We found a man, but he was stealing from us. We took him to small claims, and won. We'll never see the money.
We found another man. He worked out well until he didn't work out well. And then he stole from us.
We had another guy who was fast. He could do just about anything. We were paying him $22 a hour. He could not be trusted to work independently, because he would cheat you (case in point: One time he called Tim to tell him that he was at the house and hard at work. Tim said, "Good. I'm out in the livingroom if you need help.") The phone went dead immediately. Probably a half hour later, the guy made it to the house.
He'd be working for us still (supervised), except that Tim needed to work on a roof. The man assured Tim that he could do it. Partway into the job, he decided that he no longer wanted to work by the hour. He wanted to be paid by the job, and wanted $3000 to do the roof because that's what roofers were making. Tim explained that when roofers put in bids, their bids included the materials (which we'd already bought) and a team of men. The man got upset and began to blab it around town that we 'ripped him off'. We quit hiring him.
He's called several times, looking for work (he's a freelancer, and what we were paying was well over what he was making at his regular work). Having a good reputation matters to both of us, and that worker does not seem to get it. Why would we hire him back after he claimed we ripped him off?
So Tim works mainly by himself. When he needs help, well, that's me. This morning, he needed my help so we got up this morning and headed down the street. The job today was insulating the second floor of a house down the street that we gutted.
Insulating is a rough job to do on a hot day. You wear long sleeves and a mask. It's itchy and messy, even though we were using Roxul, not fiberglass. We went at it hard with the intention of just getting it done. We did.
You know, we've grown a lot since our first house (this is our 11th). We worked side by side, and there was little need for words. I knew exactly what he needed. I cut the batts one at a time and handed them up. He'd call out a measurement (11) and I'd cut the strip to that width and hand it up. There was no irritation, no impatience between us. We worked as a team who knew exactly what we were doing. A far cry from how we worked together on our first house nearly 9 years ago.
In the shower, later, thinking about how far we've come, it occurred to me that I could say the same thing about our marriage. There is a certain loveliness in knowing each other that well.