Day 31 – Life Lessons in Gutters

Our rain gutters are severely clogged with pine needle debris as a result of pine trees (which have now been removed) along our driveway and home.  One year, they got so clogged and were so neglected that a lone little pine tree started growing in our gutter.  It was so sweet that I almost wanted to leave it there.

For years, my DH and I have had to scale the roof of our house cleaning out the gutters while our little offspring watched from the ground, and when they were able, they would take buckets of gutter gunk and empty them into compost receptacles.  From there, they moved to holder of the bottom of the step-ladder.  I like to think we appeared capable to them and knowledgeable in the ways of house maintenance; though, I’m sure they were really wondering when we’d be done.

This year, however, was different.  This year, my DH and I were the ones on the ground while our three teens scaled our roof cleaning out gutters.  To be honest, I felt a little useless…I was now holding the bottom of the ladder and emptying buckets into the compost.  Watching them work with energy and speed, I couldn’t help feel a pang of both pride and a little sadness as I realized (again) that my babies are growing up.

During their time on our roof, I had the opportunity to impart a few life lessons; though, I am sure they thought I was nagging about the roof.  With teens, life lessons have to intermingled with current reality admixed with humor.


Listen to your body.  If your body is telling you that a situation doesn’t feel right or you’re too close to the edge, listen.  Your subconscious can be very intuitive.

Take your time.  Speed is overrated.  Enjoy the journey even if it’s gutters because the view is amazing.

Learn from your mistakes.  Make mistakes.  Mistakes are learning in progress…just try not to make them on the edge of the roof.

Challenge yourself.  Push the limit on your ceiling…within the realms of a little common sense.

Don’t freak out your mom.  Actually do freak out mom.  Don’t let anyone place boundaries on what your abilities are, even me.  Besides, a little heart failure keeps me young.


Our roof time was bittersweet knowing that it won’t happen again for a while as the pine trees are now gone (teens are delighted), but no fear, my to do list is every growing…now what life lessons can be learned knee-deep in blackberry bramble….

Any life lessons to share?  I could always use more in my arsenal.


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