Friday, September 9, 2016

Our First 90 Days of Marriage

On our happy day!

We married with two completely different approaches at tasks. Sam’s motto would be, “Never pay someone to do something you can do yourself,” while mine is, “Never do yourself what you can afford to pay someone else to do.” I regard it as my contribution to the economy. Alas, this is why he has better retirement savings than me!

Reviewing our first 90 days of marriage, I’ve learned to help out more…as in physical labor, which I have basically devoted my life to avoiding. Sam is a retired workhorse.  In the two years since he retired, he has learned how to relax more, but he is still a driven man. Yards need to be mowed at 3 houses, items need to be packed and moved out of his house to the garage of the new house, regular maintenance on my house, and he’s determined to do as much as he can of the work at the new house without hiring it out.

In my mind, buying a fixer upper and renovating it meant calling the Southern Maryland equivalent of Chip and Joanna Gaines and giving them my wish list. Alas, that’s now how this is going to work! It wouldn’t be right for me to kick my feet up and while away the hours on Pinterest to show Sam my desires for our new home. Although I do have a Pinterest board for it, entitled Willows Ranch Re-do, I have had to roll up my sleeves and get involved in the process. My area of ability does not include power tools or too heavy lifting, so I’ve been somewhat limited but I’ve been suiting up and taking the field.
Our fixer upper - 1974 Brick Ranch with all original interior
His gratitude at the end of the day after I’ve been wrapping breakables and packing boxes and helping to load the trailer is worth the extra effort.  Believe me, I have never lifted my end of so many heavy items! After the garage was full of stuff from his old house, I got out there and reorganized it so we could get more in, because nothing can go in to a house that you’re gutting.  And I’ve been mowing – during one of the hottest summers we’ve had in a long time – with a push mower because the riding mower has to stay at his old house until closing. His yard is too big to be done with a push mower. I have to divide it into thirds and come inside and cool down and wait until I’m sure I’m not having a heart attack before going out for the next portion.

It’s not a perfect process and believe me we’ve had our share of arguments. The day after I weeded and planted some flowers in our front flower bed he asked me to help him carry the flooring he had taken up out to the trailer. For about ten minutes I gathered up armloads of flooring and took it out through the garage and dumped it at the back of the trailer. After watching me go through this process several times, without a word, he hops in the truck and backs the trailer across my new garden up to the front door. Seriously? Words, please…you could have communicated this to me so that I wouldn’t have wasted those trips. He just shrugged and said, “I’ll buy you more flowers!” A man of few words who is used to working alone doesn’t always do a great job at telling me what’s in his head,  and it’s interesting how two grown adults can go at one task so differently.
I've gone from this...

He’s always good at reminding me to be careful of upcoming dangers. Last week as we were carrying his couch into the garage he warned me that the wood shelving on the floor had nails in it. And then he stepped right on it and put a nail through his shoe into his foot. He assured me his tetanus shots were up to date as he hobbled to finish unloading the last of the furniture.

To this! But I'm getting mega-points for helping out!
So our first 90 days have been an adventure and I can not thank God enough that we both have a sense of humor. After a particularly hot day of lawn mowing I caught a glimpse of myself passing the hall mirror and decided to send him a picture of me. When I saw him later we had a big laugh about it! I may not look like I did on the day we said our “I Do’s” but I know that he appreciates having a partner who is willing to break a sweat and work as a team.