Up On the Rooftop

October 22, 2010 | 21 comments

Oldest daughter — the one who looks like me — jabs a finger at the second-story window of my childhood home.

Eyes big, she begs: “Pleeeeeeease? Can we?”

She wants to go on the roof. Wants to push out the screen from the wood frame. Wants to skitter along the shingled angle, sit in the corner up high — where her mama used to hide in the shelter of tall evergreen spires.

She wants to lean against the cool north wall of a 110-year-old house. And there, she would devour words and watch clouds morph into sky-pictures and feel autumn breeze, scented pine.

Because this is what her mama did.

She waits, wonders: Would Mom dare do such a thing now, 30 years later? This mama who scolds of danger, who won’t put the car in drive until seatbelts are all clicked? This mom who still keeps plastic plugs in electrical outlets even though there’s no toddlers in the house?

I giggle, clap hands together, race to whisper our rooftop secret to sisters and niece. And we’re all eight-years-old again, and we don’t tell our Mom scrubbing pots down in the kitchen, because we think she just might worry.

Yes, yes, we would dare.

May your day be filled with spontaneous joy! (But be sure to wear your seatbelt. ~smile~)

“… Then you’ll be free to enjoy God!
Oh, I’ll make you ride high and soar above it all.”

— Isaiah 58:14 (The Message)


P.S. — What goes up, must come down. We climbed out through a second-story window, but we couldn’t get the screen back in from the inside. After getting the girls safely back inside, I had to scamper down the tree.

by | October 22, 2010 | 21 comments


  1. elaine @ peace for the journey

    The view is almost always better from the top; the climbing down? A bit more skewed, but I imagine worth the moment shared.

    Be blessed this weekend. Be brave as well.


  2. Jeanne Damoff

    What a fabulous house for a dreamer! I'm going to a high school reunion this weekend, and I'm trying very hard to remind myself that I'm no longer a teenager and mustn't act like one. Your post isn't helping. 😉

  3. Angel

    Jennifer – I love your roof-climbing, tree-scampering bravery! And I love how your story reminds us to be open to receive "spontaneous joy" in our lives. Awesome post!

  4. isumom

    While I read and love all your posts, the ones about your parents and siblings and the ones about the Marathon home are my favorites. I have always admired your parents and always loved your gorgeous old house…thanks for the stories…and the memories 🙂

  5. lynnrush

    Awesome!!!! Very brave. What a fun memory with your kids.

  6. jasons

    Way to go! That's so great. 🙂 Thanks for the joy today, Jennifer.

  7. Monica Sharman

    And now I know you run in Asics. Mine are Nike trail runners, because they were the best deal. 🙂

    Your Oct. 18 post…now you've done it! I've got the Monchichi commercial jingle stuck in my head!

    Oh, that was a great joy to read. I'm so glad you had kept all those things, for we are all reminded that God works and has been working in our lives, even well before we realized it.

    Blessed weekend of worship to you!

  8. patty

    Ahhhh, escaping to the roof, one of my favorite childhood passtimes! What a blessing and treasure that your own daughters have had the privilege of enjoying your childhood home. Thanks for sharing the magic of it with all of us! 🙂

  9. mari mayborn

    Oh Jennifer, you make me smile. 'Love the climbing down the tree shot–what a cool mom!

  10. Linda

    I am all admiration!!! I'm so glad you said yes.

  11. Lyla Lindquist

    Hey, let me know if you want to come to work with me some day. Looks like you have a few of the more critical skills down. 😉

  12. S. Etole

    Reminds me of my grandmother's house that had a small porchlike place you could go out on … if you could talk her into it!

  13. Elizabeth Mahlou

    Oh, my! Glad you made it down the tree safely!

  14. Natalie

    Girlfriend, you are brave! Thank you for commenting on my blog a few days ago- it gave me a thrill 🙂

  15. David Rupert

    there is something a out being on teh roof.My dad was a roofer and I spent many days up top, just watching the world around me

  16. Jennifer

    Every farm girl needs those tree-climbing skills. Never know when they'll come in handy. 🙂

  17. ~*Michelle*~

    How fun! I'd love to hang out on a roof with ya someday…..

  18. bluecottonmemory

    I used to find a nice comfy tree limb and spend my afternoon reading books! My grandmother was always afraid someone was going to steal me, though.

    I love how you teach your daughter to fly, to dream – just like you did! – and you have one that looks just like you – LOL – none of my sons look like me at all, though people tell me that when a few of them talk, their expressions and mannerisms (talking with hands) are so like mine. I'll take that!

    I also love the house you were raised in! Such beautiful windows! BTW – did you ever climb down that tree beside the house while growing up?

    Your post so made me smile! Thank you!

  19. Sandra Heska King

    I love it. This is how my daughter used to sneak out of the house. Through the window (now blocked by our headboard), across the roof, and down the tree. She'd love this post.

  20. deb

    completely love this.

  21. middleagesprint

    Grown into an adult, with a the joy of a child's heart. What a blessing you are to share an experience of your childhood. How neat!!! I wish I could have come with you. Course I may not have come down if the book was really good! And I am not much of a tree climber either.


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