Cleaning rain gutters is one of the most miserable chores I’ve ever had to do, especially if you live in the Northeast and you’re scooping out that sickening, ice-cold mush on a windy, freeezing day any time between late November and mid-April. While standing on an extension or step ladder, of course, with your cheeks turning red from the cold and your teeth chattering as you mutter profanities and generally curse God, the earth, your life, your father (the ogre who made you do this) and definitely the trees for dumping their leaves in the first place. And of course, you always have peel back the frozen chicken-wire mesh that’s been attached to the gutters to keep the leaves out, which is to say “not really.” You also have to dump the frozen glop into a bucket or plastic garbage bag, which means you have to climb down and dump the contents into a trash can every five or ten minutes. The only way your hands can stand the cold is to wear two sets of gloves — plastic dishwashing gloves covered by winter or all-weather work gloves. I’m getting angry all over again just thinking about this. This was my life in my mid teens. Awful.