The House Next Door


The house next door is getting a new roof. After so many years of wear, it began to leak. I did not know how intricate the work of art between man and materials is in the job of receiving a new   roof, and I have learned to respect it greatly.

Many men have worked the past two weeks, weekends off, to finish the job. I have the best view out of my two-story bedroom window. Men working on the first phase made the most terrifying grinding, ripping, scrapping, wrenching noises as they worked to pull off the old, and tired roof tiles. The tiles were gone, but still they scraped and pulled. Then some slight banging began to secure the edges of the chimney.

The next task was to unload all of the tiling necessary to complete the roofing job. As these men transferred the tiles to the roof, they threw each tile to one man on the first level, who in turn threw the tile to the next level. Tiles passed hands for the rest of the afternoon and were placed in rows where they would be nailed into place beginning the very next day. Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang! Double bang, bang. Triple bang, bang, bang. Bang, bang, bang for the week and into the next. The roof stands newly shining in this morning’s sun.

The house next door had a big family. The four children were raised, and left to live their own lives. Their sweet, precious, kind and generous momma died and dad is left to live his life. Dad is a righteous, trustworthy, caring, kind person winning a Great Neighbor award.

The yard of the house next door is full of roses, fruit trees, and perch with a view that extends to the valley below all the way to the Santa Susanna Mountains. Now sparkling from the new roof are waves of reflective light and some twinkling going on.

God Bless all of you from the house next door and thank you for all of your kind attention these many years.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sheryl
    Nov 01, 2015 @ 19:47:27

    I enjoyed reading about the house next door, and the people who lived in it. It sounds like you’ve been fortunate, and have a good neighbor who cares for his home.


  2. Nuala ryan
    Nov 03, 2015 @ 20:56:44

    How fortunate you were to witness the art of laying tiles on a roof! You have a great sense of the spirituality of experiencing the extraordinary in the ordinary. All work is sacred. I don’t always live up to this ideal.
    Thank you, Sheila.


  3. Helen Baker
    Nov 06, 2015 @ 13:54:33

    I could not have said it better than Nuala! You have inspired me, Sheila!


  4. Sheila Clapkin
    Nov 06, 2015 @ 14:27:22

    Helen, Surely I could not have said anything better than Nuala!! You recognized that you are inspired.How delightful!!!
    Thank you, Helen.


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