….the solar panel installation, I mean.
They were installed and hooked up yesterday. The sun shone. Power was made and the batteries are a’ humming….yesterday was a good day, a very good day. Both Sal and I are exhausted but, get this: we did not do the hard part! In fact, we didn’t even do the ‘brain-work’. Mike did. Sal was the monkey and I was the gopher (monkeys are gophers on the roof).
Mike is a local guy, kinda. I met him up here when he was around 28. He helped us install the first solar panel rack/array. Volunteered. Mike knew his stuff from having done the ‘system’ for his parents a few miles away. After helping us, we encouraged him to ‘get in to the business’. He did. He is the principal shareholder in HORIZON ENERGY SYSTEMS now operating out of Victoria (but he will go anywhere in the province – single, young, energetic, strong-like-bull, honest. A great guy.) And, of course, I bought my next set of stuff from him — he’s dealer now! I expected to install it with only Sal’s help. As usual, bad planning…..
Mike insisted on being here. He insisted on helping. He kinda quietly insisted we accept the roles of monkey and gopher which we did. That was a very good decision. Things got done. They got done right. And nobody got hurt.
But we had a bit of tidying up to do today and that required one more foray onto the roof. Up went the monkey.
The chore was not overly difficult. We had to waterproof the roof-side connection where the wire ran down to the ‘power’ closet. That required some fittings, some rubber sheeting and some hose clamps. Basically an hour or so. The HARD part is that the roof is metal, obviously on a slant (about 30 degrees) and slippery. Sal was in a harness and roped off. She was safe.
It WAS uncomfortable. Awkward. A bit scary…..things kept sliding away from her….but she prevailed and everything was fine…she started to come down…..
“Throw that safety line over the peak of the roof. I’ll collect it. You still have the other line to hook onto and we can get that next.”
She threw the first line perfectly and down it came. She got to the valley she was going to descend to the ladder and took off the second line. She didn’t throw it far enough and it got hung up at the top of the roof. We had a schmozzle. A ‘knot’ was right where the panels are. And you can’t climb on panels. We needed a real monkey. A spider monkey.
After rigging a new safety line Sal could just access the tangled one and we got ‘er done. That took another half hour or so. When we were finished, we were both exhausted again……
Is it the work? No. Not really. Mike worked. A lot! And I ran around quite a bit yesterday steppin’ and fetchin’ for the roof-crew so physicality was involved but today, it was not so much ‘work’…but still…fatigue…why? Primarily because, when Sal is up a roof or on a tower or hanging from a tree (just a matter of time) I am nervous for her. Makes no difference if she is strapped and wrapped in all the safety gear, I am tense. I am like a squirrel on amphetamines, twitching. Looking everywhere. Nerves a’janglin’. And Sal feels much the same way although she thinks it’s worse for the one watching.
I think it is that way, too. Thank God that’s over!