Dumb and dormer or the age of the mea culpa

“…our impulses are too strong for our judgement sometimes”
Thomas Hardy

DSCN8418 2

Should a soon to be 55 year old woman climb out of the dormer windows in order to scrub the mildew off the trim and gutters?
Don’t answer that. . .not yet.

Trees around a house can be a messy affair.
There is the annual profusion of dropped leaves or pine straw.
There are the mishaps of falling limbs and branches during storms and ice.
Then there is the dampness which hides in the shadows causing havoc to roofs, gutters, trim and paint as the moisture never dries—plus trees have a tendency of sloughing off “stuff.”

After cutting down our trees a couple of weeks ago, the ugly mildew around the windows and gutters, which I had not noticed prior to the cutting, now taunts me from above.
I have a couple of options:
A. I can clamor around on ladders, precariously holding aloft a pressure washer hose, getting soaked in the process during this nippy time of year, possibly knocking off some integral piece to the house, say the shingles, and finally slipping off said ladder. . .
B. Let my husband do the above as I hold the ladder, receiving the full brunt of roof run off and worrying that he’ll fall off the ladder, on me.
C. pay a fortune trying to find someone who does this sort of thing professionally.
D. climb out the windows and scrub the sides myself, worrying about the gutters later.

Hummmmmmm. . .

I announced that I was going to “clean” windows one morning recently as my husband was leaving for work.
“What do you mean clean windows? he asks.
“As in the dormers and all that mildew. I’m going to open the windows and hang out as far as I can reach and then scrub.”
“Well whatever you do, don’t you dare try getting out on that roof” this said on his way out the door.

Hummmmmmm. . .

Opening the windows, spying my mess, I begin scrubbing everything within arm’s reach.
Hummmm, the roof is a bit slanted but it doesn’t look all that steep. . . .
Maybe if I just climb out while holding onto the window frame with one hand. . .

Hummmm. . .
Rope.
Where’s a rope?
I could tie the rope to. . .the bed? A doorknob?

Hummmm. . .

The roof was beckoning and I was wanting to answer.

Two little me’s perch on my shoulders.
One little me reminds me of my husband’s last words as he left for work.
The other little me asks “what does he know?!”
The first little me brings up my broken ankle and the never repaired torn ACL
The other little me says “you’ve got this”
The first little me reminds me of my birthday this week, as in turning 55 then queries “what about the osteoporosis?
The second little me say’s “you’re fine. you’re as young as you feel. it’s not like you’d fall very far”
The first little me reminds me that it is a two story drop and “whereas there may be bushes down below, there is also cement.”
The other little me tells me to “grab the gutters on the way down, you’ll be fine. . .”

Hummmmm. . .

Adventuresome and Daring
or
Hard-headed and Impetuous.

Fool hardy and Tempting
plus
Reckless and Impulsive

Impulsive behavior, with the often very public apology or acknowledgement of poor decisions, has become all too common in our culture–
I call it the age of the mea culpa.

Everyone from entertainers to politicians, to news personnel, to athletes, to law enforcement officers, military personnel, musicians on down to your average everyday person–everyone seems to adhere to the latest trend of — Act first, think later.

Public, as well as private, apologies abound. Turn on the television or flip through any newspaper and someone is apologizing for some indiscretion or egregious action.
I often think the tide of apologies sadly stems from the mindset of having simply gotten caught and therefore an apology must follow.
I don’t know if we have grown more bold, more greedy, more self centered, more daring,
but self control appears to have been thrown out as the proverbial baby with the bath water.

Sadly it appears we have forgotten. . .
Forgotten that our God is a God of control and order, yet not a controlling God–there is indeed a difference!
He is not a god who condones the uncontrollable self absorption of a willy nilly gobbling up whatever comes down the pike people. The mindset and philosophy of today’s society appears to be ‘if I see it, I want it, and I’ll take it or do it”—-and it doesn’t matter what the “it” is—be it food, clothes, sex, drugs, people, money, etc. and to heck with the consequences.

We (as in the human race) were once given regulations, laws, commandments if you will, as to how we should live—laws which would make things much easier and simpler if we chose to abide by the “rules.” If not, then there are the inevitable consequences.

