Thursday, June 8, 2023

Tar-nation!

 We went up to the house-to-be today. I was tarring/waterproofing.  Sound familiar? That is because, initially, William and I tarred the joint where the walls met the footers. Then, for whatever reason, Tim decided to go around it and paint up 14 more inches. I honestly don't know why. That was the day that he exhausted himself to the point of having some pretty significant speech problems. Last night, he announced that he had been thinking, and he thought we should tar the concrete 4 feet up the wall, just for insurance against leaks. I privately made up my mind that I was going to do that myself, and so I did. I painted steadily for nearly 5 hours. It was cooler today, and the tar was thicker, which made the going more difficult. (Pro-tip: I tarred five feet up to avoid subsequent 'hey...you know, I've been thinking.' 

By the time that I was done, my fingers were stuck to the tar brush. My clothes were spattered. My arms were tarred up from dipping into the five gallon bucket of tar over and over. My sister and her husband came over on the four wheeler to see our progress. My brother-in-law noted that I was supposed to be tarring the wall, not myself. I invited him to step down into the trench and demonstrate his technique. I promised to observe carefully. (spoiler alert: there is no way to do tar anything without creating a mess upon your person). Anyways, I made up my mind that I was absolutely going to finish the job all in one day. It is such a messy job that I did not want to stop in the middle of it. So I got it done, and then I changed my clothes and tossed the old clothes straight into the fire. 

We ate a sandwich and were packing up to head home. It was nearly time to get William. A strange truck pulled up in the driveway. A fellow had just bought property down the road and was clearing it. He's building a house on a concrete slab and was interested who we'd got to do our concrete. He said, "I can't even get anyone to return my phone call..." (Been there, done that, got the tee-shirt.) We visited and Tim showed him the basement, and he was impressed. We offered to introduce him to Carrot Top some day. 

Then we locked up and headed home. A long hot shower felt good. I used nearly a whole bottle of nail polish remover to remove tar splatter from strange places. I mean, I was wearing long pants. Despite that, I had tar on my knees!

We had left overs for supper. Here we refer to that as 'grab and growl'. There was pasta bake and there was macaroni and cheese and there were the makings for sandwiches. Everyone helped themselves. 

I did a lot of thinking in the past 24 hours.  Since we have both retired, we are spending a lot of time together.  Tim gets joy from his houses. That brings meaning to his life. It just doesn't do it for me. I mean, I guess I understood the relevance when we were building towards retirement, but now we are retired. I don't want to talk about building. Renovating. What project is next. That seems to be all that Tim can talk about. I feel like a spoiled woman, but I don't want to talk about these things 24/7. The silent space between us grows and grows. 

Last night, the silence was especially deafening. Tim went to bed, and I sat in the dark on the couch. I decided that I am going to go back to work. I see that Head Start is hiring, and I really do enjoy working with kids. It would be a job that gives me the summers off. My work schedule would mesh with William's school schedule. 

This morning, I told Tim. He was shocked. I said it to him just as plainly as I can. He can use the extra money to hire someone to work with him. 

Late Edit: This sounds kind of gloomy. It wasn't meant to be. It's just that Tim is determined to follow his star. It's only fair that I follow my own. He's always been single minded about his projects. His focus is always there. What he wants to do tomorrow. Next week. Next month. 

I don't want that to be the sole focus of my golden years. 

In brighter news, for the first time, I successfully over wintered my geraniums. They are a vivid, deep burgundy red, which I've never seen before, and I do love that color. My sister kept them for me last year and propagated some new growth for her own. I kept them at home this year and tried it for myself, and both plants seem to have done well. I gave them a bit of a jumpstart by hauling them downstairs out of their southern window, gave them a good fertilizing and stuck them in the green house for a month. I'm excited to get them in their urns on the front porch. 

Also, I fixed my phone today, all by myself! No call to customer service needed. That made me happy too. 

Tomorrow is William's last day of school. Needless to say, he's a pretty happy camper too. 


