Nearing Thanksgiving a storm was approaching. We decided the best course of action would be to get a tarp to cover our exposed walls and subfloor. I waited outside the Canadian Tire with Trotsky while Jeff ran inside for the tarp.
“I just got the biggest one I could find”, he said when he returned. I noticed he could barely lift this folded package.
“Well, I doubt we'll ever regret having a really big tarp.” I shrugged my shoulders.
The stupidity of these last words would soon haunt me.
That evening as the winds started to pick up, we toiled to cover the house with the largest piece of stiff, blue, fabric in the universe. The tarp could have covered at least three tiny houses.
We both started feeling the pressure as the air grew colder and the rain started in. I cringed and tried not to look as Jeff shimmied up onto the makeshift ridge beam to unhook the piece of tarp that was caught.
“Pull it tighter!” he shouted down at me.
My frozen finger tips were white as they clung to the blowing fabric, the wind trying to rip it out of my hands. Just then another side of the tarp swooped out of nowhere and slapped me across the face. The rain started coming faster and harder. I couldn't even see Jeff anymore as he was covered in a giant mound of raging blue while dangling dangerously off of our ladder.
After a struggle that involved a lot of swearing, a few tears, and a brush with death we were in the house trying to get warm and recover from the humbling experience.
We decided on watching a movie to take our minds off of the storm. Jeff insisted on pausing every 20 minutes to run outside and check on the house. The movie Interstellar... an already brutally long film, was stretched into an eternity. For those of you who haven't seen it, it deals with time dilation. One hour on another planet equates to 7 years on Earth (or something). I couldn't help but wonder how many years I may have lost in the wormhole of this movie.
Each time we paused we would go stand in the yard and fret over the way the tarp was ballooning up and then whipping down onto the house. But we would eventually tear ourselves away and head back to the dismal space travel that was happening in our living room.
On about the 4th or 5th time we pressed pause Jeff went out alone. I think it was nearly midnight at this point and I was half asleep on the couch when I heard Jeff's anxious voice yelling,
“It's happened! Oh shit, it's happened!”
I wasn't exactly sure what “it” was so I ran out to see.
I felt sick as I saw our tiny house frame had been yanked from its foundation and was teetering on the edge of the trailer. The tarp had turned into a hot air balloon of sorts and was attempting to carry our framing right over our neighbours fence! Jeff was on the trailer holding onto the walls when the whole thing lurched sideways as the jacks gave out.
“We have to get the tarp off!”
We fought and struggled with the tarp as the snow started coming down. Jeff ran into the garage to get a hammer and when he returned he jumped up onto the trailer (like he had done many times before)- this time his leap was accompanied by a sickening cracking sound. He stepped back to the ground holding his head.
We had just recently put in the horizontal blocking and Jeff had essentially jumped face first into a 2x4.
When he turned to look at me I could see the bridge of his nose had opened and blood was pouring down his face.
“Oh Jeff, you're bleeding quite a lot!”
Now, we had bigger fish to fry. We eventually got the tarp off and for a moment we just stood there holding onto the frame so that it wouldn't travel any further. We decided the best thing to do would be to pull it back to its place (or as close as we could get it under the circumstances) and then screw it in temporarily.
Once it was as secure as we could get it, we dragged the evil tarp into the yard then took our wet, cold, bloody, beaten selves inside and hoped for the best.
This was the first bit of weather we had experienced since we started. We had grown so protective of our project that the idea of rain and snow coming anywhere near it had led us to make a terrible decision.
Morale of the story is: a bit of rain isn't going to ruin your house, but an abominable, giant, jerk-face of a tarp might.