But somewhere along the lines we grew selfish, we grew impatient, we grew egotistical, we grew grossly independent, we grew desensitized, we grew hungry for things and experiences which would hopefully satiate the growing need within our inner core. Our psyches were / are in need of a deep “fix” of sorts and we are desperate to ease the ache. Somewhere along the line we grew puffed up with self and of our own sense of self importance which trumped the empathy required of living on a planet full of other people in need.

The roof was calling, self control was lacking and the sense of adventure coupled with the anticipated sense of accomplishment of having tackled a major chore all on my own glistened in the very bucket of cleaning solution I held in my hand.

But my husband said “don’t” for a reason.
It doesn’t matter that I’m an independent modern sort of freethinking woman.
My husband said “don’t.”
I could easily be hard headed and fool hearty, knowing that I’m old enough to make my own decisions and choices, selfishly disregarding how my actions could negatively impact those around me.
I could be impulsive, act now, go for it, shrugging off the potential for danger thinking, so what I fall off and break my neck. . .
I could be brave tackling a problem and perhaps save us from having to hire someone.
or
I could let better judgement prevail.
I could acquiesce to my husband as a Christian wife, who does look to her husband as the head of the household.
I could wait until I had help and not feel as if I had to prove my independence to say, the squirrels.

So rest assured this very soon to be 55 year old woman yielded to the better of the two mini mes— opting not to climb out onto the roof. Reminding myself of that very freethinking independent southern woman, Scarlett O’Hara, who so famously quipped, “I’ll think about that tomorrow for tomorrow is another day, fiddlededee.”

They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

That, however, is not the way of life you learned—when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4:18-24

7 comments on “Dumb and dormer or the age of the mea culpa

  1. Lynda says:

    Julie, I would like to think of your decision as common sense rather than obedience to your spouse. It would never be wise to climb out on the roof when you are the only one around even if you were 30 years old. I have to admit that living alone I have to make that type of decision on my own and I am much more cautious since I fell off the kitchen counter onto the ceramic floor a couple of years ago. I was fortunate not to break any bones but I hit one of the cupboard doors and cracked it – had to pay someone to fix it! The things we do impetuously. Have a wonderful day and forget about the mildew for now!

    • Hi Lynda–I suppose my point was that I am not often that oh so dutiful Christian wife who acquiesces to my husband as he is not always that dutiful Christian leader of the home 😉 ode to living in a fallen world 🙂
      Like you, I am most often the one here alone to get things done–Gregory works 24/ 7—so if it’s to get done, I’m the doer—just as I was in the classroom—it was not uncommon to find “cookie”, donning heels, traversing across counter tops in search of some elusive supply on a tip top shelf or plodding across desk tops in order to shut blinds—I’ve always been a doer and very independent in that sort of thing—but my point was maybe that perhaps the independent spirit mixes more too often with the fool hearty—we tend to disregard sage warnings or advice or boundaries as we’ve grown accustom to seeing something and going after it regardless of consequence or the feelings of others—or in my case, the safety of self in an attempt that by George, I’ll do as I please, how I please and when I please. . .some times, more times than not, we should think of other first and the possible consequences of our actions rather than scramble for some lame apology afterwards—
      so I’ve foregone the mildew and I’ve moved to the shrubbery and a few remaining trees which need some good pruning and limb removal—now where did I put that saw and ladder 😉
      lots of love—climbing cookie

      • Lynda says:

        Oh Julie, I can just imagine what you are up to now. I think we both have quite the independent streak. My dear spiritual director has often advised that i need to be less independent and be willing to ask others for help. I don’t know if that is in my DNA. Just be careful. 🙂

      • willing to ask for help eh—what a marvelous concept—perhaps something I should consider 🙂 HA
        and fear not, I am now sore, but nothing is broken and all shrubs and limbs cleaned and pruned 🙂
        Blessing my independent little friend 🙂

  2. Jenna Dee says:

    I was hoping you’d take the chance and listen to the other ‘me’ by typing a rope around your waist and attaching it to the bedpost. 🙂 But in the end who really cares if the roof is clean?

  3. Thank goodness, for whatever reason, you opted NOT to do that. I heard a nurse say once that nobody over 40 had any business climbing on a ladder for any reason. Although, I did that longer than that, I haven’t for some time and certainly not when no one else is around.
    As far as the expense of hiring someone, maybe you should consider the expense and time consumption it would cold if you should fall and hurt youself. You made a very wise decision missy. Love and hugs, N 🙂

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