the driveway below. Once the downspout was clean , the water gushed out. I looked over. Eddie wore a triumphant smile.

The timing couldn’t have been better. The shoppers pulled into the driveway. They were aghast. Lucy wanted to know how we had gotten up without a ladder.

Eddie was king.

Jack had to admit I’d scored.

The best part for me was yet to come. The memories return whenever I crank up a car window, which is rare these days, or clean the gutters as I did Sunday.

gutters, editorial, fun


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