I found myself in the gutter, but not of my own accord

Emmitt B. Feldner • forThe Review

This unseasonable winter weather is wreaking havoc with my ability to put off yard work.

Usually, by this time of year, if there was anything that didn’t get done in the yard, it was either buried under snow or frozen in place, where it would remain until the following spring.

All of which suits me just fine.

As you might guess, yard work is not one of my favorite pursuits and any way I can find to avoid or delay it is welcome.

So far this year, however, there hasn’t been enough snow or ice to make any difference – except what we’ve had to scrape off the car windshield a few mornings.

In fact, there’s plants that are blooming again and the grass is still green – though fortunately, not growing, or there’d be another yard chore I’d be facing that I’d usually be through with by now.

Not that I’m complaining about the weather, mind you.

Winter – as anyone who’s been reading this column for a while knows – is far from my favorite season of the year and the only place I like ice or snow is in my drink or a snow cone.

But there’s always a cloud for every silver lining and, in this case, it’s the fact that I can’t escape some outdoor jobs.

This past weekend had me taking care of one of those – cleaning out the gutters.

It hadn’t been that long since the last time I did it, at least to my mind.

After all, this time there wasn’t anything growing out of any of the gutters - yet.

The last time I cleaned the gutters, I had to take a saw up the ladder with me to chop down a few of the things that were growing out of the gutter.

Since there weren’t any growing things sticking their heads up over the top of the gutters, I didn’t think they needed cleaning yet, but the resident yard superintendent disagreed.

So I found myself on Sunday afternoon hauling the ladder out of the garage and bringing it around to the front of the house.

Since the Packers had played a Thursday night game that week, I couldn’t even duck out to watch the game.

I had already brought all the snow shovels out of the garage and put them on the front porch several weeks ago, hoping that might induce some frozen precipitation to save me from the rest of that yard work, but of course it didn’t work out that way.

Up to the top of the ladder I scampered with a big plastic bag ready to be filled with leaves, twigs, seeds, dirt and whatever.

Actually, scampered isn’t really an accurate description, as climbing ladders isn’t one of my favorite pursuits either – just one of many reasons, I guess, why I never became a firefighter.

I made my way up the ladder and set to work grubbing gunk out of the gutter and dumping it all in the bag.

Now, it was a nice balmy afternoon, warm enough that I only needed to wear a sweatshirt, but that was the air temperature.

I thought we had regular aluminum gutters on the house, but I didn’t realize that they are apparently thermal gutters as well.

At least, the water and the wet gunk in the gutter felt like it was only a few decimal places above the freezing point.

The rest of me stayed fairly warm, but my fingers were soon turning blue.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to clean a lot out of the gutters and, even better, I didn’t have to chop anything down, so I got it done pretty quickly – before my fingers turned into icicles.

Now I figure the gutters should be good at least until the next presidential inauguration or beyond – but then again, my opinion on the matter isn’t the one that counts.

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