I have a love-hate relationship with the gutters on my house.

I didn’t grow up living in a house with gutters, so I didn’t think much about them until I became a homeowner.

From a ground’s eye view, I love them. I love that I’m not getting sporadically (or frantically) dripped on by dirty water when I walk under the edge of my house during a rainstorm.

From the roof’s eye view, I love them. I love being on the roof. I might be part goat. If I weren’t afraid of tripping or tearing up my roof, I would happily gallivant around up there at every opportunity. The incline is perfect for laying on and the view into the trees is great.

But during the middle of a rainy day, when I’m inside, dry, and busy working or eating dinner or getting ready for bed, and the downspouts of the gutters get clogged and a waterfall gushes onto the concrete patio in front of the door (and it’s always in front of the door), threatening to flood the house, I think very unkind thoughts for those gutters.

The culprit is dirt and leaves. A LOT of dirt settles on the roof over the course of the summer. I blame myself and all the neighbors who mow half-dead lawns, creating dust clouds. I also blame those with blowers who spew the dirt from their patios into the breathing air for the rest of us.

I don’t blame the trees. I appreciate their shade and beauty and leaves.

I know there are fancy attachments for gutters called leaf guards, but that upgrade hasn’t been in our budget yet.

Which means that this weekend saw me up on the roof for the second time in as many weeks, cleaning out the gutters.

And, for the first time ever, raking the roof.

Between storms, wind had brought down several wheelbarrow’s worth of leaves, all that had settled on the roof. With the coming storm, I knew all those leaves would be rushing down to fill the gutters, and I didn’t relish the thought of midday (or midnight) soakings to clean gutters yet again in the middle of the next storm.

Letting the gutters get clogged and create waterfalls isn’t an option, either. I’m afraid the weight of the water will pull the gutters off the house, and before that happens, the water level outside our front door would rise enough to cause damage to the siding.

So there I was, raking the roof to get all the leaves down in advance.

Like a total and complete kook.

My husband, who has exactly zero goat in him and who believes his feet should always be on solid ground, supervised my safety from the walkway. While there, he snapped a picture of me and sent it to my mom.

Her response: “Only a Chastain would rake a roof.”

Considering I’ve never seen another person doing it, she might be right.