The Cross House

Removing Scaffolding…Comedically


Today, Justin and I finished building the scaffolding
The scaffolding array.


I erected a five-level scaffolding so I could paint the Great North Wall.

LEVEL ONE: The porch.

LEVEL TWO: The roof of the porch.

LEVEL THREE: Just under the triple-arched windows (not yet erected in the image).

LEVEL FOUR: At the bottom of the main gable.

LEVEL FIVE: At the bottom of the tippy-top gable.



I had started painting at the top, and, as I finished each level, partially removed bits of scaffolding, but not fully.

Today though, having finished levels 3-5, I wanted to removed all the upper scaffolding. I enlisted Young Brian to help, and we set off.

Because I am a professional (I am!), I knew that before we climbed up to the third floor of the house, and out through the windows to the scaffolding, it would be prudent to assure that the battery on the drill was fully charged. So, before we ascended the stairs, I switched out the battery with the one in the charger in the kitchen.

Smart, right? I agree!

Brian and I climbed and climbed, crawled out the window, and onto the scaffolding on Level Four.

And the drill was dead dead dead.

I groaned.

It was clear that, for whatever reason, the battery in the charger had not, in fact, actually charged.

I looked at Brian. He looked at me. And, for a brief moment, I fantasized about a large winged bird swooping by and dropping a fully charged battery in my lap.

Then I recalled that a THIRD battery had been sitting next to the charger. Was it charged? But even if it was, it was three floor below.

Three floors.

Then I thought: I am fifty-nine. Brian is, what, twenty-four? Didn’t God invent young people for a reason?

Then I asked: “Brian, there is a third battery next to the charger. Would you mind…bringing it up here?”

Brian smiled, and replied, perfectly: “Sure.”

With deep gratitude, I handed him the dead battery.

Soon, Brian reappeared with the third battery. It worked!

For a while.

Then I asked: “Brian, the first battery should be charged a bit by now. Would you mind…bringing it up here?”

Brian smiled, and replied, perfectly: “Sure.”

With deep gratitude, I handed him the dead battery. “And can you place this in the charger?”

Soon, Brian reappeared with the first battery. It worked!

For a while.

Then I asked: “Brian, do you mind…”

Brian interrupted, smiled knowingly, and replied, perfectly: “Sure.”

With deep gratitude, I handed him the dead battery.

Soon, Brian reappeared with the other battery. It worked!

For a while.

Well, this went on four more times.

We managed to remove all the scaffolding I wanted, but if not for Young Brian I would have given up from the get go and headed with alacrity to the nearest air-conditioned bar.



While all this was going on, Brian suddenly shrieked. Alarmed, I looked up, only to see Brian hopping up and down on the scaffolding, and then darting into the open window.


A moment passed, and Brian stuck his head nervously out the window, eyes wide, and pointed. “A hornet! A HORNET! I am terrified of hornets!!!!!!!!”

I looked up, and there was, indeed, a hornet. There was, actually, two hornets, but I felt it best not to mention this.

So, while levels five and four and three were dismantled, Brian stayed inside, while I handed him bits of scaffolding. Each time Brian stuck his head out, fear was etched across his young face.

But he stayed. He stayed.


I have a unusual relationship with creatures, and believe that I can (don’t ask me how) communicate with them. So, I casually mentioned to the two hornets, via telepathy, that I intended no harm, and would be appreciative if they did not puncture my skin with their stingers.

The hornets, as it proved, were most obliging.

Because Brian was not quite available to help me with the huge, long, heavy lengths of 2x12s used as floor boards, I simply tossed them down to the ground. This proved oddly satisfying, although I did worry that they might bounce or something and shatter a stained-glass window. Or passerby.

In the end, Brian and I managed to remove the desired levels, and I was deeply deeply deeply grateful for his help.

Oh, and I am pleased to report that there were no injuries. From stingers, flying 2x12s, or heat-stroke.


After much ado, the results of our efforts.






13 Responses to Removing Scaffolding…Comedically

  1. Geez Ross! Are you going to let that whippersnapper Brian imply that 24 (24!!) is dinosaur aged? Good golly what era are you and I from at 59? I don’t think I want to know!

    BTW, I’ve been a “lurker” for a couple of years now and truly believe you are the reason the Cross House waited in depressing decay all those years with all those major issues without collapsing into the basement. The house knew you were coming. You may not have known it, but the house did.

    And all of us “lurkers” are so delighted that you are sharing your journey. Carry on faithful Cross House Knight Ross!!

  2. God bless the 20-somethings who are willing to help the 50-somethings (like myself) and who value the experience and wisdom that comes with greatly advanced age and years and years of experience which we are grateful to pass down.

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