Friday, May 24, 2024

Finding Solutions

We found ourselves discouraged with the sheer number of projects around here we couldn't finish last year. We plan for this to be our forever home, we like living here, but if we can't keep the place up.... these thoughts have been rattling around our minds this fall, winter...and here it is summer again. Michael's health is not better. His back is worse and we're still fighting to delay back surgery as long as possible at the advice of his VA doctors. A couple of the kids have mentioned possibly moving into town with a smaller yard to keep up.  Lots to think about. We don't want to move. This is a great place for grands to come play, we like the quiet (most days), we don't want to deal with the work of moving "one more time." 

Over the winter Jamin paid for a neighbor to plow out our driveway. We were amazed how nice that was, how much work and pain it saved all of us - but mostly Michael. I began to think of what may be helpful in the spring/summer/fall. We weren't sure if we needed a landscaping company or a carpenter or WHAT...and we noted it is difficult these days to find young youth who want to work all summer on yards etc. 

We took a frank look at our position...Michael's health is worse, the workload around here doesn't lessen, BUT a new fact is Michael now receives Social Security disability, which he didn't receive last year. An idea was born. We COULD stay here if we found someone willing to work with Michael, or alone when Michael can't work - we needed to find a dependable handyman, one who knew how to do the things Michael wanted done without a lot of instruction, and one who we could trust and would work well with Michael. We kept considering how to find this man. 

Cory and Arielle have been coming over and mowing our lawn. For Mother's Day they prepped the garden spot for me. It would appear the solution was in front of our eyes. I suggested to Michael that maybe we wouldn't have to take our chances on Facebook ads. Maybe Cory would be willing to help a minimum number of hours a week for us.  Win WIN. Cory has been wanting to help but it's always a bit awkward to step into another's place and suggest they need to do x,y or z. ::snort::  Michael has someone he trusts, who we know is a hard worker, we know he knows how to do the various jobs Michael wants to tackle and Cory loves us. There is no judgment that we can't keep up.  And so...Cory came over today and he and Michael tackled their first project. 

Michael built a great big hoop house. The first year the weather destroyed most of it. We decided 1/2 of it was easily salvageable and Michael set it up over two of our existing garden beds. That winter the weather crushed it - though not as bad as the year before. Michael fixed it in the spring. Last winter he removed all the plastic and left the frame and chicken wire. We had thought the snow would fall through the chicken wire and it would all be standing in the spring. Enter lots of snow and WIND and.... the chicken wire was twisted and blown away, several pieces of the structure simply snapped...we laughed that the door was still latched and shut!

Michael and Cory collected all the pieces, got everything attached again, added chicken wire and began the process of covering it with plastic. Much of what we want to grow needs some sort of cover to keep it warmer than our typical summers. We have found our cucumbers love this set up. 

While they worked the boys helped me with a job and then played, Arielle and Ellie kept GG occupied, which he enjoyed, and I even had time to sit and visit while the men kept working. It truly was a win WIN. 

 The boys helped me haul 10 bags of dirt from my van to the garden. 

Arielle is the only one who can consistently get GG outside! 

This first week Cory let us know he is willing to work alone if Michael has an appointment or his back won't allow him to work as much as he'd like to work.  We are happy to have a solution.  I'm blogging from a few weeks in the future and the next week Michael was able to go to a chiropractor/massage appointment for his back, while Cory continued working on the always growing to do list. LOL 

No comments: