Tim assigns my chores in the morning. After I moved the latest pile of green logs to the woodpile and helped to jack up the sagging cabin, I was to sweep the pine needles off the roof. “Are you okay with heights?” he asked. Fine, I lied.
I managed to get up the ladder. Then I stopped. The pine needles were slippery. I sat on the ridge and pushed the broom six inches, then yelped as the duff slid off. Tim took pity on my scaredy-cat antics and followed me up. It was fine, he showed me, not pitched steeply at all, and once I cleared a path through the pine needles, the roof-tiles were nicely grippy. Then he stepped back onto the extensible ladder, which slid right to the edge of the slick deck. He hung on to the roof with one hand and held a corner of the ladder in the other. I had to wiggle off my safe perch to reach out and retrieve the ladder. He got down safely, and the shock treatment had me fatalistically strolling across the roof for the rest of the afternoon.