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Working in the Wee Hours

by Tara

"Tyler!" I hiss, roused in the middle of the night by an unmistakable plunk-plunk-plunking sound on our camper roof. "What is it?" he mumbles sleepily. "It's raining!" I reply, a touch of panic in my voice. We only tar-papered half the roof yesterday—if the sprinkles we're getting now turn into a downpour, the drywall we just installed could be destroyed by sun-up.

Tyler Affixing Tar Paper to Cottage Roof

Half awake, we throw off the covers and mobilize. It's pitch black, the clock on my phone reads 3AM. Tyler scurries up the ridge to the house, while I drive the truck around so we can use its headlights to illuminate the situation. It's not raining hard, but it's obvious we cannot leave our roof exposed any longer. Ominous clouds are rolling in overhead.

We briefly consider tarping the exposed side of the roof. Instead, we sigh and face the inevitable. The chill night air has woken us a little—if we put the tar paper on now, we won't have to worry about any of this again. As Tyler and I drag our scaffolding to the uncovered side of the roof, I offer a silent "thank you" to the Tara of yesterday, who cut the tar paper to length in advance.

With that job taken care of, I only need to run support for Tyler, handing up two-by-fours and rolls of tar paper when he needs them, fetching an early-morning breakfast, and generally try to be encouraging from terra firma.

Tyler Affixing Tar Paper to Cottage Roof at Night Tyler Affixing Tar Paper to Cottage Roof at Night Tyler Affixing Tar Paper to Cottage Roof at Night

By the time we're finished, a dull grey light has emerged from the darkness, and it's nearly 6AM. Tyler heads back down to the camper to catch up on sleep before the work day begins. Meanwhile, I clean up the mess we've made around the work site.

Tyler Affixing Tar Paper to Cottage Roof in the Early Morning

Upon waking for the second time this morning, we lay in bed for a bit, groggy and out of sorts, but relieved and happy. The roof is now safe, no matter what the weather, and our essential house work for the day is already finished.