A New Me

Abbie J. Taylor 010

Recently while my homemaker from the local senior center was cleaning, she found plaster falling from the ceiling near my kitchen door. Apparently, it had gotten wet. This could only mean one thing. My roof was leaking again.

Why didn’t I see this? Well, with my limited vision, I don’t see things unless they’re close to me. Although I walk by my kitchen door every day, it never occurred to me to look up.

When my homemaker pointed out the offending area, I saw it, and it looked awful. I could just reach it by standing on tiptoe, and when my finger touched the spot, more flecks of plaster went flying. Yuck!

My roof was replaced in 2008 when I bought the house, and I was assured it would last at least thirty years. It wasn’t even ten years old. I called the same roofer, and after taking a look, he reported that the material he used was only supposed to last ten years, and it was aging. Like me, I thought.

As long as I’m getting part of my roof replaced, why not have my me replaced? Maybe I could get a younger me who can see, a me who doesn’t recoil at the prospect of dealing with contractors and insurance bureaucrats, a me who doesn’t hate being around any kind of construction, a me who can drive and not rely on others to get me everywhere, especially in winter, a me with more confidence when walking in treacherous conditions and less fear of falling on ice, braking bones, and ending up in a nursing home.

When I suggested as much to a friend though, she pointed out that with better eyesight, I might not like the way the world looks. It also occurred to me that with no disability, I wouldn’t earn income from social security. To make car payments and support my writing habit, I’d have to go back to my forty-hour-a-week job conducting activities with nursing home residents who fell on ice and broke bones.

Although the other features of a new me would be nice, this investment will have to wait until I get the roof fixed. Apparently, although my homeowner’s insurance will cover fixing the plaster on my ceiling, it won’t cover the replacement of part of my roof unless the damage was a result of a storm. Hmm, maybe with a better me, I could get up on the roof and make it look like storm damage.


Note: After I wrote the above, the insurance adjuster came and said that a piece has fallen off the roof, so it’s definitely storm damage. Whether it’s the type of storm damage my policy covers remains to be seen.


Abbie Johnson Taylor is the author of a romance novel, two poetry collections, and a memoir. Her work has appeared in Labyrinth, Magnets and Ladders, and other publications. She lives in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, she cared for her late husband, totally blind and partially paralyzed by two strokes.


Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.



14 thoughts on “A New Me

  1. I think we all have things we wish were different about ourselves, things we would change with a magic wand. But like saying for you the world might not look so good, it helps to “see” things from a different direction, and find the blessings in the way things are for us. Hope your roof is “covered” in all ways!


  2. I’d be guessing that a heavy rain at some time helped to worsen the roof damage. Back in my younger Ohio days, a part of the ceiling in the living room began leaking after a drencher. It was a one-bedroom place in an apartment house, and so I telephoned the landlord. If I was a multi-billionaire who could buy high-tech cloning and brain-transplant technology, I’d be tempted. Lol. But such things don’t exist, so I got to live with what I got at this stage of my life — 65 years old.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cherley, I agree owning a home is a pain in the anatomy when it comes to making repairs, but the good news is you’re in control. When you rent, you often have to wait for the landlord to get around to fixing something, and some landlords aren’t very responsive.


  3. A good job at humor, with lessons for all.

    I do wish you well with the insurance. To be fair, I don’t like the way the industry has people over a barrel. Still, some people do get lucky and the company actually does what they are suppose to.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good luck with your repairs, Abbie. It sounds like the insurance is prompt with their settlement which is nice. I had an awful Christmas one year when one of my pipes got a miniscule hole. The sound of rushing water behind my wall was terrifying. They had to gut out the whole wall which led into my bathroom and laundry room. They they set up four huge blowdryers to dry it out. It was so excruciatingly loud and they stayed there for five days. Luckily, insurance covered all of it but what a huge headache! The plumber told me, “These pipes are old so it will happen again. It’s not a matter of if but when.” Ugh. So I feel for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You definitely have my sympathies, Abbie. We had to replace all of our roof slates etc last year, i.e. the main house and 2 flat roofed extensions. It cost us a fortune (my teaching pension savings gone in a blink) but when the roofers told us that most of the slates were probably the originals from when the house was built in the 1820s (yes I mean that) it didn’t seem so bad. Thankfully those 1820s builders built the roof trusses to last even longer since they didn’t need to be replaced. PHEW! Regarding the new you (or me) I suspect there are many things that would disappoint.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We all have things we would change, but changing them might make us a different person. You might not like that new person as much as I know you will like the new roof. Hope the insurance company comes through for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, S.J. I received the check from the insurance company this week and sent the contractor a 30% downpayment for materials. The ball’s in his court now. As a result of warmer weather, snow is melting rapidly, so maybe he’ll be able to start soon.


  7. I’m glad to hear some money for repairs has come your way, Abbie. Greg and I have been in our home for nearly 10 years now, and we hold our breath wondering when the furnace, roof, or some other major repair will be needed. Overhauling one’s home or one’s self is never an easy chore, as I, too, can attest — aging and changing can be toilsome. I’m glad, however, you’ve blessed many with your writing and singing — that’s certainly not something I’d change about you at all!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with a leaky roof, but glad the insurance company came through for you. I can sympathize. Years ago in a record-breaking rainstorm, my room leaked and water dripped onto the light bulb in an old chandelier. I realized it when I flipped the switch to ON and it started buzzing instead of lighting up. I turned off the electricity to the entire house and stayed with a neighbor for several days. I consider myself VERY fortunate–the ceiling remained intact, and the neighbor, my father’s cousin who was then in her eighties, was great fun. The roof needed to be replaced anyway. As for having myself replaced, I wish that were as easy as replacing the roof.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Kathy, the contractor called me this morning and told me they’ll be starting on the repair Monday and hope to be done by Tuesday. Then, I’ll have another outfit replace the plaster on the insid. I’ll be glad when all the construction is over.


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