Friday, July 02, 2010

Rain on a tin roof is wonderful to hear

Rain on a tin roof is Mother Nature's lullaby. I know of no better sleep aid that is not addictive, though I know from experience, that soothing whisper is habit forming.

The earliest memory I have of rain on a tin roof was when I was a kid in Sloss Hollow.

It was early summer and we'd just finished picking a mess of peas from the garden when a shower came up suddenly.

I sat out on the front porch of our old camp house with mama and the other kids shelling purple hull peas.

After shelling duties, my purple fingers looked like I'd whacked them with a hammer. As the rain droned on, I curled up on the porch swing and took a nap.

The sound of the rain on our tin roof sounded, I later discovered, like ocean waves washing up on a rocky beach.

We moved out of the old home into a new Jim Walter house that we helped build. But it had one of those new fangled shingled roofs and you could barely hear the rain.

After Jilda and I married in 1974, we lived in a 12' x 60' mobile home. It was like living in a tin can, but I have to admit, it was nice when it rained. It wasn't nearly as good when the rain was accompanied by bad clouds because when the wind blew, that trailer swayed like a drunk at closing time.

We moved in our current home in December of 1983 and a metal roof was not an option at that time.

But ever since then, we've both longed for a tin roof on our house. In fact, when I looked back at my list of goals over the past twenty years, a tin roof was always on that list.

The original roof on our house has served us well, but with all the rain and storms last month, we saw some water spots appear and we knew the end was near for those old shingles.

I got up on the roof and looked around but I couldn't find where the water was coming from.

I knew we'd probably have to knock off a liquor store to afford a new roof, but there was no getting around the fact that it had to be replaced.

We asked several of our metal roofed friends who installed their roofs. Several of them used a guy named Billy Boshell.

I gave him a call and he came up a day or so later, looked the job over and gave me a price. It wasn't as bad as I feared.

When I asked when he could get started, he said "what about this weekend?" We shook hands and the deal was done.

Early on Saturday, he showed up with his crew and they were through just after lunch.

On Saturday afternoon, Jilda and I poured ourselves a glass of sweet tea, pulled up lawn chairs in the back yard, and sat until dusk admiring our new roof.

Apparently a high pressure area has settled over Empire, Alabama because we haven't even had heavy dew since we got the new roof, much less a drop of rain.

The weatherman is forecasting rain this weekend, we can't wait!


  1. I'm thinking of getting a metal roof. The building where I live has had 2 roof replacements due to wind in 20 years. There was a wind storm in 2008 and shingles flew about like confetti. The insurance guys came and paid me to have half of it re-shingled, but I didn't. I've no leaks and the metal roof is becoming. I was thinking, metal and then solar panels over that.

    First memory of metal roof in rain was the brood house where I grew up. I used to lie on an old feed sack on the floor and all the little chickies would be around. Rain was fun and mom would have to come get me after the storm.

  2. We had some hail damage a year ago, and the insurance company paid for a new roof. I have dreamed of having a tin roof for a few years, also thinking it was a blessed sound in the rain. However, the cost here in Oklahoma is prohibitive--almost twice the cost of a 50 year comp shingle, so we didn't get it this time. My dream home, however, will have a tin roof, water catchment system and some bamboo floors.

    I am really enjoying your blog. :) You have such a wonderful way with words.

  3. Thanks for your kind words TM.
    We love the roof. It seems to really fit out little house.
    Our floors are spruce shelving. We alternated between 6 inches wide and 12 inches wide.
    We put stain on them but not varnish and now that they are about ten years old, it's beginning to look like barn wood.


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