Long Golden Trusses

trusses 0119

Merry Trussmas! was the reaction around Gunnison yesterday.

I was at my Skype lunch when Lynn came in, very excited, with more video than still photos. (And you are all spared– I mean, miss out — on the seven-minute video of the presumably tanned and rested crane operator skillfully wrangling a truss into place over the garage. No wonder we waited for him! Whenever we figure out how to get this very large file from her phone to this computer, and presuming I can figure out how to add a video not from Youtube, perhaps we will offer it for viewing.)

But that’s as close as I got to the live action yesterday.

Later in the afternoon I saw Denai, who cuts Lynn’s hair and who lives north of our new house. “You got trusses!” she exulted. Kara, my business partner, was headed north to Mt. Crested Butte and sent a text: “Your trusses are going up!”

I was going to go see for myself, but I had already planned a jam-packed afternoon (which included paying our homeowners association dues — you can’t all lead the exciting life I do), and I didn’t make it that way.

On Wednesday I thought the next day would be Saturday, and all yesterday I assumed today would be Saturday, so I figured I would see for myself this morning. But today is only Friday (I think), so it’s likely my first official viewing will wait for a day.

Since 6 last night, we’ve been under a “weather alert” for a storm that’s either already been where you live or is coming your way, assuming you are anywhere in the continental U.S. And, right at 6, it started snowing, wetly, and it snowed and snowed and snowed — until 7:30 or so, by when there was a trace amount on the ground. It started again later, and around midnight there was perhaps two inches, if we’re being extremely generous. I haven’t looked this morning to give you our latest inundation, although I did notice the tree outside the bathroom window was blowing around.

[Okay, I just ran completely out of battery — at least half an hour before I usually start running low — and while my computer was “gathering information” in order to restart, it gave me a code if I needed to contact a support person, and that code strongly suggested that the video “ran out of oxygen.” I may have, too: I lost my entire last paragraph, and now can’t remember what I was saying.]

Yesterday, in the few moments when I remembered today was really a workday, I didn’t expect work to continue on our house. We are still under alert until 6 tonight, although every prediction I’ve seen is for snow to end by noon-ish.

Now, demoralized from the oxygen depletion of my post, I have taken a news break and relocated downstairs, where my scientific observations through the window show perhaps a cumulative total of three, possibly four, inches of snow, a light wafting of a flake or two, and wind. It doesn’t seem like wind and blowing snow, even if it’s a trace amount, are ideal conditions for roof work.

At Skype lunch yesterday, Matt, apparently a former truss fastener (I’m pretty darn sure that’s the technical job title — and how can you know someone for decades and not know this interesting factoid about his life?), regaled Fred and I with all the ways to cause injury to one’s self while working up high with trusses swinging your way off the boom of a crane. (Our particular crane’s name is Ted, according to eyewitness Lynn, who read it on the boom: Ted the Crane.)

The method of harm that unnerved me the most would be forgetting that you’re working up high and just stepping backward or forward onto air. And then, of course, the drop to the ground.

While I’ve always had a healthy respect for heights, I don’t have any particular fear of them. Or, I guess I should say, my fear was in direct relation to how secure I feel at elevation.

I spent a lot of my college time backstage in the theatre building, and my favorite thing to do was to climb the ladder to high above the stage, where the support was nothing but a series of loose planks. One of my fellow students (Barkley? That seems like an odd choice, but that’s what’s coming to mind), who was much taller and heavier than me, hated going up there because the boards would bow under his weight. But, at all of 120 pounds, I just skittered across them, peering down between them at the stage floor 30 feet below. But I didn’t particularly enjoy getting in the electric lift to go half that high, because you usually had to lean a bit over the rail, and the entire bucket was on one side of all the rest of the mechanism, so it wobbled precariously like it was going to tip over (with you in it) at any moment.

Roofs never used to bother me, and then I started hearing about a lot of people falling off them. A local man died doing that (the story I heard, true or not, was that he’d gone up there to adjust the television antenna during a Broncos game), and family friend Marty Johnson broke both his heels. That misery was compounded because when he got to the emergency room, all personnel had their attention focused on a more urgent emergency, and no one was available to even prescribe pain meds for hours.

I was going to say I went up on the roof last year for snow removal, but that would be completely wrong, because we had no snow. So it must have been two years ago. And I wouldn’t venture onto the highest south-facing pitch, because it was warm and it seemed likely the snow could give way any minute. And that would be a bad drop: not only is it probably 25 feet to the ground, there’s a row of bushes and the neighboring fence to catch your fall.

Okay, two phone calls, two partial driveways (I’m going to guess closer to 6 inches now), a couple of neighbors, crises at work . . .

I doubt there’s any cohesion to this entry, but I’m not wasting time proofreading. You get what you get, or the house might be completely built by the time we expect me to make sense of today’s entry. In Lynn’s photojournalistic effort above, she waded in knee-deep snow to show you the south (what I call the back) end of the house, still minus the Good Room wall with all the windows. But there are some trusses (we’ll discuss over-trusses and double-trussing another day), and in the background, bringing this to us, Ted the Crane.

Merry Trussmas!

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