No one could make this up

The General StoreThe whole mess started with an upgrade at the Cable Company. My husband, whose hobbies include couch slug, was a Platinum Customer. There were 3 boxes in the house every channel known to man sprinkled in with a few that aren’t, not to mention Internet. Our monthly bill far outweighed our mortgage, but when it comes to hobbies no expense should be spared.

A good majority of our neighborhood’s service was taken out due to a “glitch” during an upgrade, the repair required a Cable Guy. Now one of the perks of being a PLATINUM CUSTOMER is the cable company’s prompt attention…2 weeks from Thursday. I briefly considered moving to Aruba, but gave it up in favor of sitting around from 8am-1pm waiting for the cable guy. That guy is a professional. It must take higher education to perfect the art of showing up when people are in the shower, or timing a drive by in the rain so he can’t do “line work”. We had no sooner corrected the original problem than a thunderstorm took out our service again.

In a month’s time our cable worked about 10 days. In my defense, any housewife might get the wrong idea. We were going out a couple nights a week. Chores must be more entertaining than thumb twiddling, because the children were doing them. The family room stopped looking like nuclear devastation and started looking like, well, a room. The seven-year-old gave up hitting and my 13-year-old replaced online video games with sleep. The real nail in my coffin was a couple of bike rides with my husband. This honeymoon period with my family led me to suggest we unplug for the summer. The children knew I was nuts, but Dad went right along with me and this is where it starts to get ugly.

He came home from work with a truck (this is really an Astro Safari van, but we don’t tell him that) full of scavenged lumber. He had been inspired to build a doghouse. Our 18-pound terrier/collie mix ended up with a house that is big enough to sit 3 full-grown adults. It might help to know that he is generally parked right up my butt (the dog not my husband) and cries if I close the bathroom door on him, so you can imagine how impressed he was.

Unfortunately, my husband was entirely too impressed and his new hobby was born.
The second project was to be a modest 6X6-foot shed for the garden tractor. Yeah, right. If there is one thing the self declared “His Royal Majesty King Shit of the Carpenters” is really good at it would have to be under estimation. After 3 days of trucking in lumber, he pulled out his tools, including one you have to be twenty-one to buy and used them to frame 11-foot walls. The tractor shed got a second story and was trimmed out to resemble an Old West Saloon. His Majesty dubbed the backyard “The Wild West” and the building boom was on.

Completion of his town involved my learning how to roof, because His Majesty informed me, “I am a carpenter, NOT a roofer.” I’ll let you guess what I had to say to him. However, it became obvious he was not coming back in the house until the town was complete and he had already moved on to a new project. Turns out, you can learn to roof from the directions on the back of the shingles, in case you ever need to know.

Three Years Later:
I have a gazebo for my garden. No, I did not garden and I was not planning on starting. We have a horse trough, hitching post and a water tower. The tractor shed turned Saloon houses his carpentry tools. There is a two-story General Store with wood floors, electricity; air-conditioning, a refrigerator, microwave and hand crafted trim. Our 19-year-old daughter approves she spent her summer home from college in there and even brought her own coffee pot. I finally managed to get him back in the house by threatening to strike if I had to trim around one more building. He came in on the condition I agree to him building The Jail. He had too…there was no place to park the tractor.

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About Alex

I am a 41-year-old survivor. A mother of four and stepmother of 5 neither a 13 year failed marriage or a 7-year successful one have taken me out. The children aged 10 to 22 wage their battles on my sanity, but at the last summit, it was decided that I am still winning that war. The world in general (bureaucracy, stupidity, intolerance, greed, lack of manners, bad customer service, and anyone who is just plain mean) threatens my equilibrium but I make a come back every time. I am not particularly strong, determined or religious (although, I do TRY to keep the faith) but I can take a joke especially, it turns out, if it is on me. I am born and bred a Hoosier, but have lived in New Hampshire and Connecticut long enough to find out it was time to come home to Fort Wayne. We may have been voted fattest and dumbest city in America, but our flaws become us and we are content here