31 comments:

  1. Wow! That’s Breaking news! I can understand you though, and I know you’ll be a great addition to the Head Start program! Xo, Ricki

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  2. That job seems ideal for you and a positive for the children and for your sense of fulfillment.

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  3. That can’t be the only way to get some space and peace? I mean if you’re motivated to do it, fine, but unless I am misunderstanding, that is not it.

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    1. It's not that I am looking for space. I am looking to fill a void.

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  4. Tim will be hard put to find a worker that works as hard as you do and puts up with a lot of things you do. You love him the worker will not and will not be willing to do the things you put up with.

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  5. Your views of what you expect from retirement and his views differ, and I do understand that well. I suppose he will follow his goal - so don't wait that he changes. I read in a book: "Seed A will give you plant A...Every single time."
    Meaning you can't plant a tomato and expect apples.
    I have to tell that myself when I expect people to change (they don't) - and the way to become happy or content yourself and not become reproachful because your needs are ignored, is to find something you like - as you try now. A great first step!

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    1. I you captured it well. 'Not to become reproachful....' Because that really is the issue in a nutshell. I AM becoming reproachful. He's had a significant health problem. This makes me very aware that we cannot take our years for granted. For his part, he won't listen. That irritates me. I want to talk. He wants to talk about houses. I want to do things. He wants to build and renovate houses. I am reproachful. I don't want to be. Best to tell Tim plainly and then step out and let him decide what HE wants. I always said that if I worked when I retired, it would be because I loved the job.

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  6. Retirement isn't always all it's cracked up to be. If you can find something you love to do AND get paid for it well good on you. Win win.

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  7. Wise words from Britta. The meaning of 'retirement' Debby. "The action or fact of leaving one's work and ceasing to work." Which you should when the new home is built, that Tim wishes to go on working is his choice.

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  8. I understand the dilemma. We have both been retired for six years now and it took quite a while for both of us to adjust to a different way of living together. We seem to have each settled into our own groove now but there have been ups and downs along the way. I hope it all works out well for you.

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  9. Tarring is an awful job...it does get everywhere!
    That is a good decision..You know Tim's focus...and having your vacation time at the same time as William makes sense.

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  10. You were almost ready to be sprinkled with feathers.
    Your plan came from left field to me, but why not? What is the saying about living on someone's coattails?
    I am quite happy in retirement as I am lazy and very self focused on what I do.

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  11. I was in your position, worked with my husband for 20 years and not too happy and then one day I was doing my own thing and met someone else. He was everything I wanted and within two months I was living with him.. I was happy with him for the next 35 years until he died. Tim maybe should read this. Happy wife, happy life. GG

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  12. Are you saying Tim can have the wages you earn to pay someone else??? Was that in the contract?

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    1. Sure. I wouldn't be working for the money. Financially, we're in fine shape. If I hope for a new beginning, it requires that a few things come to an end. Like the renovation. I have a choice. If Tim hires someone, the job will get done faster than if he doesn't. When these things are done, he'll be able to take a look around and decide what he's going to do. (If he takes on a new house, I would be very unhappy). He's not a bad man. Just ambitious. He was raised poor. That's a big goad for him. He is not a bad man.

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  13. You certainly got everyone's attention with this post! And everyone has "thoughts". I do too but honestly- your life and your relationship are yours and yours alone. If this is the solution that will work for you- go for it! God knows that spending the rest of your life tarring basements is probably not the best use of your talents and time.

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  14. A suggestion for you to consider. Maybe wait until your new home is finished before you get a job. Building your own home is such a personal thing-much different than renovating for renting or reselling. While Tim making executive decisions on a renovation project may not be upsetting, it could cause a lot of conflict if things you don't like or want are done on your personal home while you are not there. Building a home is considered one of the biggest stressors-right up there with a death or divorce.

    I understand your frustration. You have worked hard all of your life and not gotten to experience what you want. You want to do other things and travel in your retirement. Your spouse seems to have just changed careers, not retired.

