Thursday, May 7, 2009

Gutter Maintenance...

So I stayed up way too late last night talking to a friend I hadn't talked to in ages and showing him just how not well I can play the jaw harp. We finally managed to say goodnight to each other at 11:30 pm, parting with jokes about not getting washed away before we got a chance to see each other, what with all the rain we've been having. I woke up 45 minutes later to the steady drumming of water on the kitchens air conditioning unit, which is directly above the outside basement stairwell. I was instantly overwhelmed by a sense of imminent doom.

Leaping off the couch (yes, I'm sleeping on the couch, which is a long story) I ran downstairs. Sure enough, water was SPEWING in around the basement door, rapidly gaining ground and threatening all of the 'stuff' that lives down there with the camel crickets. Pounding back up the stairs, I woke my parents (yes, I live with my parents. It's cheap, and convenient, and besides that I happen to love them and get along with them) and then ran around the kitchen trying to see outside and flipping lights on pointlessly. Mom and Dad dashed downstairs, commenced with cussing and exclaiming and Dad proceded to jerk the laundry room door open to look for the wet/dry vac. Problem was, that the alarm system was still engaged. It immediately began threatening a missile drop, so I bolted for the key pad and got there about three seconds too late. The alarm began screaming. So dad came thundering up the stairs to halt that crisis while I went back downstairs just long enough to point out that the wet/dry vac was one of the things that Mom and Dad had been jumping back and forth over to get into the laundry room. Then while they addressed the flooding floor, I went outside and hauled a ladder out in the slashing rain and climbed up to clean out the gutters, which were jammed full of maple helicopters and last years leaves. At 1 am all this was going on.

My point? Clean you're gutters people! And I don't just mean the ones on your house. I, at least, find that periodically, my mind starts to get clogged with various ideas for books or short stories or even oddball things like screenplays, which I will likely never write. Usually, I try to write an idea down immediately, while it's fresh, just so it's there to go back and look at. But sometimes, ideas don't get written down. And they start piling up. This is one of those times, and for the last few days, I've been scrapping things together and struggling because while I'm moved to work on some large things that need my attention, I'm not able to dig my way through all the ideas for other things that I've never yet put down on paper. You'll get thousands of ideas over your career and only some of them will ever turn into a book, only a few of those a book that will see publishing glory. But that doesn't mean that all those thousands of ideas are crap either. Every idea can teach you something, and has the potential to get you to see things differently, or explore something you've never had an interest in before. But if you start ignoring those ideas, they'll start piling up, and eventually, they'll clog the gutters of your brain. And then you'll end up like me, running about in the middle of the night soaking wet and hanging off a ladder trying to get things in working order again. So keep your gutters clean. Write down all those random ideas and who knows, maybe your crowning achievement will be floating around in amongst the maple helicopters, just waiting to be plucked out, polished up and sent out into the world!


  1. I used to absolutely LOVE those helicopters when I was a kid! Blows that you had to be out in the pouring rain cleaning them out of the gutters, though. Hopefully a total crisis was averted by all that hard work. And if I could live cheaply on mom or dad's couch for a time, I would be all about it.
    I am Ms Forgetful. I have lists and notes on just about every surface in my bedroom/writing room/office. I absolutely have to write my ideas down as they come to me or else they are gone in a heartbeat. Not looking good for the alzheimer's outcome, I am almost positive. But, I have "attempted" to get those ideas organized. By this I mean I have notebooks sectioned off for each different story or idea and various folders and envelopes piled here and there. So, not really very organized at all, but I do try to keep them separated from eachother so as not to confuse myself later on. I cant finish one idea, but I sure as hell have a million others flooding my brain!! Anyway...good luck on the gutter cleanup.

  2. I really enjoyed your writing here, but I didn't get the full point of what you were saying until you waxed metaphoric about cleaning gutters. Excellent point : ), and one that is easily forgotten. Thanks for the reminder : ) : ) : )