I’m not sure if every woman who marries a builder gets sucked into the business a little more than she wants to, but I can tell you that I certainly have.
In lo these many years that I’ve been married to that man of mine, I’ve helped set trusses, shoveled my share of fresh concrete and actually chewed my husband out for not telling me about an impact drill he had in his possession when we were hanging Sheetrock.
These are all on our own home jobs, mind you. I’m not good enough to make the “A Crew,” and I must tell you, that’s just because I don’t want to.
Pat has taken my talents of hammer swinging and belt sanding and used it to his advantage as often as possible. While it’s nice to be able to hang my own pictures and repair my own furniture, one has to be on her game with Pat.
As the old saying goes, “The more you know, the more you have to do.”
Given that old adage, I’ve avoided changing oil in the car, changing out door knobs and replacing the whooper in the bathroom drain that plugs up the hole.
Still, I’ve been sucked into insulating large rooms and back framing trusses.
I became much more wise about these things after I turned 50. It was not that I was ever afraid that Pat would leave me for a young filly who knew how to run a Skil saw, it was more because I was never one to back down from a challenge.
On or around the year that I turned 49, my Pat walked into our antique shop and sized up Terrie (the gal that works with us) and myself for a minute. I didn’t know what he had in mind, but I knew the look.
Terrie was new at the time and asked me under her breath, “What does he want?”
“I don’t know,” I replied, “but it ain’t good.”
“No, Pat,” I called out as he started to cross the room.
“But you don’t even know what it is!” he responded.
“Whatever it is we ain’t doin’ it,” I replied.
Terrie has enough curiosity to kill a cat so she couldn’t help herself. “What is it?” she asked like a newbie.
“Well,” replied Pat, “I was just thinking that you two girls look strong enough to run that two-man auger that we have out back and we could double down on our timeline and get some holes dug.”
I offered up a pretty emphatic “No” to my Pat regarding his machine-running world and it certainly wasn’t the last. Although I could still run the skid loader, pull his trailers and drive his dump truck to the sand pit, I was no longer willing to do it and it was for a good reason — didn’t want to.
Recently Pat bought himself a new iPad. As a man who still had a flip phone, it shocked the entire family. It didn’t take long before he discovered a tractor show on YouTube with a hay farmer who was just lucky enough to find himself a wife who enjoyed the heavy equipment that goes along with haying as much as he did.
Go that guy!
“Hey Lori!” Pat called from his recliner the other night. “You need to come and watch this! This guy has a wife who loves driving the tractors, swathing and even enjoys the process of loading it all up!”
“Ain’t gonna happen, Pat,” I lazily replied from my comfy spot on the couch.
“But look at her! She climbed into the combine and said that she’s never been so happy!”
I haven’t helped the poor man and his machine-laden duties for several years. But you have to admire his diligence in attempting to get me involved.
I pictured him ahead of me on his tractor as I swathed behind him with my floral blouse and cute new purse tucked beside my tractor seat and said without further delay, “No, Pat.”
“But look at how much fun she’s having,” Pat pleaded.
To which I replied, “Ask her if she’s ever trembled in her diamond studded flip flops while she had her back box filled to the brim by a massive loader and get back to me.”