One of my favorite moments of housework landed me sloped on a ladder, clinging to the house in hopes of stilling my shaking limbs. After witnessing winter’s fury, we decided to wrap the entire house in an insulating foam board. This after we squandered weekends chipping clapboard siding that saw centuries turn.
The foam had a silver paper on the outside, similar to aluminum foil. By now it was summer and I never gave the silver paper a thought. The sun reflected off the paper turning my face into a beefsteak tomato – deep fried with blistering skin.
I, the tomato, stood on the ladder clinging to the foam covered, very reflective wall like I was a cat hanging by her claws. I held boards, John zipped them to the wall.
Now Maine is a funny place in the summer. On a Thursday, a slumbering town of 20,000 people who spend their winters in hibernation, can suddenly grow to 40,000 people on a warm sunny Saturday morning. It’s the weekend invasion. For every one Maine license plate, you see three Massachusetts plates, two Quebec plates, and one New York plate. Streets that see more snow plows than cars suddenly fill with joggers, bike riders, and can you believe, an occassional blond roller-blader possibly misplaced from the West Coast. After all, Maine is ‘Vacationland’. Very few are brave enough to winter January, February, and March.
For two seasons I looked at summer people with contempt. While I worked my muscles into knots, they enjoyed vacations.
I will never forget one very tanned summer guy. He jogged past our house each morning, looking at us with a mix of amusement and disbelief. Very few realized such foolish determination still existed in America’s youth.
On the day my faced burned to a beefsteak, he jogged up to our front stoop and stood for a moment jogging in place. After a once-over glance, he said, “Looks good. Like a baked potato!” And he jogged off.