The amazing thing is the roofing job was done almost instantly. Obviously roofers try to get a roof torn off and put on as quickly as can be, but even after the first day the shingles on the second storey had been replaced almost fully and were in place; what was left was a couple square feet on the second floor and then the somewhat complicated sections of roof that extend from the first storey and some other complicated late-20s-style housing details. These get pretty complicated and took longer than the roofers expected, mostly because it's a lot of little odd shapes that just naturally take longer to cover.
After all this we went to the attic --- we'd taken everything out of it, on the assumption they'd have to tear off the wooden planks on which the shingles rest --- and saw that, hoo boy, there was a lot of roofing grit that had fallen into the attic. So we missed doing a lot of damage to our possessions by having them downstairs for the big reshingling.
We also discovered to rather our horror that they didn't replace most of the planks of wood. We had assumed, to our regret, that most or all of our planks --- which we assume to date to the house's original construction in 1928 --- would have to be torn out, but, they didn't. This inspired some fears that the roofers had done a hasty job, particularly when we found a couple spots in which knotholes had dropped out of the planks altogether.
So I talked with my father about it, giving him photographs of the things that most worried us, and my best descriptions of what the planks sounded like when knocked on, and how they felt when jabbed with a screwdriver and all other sorts of things I picked up from home repair web sites describing how to tell when your roof has gone bad. My father explained without noticeably rolling his eyes that knotholes falling out is perfectly normal for this sort of job, and that if a plank is bad there's really no question about it because, most of the time, it pulls up when the old shingles are pulled up. So he reassured us that we're over-worrying this and should just relax.
It's very nerve-wracking to relax about this sort of thing, but we will try.
Trivia: Brown University was chartered in 1764 as the Rhode Island College. It graduated its first class of seven students in 1769 in Warren, and moved to providence in 1770. Source: Rhode Island: A History, William G McLoughlin.
Currently Reading: The Weimar Republic, Detlev J K Peukert.