Friday Frivolity: Eaves-trough Cleaning

No more eaves-trough cleaning for me.  Let me restate that.  No more gutter cleaning for me—that’s for the folks who don’t live in Michigan.  Seems that the Canadian influence of “eaves-trough” is most prevalent in “old Michiganders”

I’m not sure why gutter is so commonly used as the term for the TROUGH, generally attached to the EAVES of a house, intended to convey water.  Granted, the gutter at the curb does convey water, but it is a much larger structure.  Sufficiently large enough for a child’s butt and outstretched legs to create a reservoir during a summer rain.

As a child, I would often ask mom if I could go out and play in the gutter.  She knew full well that I was NOT asking her to let me go up on the roof.  Though admittedly there were times I did play on the roof.  However, on those occasions I did not think it advisable to seek permission.

Without such clear definitions of gutter and eaves-trough in our home, the rain would have subsided before my adolescent mind could find the right words to convince mom I didn’t need a ladder to play in the gutter.  I’m also grateful that my mom did not require a verbose convincing oratory.  She just said get your swimsuit on and I’ll get an umbrella.  Because of my impish nature, mom would not have granted permission without her close watch.  Okay, so maybe she also watched for traffic on our infrequently used street.

As well as the inherent clarity of gutter between mom and I during a rain, there are other situations where the use of gutter is more clearly differentiated by context not Webster.

I’m a philatelist.  That is, I collect postage stamps.  When a philatelic catalogue details printing in the gutter it most certainly is not referencing a yellow curb.  In that context, it is the white space surrounding the stamps coming off of the press.  Likewise, the gutter for a book printer is between opposing pages, not where they think the literary work should be tossed.

Furthermore, even though the context is rain, there are gutters which are not man-made.  They are formed by erosion.  Also eroding is my bowling prowess.  Far too many of my balls end up in the gutter.  And one last context defined use of gutter is metaphoric location of some thought processing.

Well, now, that’s a lot of sidetracked thoughts.  I started this Friday Frivolity to tell you we had our Birch tree cut down…or was it cut up?  Regardless, it is gone and with it went the clogging masses of birch twigs, soggy seed cones and leaf dams.  I may mourn the fall beauty of our stately White Birch, but I’m not going to miss the all too frequent eaves-trough cleaning.

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