I feel a story comin’ on

Here’s what I learned when standing in the rafters above my bedroom.
Vapour barrier is not about closing the door to the bathroom after your husband has been in there, and a 24-inch centre is not the tasty contents of the world’s largest butter tart.
These invaluable life lessons seem only to be possible for me when I am led into dark and unknown territory in my house—like in the crawl space under the floor or above the ceiling.
I’m not afraid of heights or small, dark spaces provided both are free of all arachnid species—save daddy longlegs. Climbing ladders? Not afraid. A mouse or two across my path while inching toward the furnace buried beneath my house? I can hack it.
Even a garter snake I could manage. But not spiders. Not spiders.
Walking at a 45-degree angle towards the ground on a slanted roof, scary but do-able. And surprisingly, darting around the attic above my bedroom avoiding “Middle-earth” that would send me feet-first into Mordor, no sweat.
I also learned that houses are pathetically simple structures in the places you don’t normally spend much time, like in the ceiling. I am further aware that 400 sq. ft of old insulation cannot be removed from the attic space above my bedroom and piled in my bathroom.
That was my original, know-it-all plan when Pete and I were forced to investigate the possibility of wet insulation above us. The good guys at my new favourite home building store said “take it out and dry it out and put it back.”
It was at that moment that I realized the benefits of having a). a full, dry basement and b). a heated garage. We lack both.
As it turned out, the old insulation was largely dry—although I now know how many batts I can pile in the bathtub before they fall over. What stinks is having to haul it all back up the ladder. Welcome to the “Itchy and Scratchy Show.”
Re-insulating the attic was a life-altering experience. No really, it was. I learned lots about team work, agility, and how good a beer tastes after four hours of monkey-work in a space shorter than I am.
And you cannot open a new bag of insulation by cutting it around the middle. Oops, sorry honey, my mistake.
But perhaps the defining moment in the whole insulation experience was about halfway through the afternoon event when, from the far corner of the attic while flattening his knee caps on a wooden board and reaching for a spot he just couldn’t seem to get to, Pete said, “I think I feel a story comin’ on.”
I guess he reads the paper.

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