Roofing in July

I wrote this post during my lunch hour today as I longingly gazed at the sun from my office window.

Back in the old days (the 80’s), I lived in a stereotypically suburban neighborhood consisting of blocks and blocks of cape cod houses with decent-sized lawns, little to no traffic, and sidewalks leading to your friends. Every street ended in “Hill Road.” My street was Elm Hill Road. There was also Fair Hill Road, Maple Hill Road, Blue Hill Road, etc. etc.  This section of town with all the “Hill Roads” (except for one street that annoyingly broke the “Hill Road” rule called Long Hill Drive- my aunt still lives there) was, and is still called “Maple Valley.”

Life in Maple Valley was safe, pleasant, and quiet. Our street was our world. We rarely ventured off of Elm Hill. Fair Hill, the next street over may as well have been Mars as far as we were concerned. God only knew what was going on over on Fair Hill. All we cared about was Elm Hill and the group of friends growing up around us.

My brother and I knew just about every family in every house on the block. Besides the one moody summer I spent watching television all day long (literally, all day long– until my mother would come home as the credits rolled after “General Hospital”), on days off we would wake up, hop onto our bikes, and see “who was out.”

Fun and games ensued: kickball, wiffle ball, tag, flashlight tag, t.v. tag, freeze tag (we liked to “tag”), SPUD, bike rides (rarely off the block), roller skating, whatever we were in the mood for. We took over the street, and on the rare occasion when a car would annoyingly want to use the road, we’d sing:  “Car, car, c-a-r, stick your head in a jelly jar.” If we heard that song we had to move all of our equipment and bikes and whatever we were doing to the side, let the stupid car pass (the nerve!) and then reset it all. Rain didn’t stop us either. When it rained we’d play board games in someone’s garage.

Seeing this beautiful day we are having in New Jersey, sunny and 80 degrees, reminds me of those days on Elm Hill being outside, playing, getting dirty, yelling and screaming and laughing, and then hearing the dreaded voices of parents calling us for dinner.

“We’re not even hungry,” we would say to each other, wanting to stay out and get that last drop of sunlight before being forced indoors. We’d ignore the parents until the streetlights came on, and then we’d head home through the dusk and the “lightning bugs” to our separate indoor worlds for the night.

I hate working inside on days like today. I love that I have a window in my office, but I hate looking outside and seeing the sun but not feeling the air (the window doesn’t open). It seems like a waste of life– a waste of a beautiful God-given day– to be stuck indoors on days like today. That depresses me, and feeling depressed on such a lovely day makes me feel guilty. Working can be such a drag.

On days like today I wish I was the girl who sat on the lawn chair on top of the highest hill of the log flume at Six Flags, watching the logs fall, enjoying the sun, drinking an iced tea. I wonder if she considers her job a “dream job” like I do.

On days when work gets me down and I long to be anywhere but in my office, I tell myself, “It’s better than roofing in July,” because I figure that’s a tough job. [Side note: Angela, with whom I work, has spent many a day debating and discussing with me whether or not our job is better than roofing in July. Prior to the inception of WOAW, she told me she thought “Roofing in July” sounded like a cool name for a blog. I therefore dedicate this post to her.]

Lately though, I’m thinking roofing in July maybe isn’t so bad (Angela agrees). If you stay hydrated and lob on the sunscreen, you can enjoy the sun and the heat and the breeze. Maybe it’s okay. Better than sitting inside at a desk.

I hope that wherever you are, whatever you are doing, and whatever the weather may be, that you get outside today and feel the air. Even if we can’t spend the day running around the street playing games with our friends, we can still try to get out, if only for a minute, to appreciate the beauty of spring.

I also hope that your job is better than roofing in July!

Have a nice night!

6 Comments

  1. I stand firm on my stance that roofing in July is preferable right now. Though I may be too far skewed toward thinking I’m Peter Gibbons (main character from Office Space) to weigh in rationally.

    I’d say we could go for walks at lunch but the fear of getting knifed outweighs the desire for natural Vitamin C.

    Also, already you know my solution to this problem: pursue your writing. Laptops can be operated from picnic benches.🙂

    p.s. What’s SPUD?

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  2. You know, you described my neighborhood to a “T”. I live in one of those Cape Code houses with the quiet street, everyone knows everyone and all the streets in our area are named after districts in England. It’s those days that are sunny and warm that bring out the lawnmowers, hedge trimmers, pavers, home reno companies and the like that make enjoying summer somewhat less enjoyable. But. I love it when it’s a quiet Sunday afternoon, laying out on the deck and having fun reading a paper or simply watching the clouds roll by. That makes our neighborhood to be an amazing place to live!

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  3. When I used to work outside the home (at a local medical center), my office was about the size of a walk in closet – no windows. Once, the office was brutally hot and I called maintenance. When the guy finally found me, tucked away, he said, “They actually PUT people in here?? You know this used to be a supply closet!”

    I always think of that “office” as a way to remind myself that at least I’m not stuck in there anymore. It is so hard to work on beautiful days. It always seems easier to work on a rainy day…

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