Posted by: Terry | August 8, 2015

Dave, an example of the work of God

Backyard in MayFifteen years ago we bought the worst house on the block. The plan was to keep if for three years, do some remodeling, then to sell it for a huge profit and move back to Edmonds. Along the way we decided to stay.

The house had all the charm of the ‘70s and a palate of colors to match: Avocado Green, Harvest Gold, and Pink. They called it Rose, but it was pink. Pink carpet, pink walls, and pink places I have forgotten about. Our first priorities were mostly color changing and up-to-dating driven.

We live in Lynnwood, historically the disgraced sibling to the more dignified Edmonds. Being in the Northwest part of the USA, on the West side of the Cascade Range of mountains, and in what meteorologists call The Convergent Zone, it rains here. Not as many inches per year as Atlanta or Philadelphia, and a lot less than Ketchikan, Alaska, or Hilo, Hawaii, but we do have a reputation for rain.

Yet with all that rain we do not have gutters, at least not the metal U-shaped type that hang on the edge of the roof most common in this part of the world, known as “K” gutters (all explanations of why “K” elude me) or hanging gutters. We have what are known variously as Yankee, hidden, or integral gutters. Where most roofs would end and the gutters would then hang, we have a 2×8 that goes up vertically, thus forming a “V” that catches the rain, with downspouts on each corner of the house.

These gutters are an example of aesthetics trumping function. I have pointed out that it rains here, and we have lots of trees. Deciduous trees shed leaves and various seedpods; evergreens shed needles and seeds, all of which efficiently clog up gutters and downspouts.

When “K” gutters clog the water just nicely rolls over the edge creating mini-waterfalls along the side of the house, more irritating than destructive. When our gutters get clogged and the water backs up it fills the roof-formed gutter, works its way under the shingles and in the right conditions runs down the inside walls of the house, not a good place for water to go.

Thus in the fall it is a weekly chore to climb on the roof with a snow shovel. Thankfully my snow shovel has never seen snow, we get little of that here, but it works perfectly to slide along the edge of the roof scooping up the leaves and needles. Though we give close attention to keeping the gutters clean there have been occasions when they were clogged and it rained, requiring a climb on the roof in the rain, and yes even in the dark.

This happened one night some years ago when I was in the Los Angeles airport, Tricia called to tell me the gutters were clogged and water was running down the wall, what to do? Since then she has become quite the roof climber and would just handle it herself, but this was then. So what do you do when you are 1200 miles away from a problem that needs attention now? You call Dave.

Dave is a one of those people who is always there when you need anything, and one of the most able people there is to handle a crisis. It must have something to do with being an engineer and project manger.

Dave left his nice warm, and dry, home, drove over to ours, figured out from my vague instructions how I had a ladder setup to make access to the roof easy, then he climbed on the roof and cleaned our gutters in the dark rain. That is a friend! But that is just who Dave is.

When Tricia and I got married, 28 years ago, we had a pre-nuptial agreement: She would do the gardening and I would clean the toilets. Yard-work chores as a child left me with a negative association about them. We voided that agreement many years ago, today our yard is our sanctuary, but sadly in the early years my efforts on home maintenance were minimal.

Dave is compulsive about his weekly chores, the cars get washed, even in the rain, the grass is cut and edged, the leaves blown, toilets cleaned, floors mopped, etc. My good-natured ribbing about that eventually gave way to being inspired to do more myself. His example motivated me to change. I will never wash the car in the rain, and there is little doubt that he will always be more detailed than I am, yet I am different today because of Dave.

God teaches us most often through other people. At least 40-50% of the Bible is narrative and history; stories of people’s lives. The Psalms are poems expressing the fears, frustrations, joys and blessings of real people. We learn about God by reflecting on how he deals with others in life situations. We learn how we should live by exposure to those who God brings into our life.

I need Dave in my life, and I trust that along the way I have motivated Dave in his faith in God and how he lives, that is how it should work. “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”

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Responses

  1. A delight to read. And very true, how we learn from other people.


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