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After two days of sun so bright and temperatures reaching 80F, we were hit with a forty degree drop and heavy rain. Rain so drunken that at 8:30pm when I was dozing in front of the television in snowflake flannel pajamas watching Derek Jacobi in LAST TANGO IN HALIFAX, the house mates woke me. "Mom, our room is leaking from the doorway ceiling!"


My head-of-household and motherly protective instincts kicked in. I assessed the dripping where someone had placed a towel on the floor. Use a pot or bucket instead; let's check upstairs. Knowing the previous source, I checked the room above but saw no leakage although even if I had, the way to the spot was blocked by boxes and chairs, a sewing machine. Stuff to be dealt with when I'm ready.


One son had dragged a rickety old ladder I thought had been taken to the dump or burned in our back yard, was climbing up to push open the attic crawl space where the real root of the problem was, an architectural nightmare from the addition put on in the late 1990s, tarred and patched outside numerous times to temporary effect. Multiple exclamations interrupted by me asking, What is wet? How bad is it? Do you need garbage bags? Is the insulation soaked?


My son turns, saying a garbage bag is a good idea but he is holding out one finger on which is a smallish white object that he happily announces is a moth. The look on his face is of such wonder and delight I feel slightly bad for teasing him about his sweat pants slipping down and the stated weight limit on the ladder being 200 lbs. It's only a 6 foot ladder, paint splattered and unsafe, same height as he, who proclaims we need a new roof and wobbles down as the rest of us hold the ladder.


I write on the calendar to call homeowners' insurance the next morning. Everyone goes back to whatever they were doing. I turn off the TV, clean up the kitchen, and head to sleep, thankful for my sons, the girlfriend, the old ladder, but most of all for the little white moth, the likes of which I've never seen before and I've seen many moths in my life. Despite storm windows, the rain falls even harder all night and I love the sound.

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