Did not see that coming

Life is good.

We are busy.

On Friday I stopped by a home to drop off shingle samples.

We’re scheduled to build a new garage for her, but we still need to firm up a shingle color. She lost her garage last Fall in the Durecho, and just heard from her insurance company they will now also pay her to completely re-shingle and reside her house. I had mixed feelings about bidding on this additional work, because I’ve already picked up a few red flags. But, she’s a widow, seems to have quite a bit of stress on her plate, so I figured if I could alleviate some of that stress, that would be the right thing to do.

The roof on her house has a steep pitch and it sounded like the existing shingles would need to be taken off. (stripped) It’s just my son and I, we just finished two other roofing projects, with everything else going on , I knew I didn’t want to do her roof if that needed to happen.

Side note- when a house roof only has one layer of shingles , and there are no pre-existing leaks, you can install a 2nd layer over the first, and save yourself a lot of money at the same time. I mentioned that to her, and sensed she didn’t know whether or not to trust me on that. (There have been several other times as she and I have talked about certain details, that I have also picked up that same vibe )

She’s not 100% sure about me.

I get that. She doesn’t know me from the man on the moon. My son had done work for her son in the past, which is how we got the lead on this project in the first place.

When I was at the roofing store on Thursday, I got into a short conversation with another contractor also in line. Found out he was not overly busy, so I asked him if he would be willing to work with me on this roof project.

Yes!

I would still be the contractor in charge, but hire him and his crew to help us bang out the steep roof.

Win/ win.

Or not…

When the homeowner and I talked about this, she got real testy with me. I told her the buck still stopped with me, but her project was simply too much for just my son and I. (That conversation happened Thursday afternoon.)

I woke up Friday morning thinking to myself. I changed my mind. I am not going to mess with that roof. In fact, I was not really interested in doing anything more than build her garage. I have had it with this undercurrent of suspicion.

So on Friday, when I dropped the shingle samples off and she started in on me with more questions, more suspicions, I looked at her and said, “I changed my mind. Decided I am not doing your house roof.”

“Why?”

I looked at her and thought, Do I tell her the truth or do I keep my mouth shut and just say we are too busy. I changed my mind

I decided to tell her the truth…

“I was just doing this to try and help you out. I don’t need the work. And when you started grilling me about that extra help, well, that ticked me off.

Then I got choked up.

Random bit of trivia about me and getting choked up.

It rarely happens.

But when it does, I don’t get all blubbery. I can be very articulate. It’s like an out of body experience. With my mind I can observe..oh, look, I’m starting to choke up. Isn’t that interesting. And at the same time, I keep talking and say what I have to say.

“I am not going to do your roof.”

“What about the siding?”

“Don’t think I want to do that either.”

We shall see

Schools Of Thought

“Well, I want it done right!”  Dave told me yesterday. He sounded a little exasperated   We were talking about how to proceed with tiling his shower.

I told him at the beginning of his project, I have done four tiling projects so far.  If I didn’t know something I would not fake it.  I do know who to ask most times if I have a question. Tiling is not rocket science, although there is more than one way to do things.

Yesterday, the plumber on the job, (who has also tiled),  made some suggestions I had never heard of before on how to fabricate the shower base from scratch.  Talk to three tilers and you’ll probably get three different  approaches.

Same goes with bee keeping. It is not an exact science.  We have a local  husband and wife  who both wanted to be bee keepers. Both wanting to do things right, had strong (different) opinions on what that looked like.   They decided each needed their own hives to manage.  End of conflict.

Side note…we opened our  hive last Sunday.  There were (9) new queen cells forming….

Talk to three different bee keepers and you will probably hear three different approaches to what to do next…..

When I took some classes years ago, called Introduction to Theology, I had a teacher that I really liked.   I remember covering the topic of  end times.  The technical term is Eschatology.  I found out there were at least (3) major schools of thought, with subsets even within that.  We covered all three, thoroughly. At some point, the teacher shared with us where he was at in his understanding and why, but  it never felt like he was  trying to manipulate me to get me to a certain understanding.

I appreciate intellectual integrity, and don’t respond well to manipulation, lying or snark.

I have a strong independent streak. (Just ask my wife) 🙂

I use the same approach when it comes to politics,  social issues and life in general.  I used to meet with a friend on a regular basis over coffee to talk about local history.  Sometimes our conversations would drift  into  politics and current events.  We were polar opposites in some respects, (He was an anarchists I am not. 🙂  He served on the board  of the ACLU/ absolutely hated Christians, organized religion, had served a tour of duty in Vietnam,  which left him with another whole set of issues, I did not.  But… we shared a love of local history,  both grew up on a farm, and worked real hard at showing each other respect when we talked.

I had (and still have) a genuine intellectual curiosity, to try to understand why and how he was coming to some of his conclusions.    I had (and have) absolutely zero interest in getting into a pissing match conflict with someone about some issue.  It is hard enough to get along and communicate effectively in the context of a healthy marriage…why in the world would I go looking to take a spin on the crazy cycle with the rest of the world…it ain’t going to happen.

Crazy cycle: a word picture for getting into a fight where you just go round and round and nothing is resolved.

 

Second year  we were married, we went to a marriage workshop.   One of the topics was how to have a good fight.  Don’t you just love that title! 🙂

Conflict in and of itself is not always bad.

It is possible to express anger in a healthy way.  It does not have to be destructive.

When seeking to resolve a conflict…try to stay on topic.  If the issue is conflict about money, then don’t go off on bunny trails about other unresolved issues.

Schedule a time when you can talk ..ie.  Wife and I have found, Saturday morning is a lot better time than right before bed to talk about money problems.

Don’t garbage dump, get historical, or hit below the belt (name calling, bringing up old wounds, etc.)

Use “I” statements rather than “you” statements…better to say, “I am angry because”, rather than, “You make me angry….”

So much of communication is nonverbal…ie. eye contact, tone of voice, etc. Don’t get into a conflict over the phone, via the internet, letter, etc. It is hard enough to really hear what the other person is saying in person.

Any other thoughts on conflict, difference of opinions, etc?  I really appreciate those of you that take the time to read these ramblings.

Later! DM