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    1. I can still work and make those decisions. Tim has changed a lot already. I wanted a loft space upstairs, a guest room. He got rid of the second floor. I wasn't working. He said he wanted to discuss it with me, but I wasn't listening. We had plans. I didn't know he was changing the floor plan. He's always changing some detail. It's my own fault because I wasn't listening. The house will have my hand in it. I will doubtless be a part of the building process.

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  15. When I was younger, we tarred the intersection of all our grain bins and the concrete slab they sat on. I hated that job because it was always hot when the tar worked well, we were always stooped over applying it and it got everywhere. Back then, we use gasoline soaked rags to remove it from our skin. I can't imagine doing the same now!

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    1. Baaahhhaaaaaaaa! Yep. Gasoline soaked rags for the first clean up.

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  16. OMG woman I've been waiting for you to make a decision like that ever since I've been reading here. Good luck to you and don't change your mind. It's not healthy the way you have been living. And bless you for being such a caring human being and loving and caring for William.

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    1. Really? It's always interesting when someone gives a view of your life from their vantage point. Tim's not a bad person. We are at a pivot point in our lives. That happens during the course of a long relationship. I know that he cares a great deal, but he's not someone who shows it. I know that he's a quiet man. We are both stubborn. I have a need to talk. He doesn't. It cannot be said that I am a doormat. If something matters to me, enough, I really am not shy about pushing it. Last spring, when I could not get him to commit to a time frame for England, I simply went without him. It came as a shock I suppose. I'm sure that many people take that as a sign that we were on the rocks. It's wasn't. Do I think that he'll figure this out? Yes. I do. What's different this time is that I'm not giving him the roadmap. I told him what I feel is missing. I told him what I would like to see. I think that he thought that if he took me our to supper, the problem would be solved. My answer: I just popped two quiches in the oven. "That's not it," I told him. He looked confused. I said, 'I gave you a bunch of clues. If you approach it like you approach a construction problem, you'll figure it out. Think about it.'

      He wandered off to order the materials to frame up the house. Presumably, he is thinking about it. We'll see.

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    2. I think you two make a good team.. but you’re ultimately two different people! Good for you doing what you know is right for you… hopefully everything will fall into place for the both of you! Xo, Ricki

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    3. It has always worked out before.

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  17. Leftovers….memories of a child , eating cold meat warmed with gravy

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    1. Ours would have disappointed, John. Macaroni and cheese and pasta bank. Plus a choose your own sandwich with cold cuts, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. Not a smidge of gravy in sight.

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  18. Lordy, that has to feel frustrating and I can sure relate in some ways. Both me and my hubs are retired, but he took on a job that has no set schedule; one moment he's working 6 days in a row, and then he's home for a few days. He works for a funeral home, works the funerals, manages the building maintenance, etc. He's rarely home, and at times, moans about it. (Don't! You chose this!!) I have a side gig for cash pet sitting. Mostly local, does involve some overnight stays. It's an easy and fun "job" for me. I do not want to work myself to death in retirement. So, I play, A LOT. Ride my bike, walk, hike, hang out with girlfriends, all the while doing the yard work, shoveling snow, laundry, cooking and cleaning, when he's not home to help me do it. He likes to "kid" that I play while he works. I like to remind him, that he has choices. Just never seems equitable, does it?

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    1. Retirement is a real stutter step, that's for sure.

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  19. That tarring sounds like a nightmare!

    I can understand why you might want to go back to work. Retirement is a huge adjustment, and you may just need more contact with other people outside the house. I get it!

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  20. Sounds like a good idea to me, Debby! You should do what can make you happy just like Tim does what he enjoys. You can always change your mind. It is good that you are talking and finding solutions. Retirement takes a lot of adjustment to find the right balance between feeling useful but not wearing ourselves out!

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  21. WOW! I was going to leave it at that but I see that I'm not alone. Honestly? I think you are a brave and sensible lady.

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