Proof on the Roof

Bumping and thumping and scrambling around noises woke me at 3:30 in the morning. My heart started bumping and thumping as well. Someone or something had got into my attic and threatened to break into my house from the ceiling, or so I feared. I slipped out of bed and in my barefeet padded into the hallway to listen more carefully. The sounds continued for several minutes, causing me to wonder in terror what I should do. Blind and living alone, I believed the time had come to get help. Reasoning that I pay taxes for this service, I dialed 911. The female dispatcher pleasantly and without complaint for such an insignificant request for someone to come to help me, kept me on the phone until the officer had arrived, looked around my yard and rung the doorbell. We chatted briefly through the screen door, because by then, the noises had gone away and my heart had returned to a normal beat. He asked me kindly if I wanted the squad, but I told him no thanks. He left, and of course then all thumps and bumps disappeared for the rest of the night.

But the whole noises-in-the-attic episode returned the next night, only this time at about 10:30, early enough for my screams directed at the hallway ceiling would probably only affect whatever or whoever had decided to play, fight, or mate in my attic. “Get off my roof!” I yelled with as much force as I could muster from the depth of my diaphragm. I repeated my big bad voice several times, and sure enough, the noises stopped. But I had had it.

My son Steve may not visit me regularly or call to chat, but when I call him with a request for help like this, he responds immediately. The next night, he climbed up onto the roof and discovered about 20 piles of skat, confirming my suspicion of uninvited night visitors. He walked around on the roof and noted that the torrential rains or some animal created an eight-inch hole in the roof, thus a convenient entry to the attic. Steve came in and pronounced, “you’ve got good news and bad news.” His interpretation of good news boiled down to my imagination’s not having run away with me. The bad news consisted of serious damage to my roof.

Now here comes the best part of this story. Steve stepped up and completely took over. He called my insurance company and actually talked to a real person. He called Varmint Guard and made an appointment for an inspection. I suspect and yes, hope, that he and the inspector can meet here, so he can show her what he has found.

I have had to deal with so many home-owner woes on my own, everything from fruit flies to water in the basement every time it rained to trees that needed trimming to overgrown arborvitae to dead grass to gutters that needed repair to a bowing retaining wall that threatens to collapse that on more than one occasion, I have considered moving to a condo. You can be sure those thoughts of condos danced in my dreams that second night of terrorizing guests in the attic, but I like my house, and I love my son , especially for coming through when I really need him. I feel taken care of at these times, and it feels good.

Stay tuned for the rest of the story in another post.

Mary Hiland

Author of “The Bumpy Road to Assisted Living A Daughter’s Memoir”

Available at, dldbooks, and NLS Talking Books DB 91261


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