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Testing the marriage vows with a hammer and saw

How often have any of us looked back on a decision we made in the past and questioned our sanity at the time it was made? I have done this enough times in my life I really cannot even estimate the number of times.

How often have any of us looked back on a decision we made in the past and questioned our sanity at the time it was made? I have done this enough times in my life I really cannot even estimate the number of times.

In some cases, the end result turned out fine, but at some points in between the making of the decision and the final result I have seriously thought about having myself committed. At other times some of my friends had done the research to see if they could have me put away.

One of those earth shattering decisions that had some friends wondering was, when in 1997, I packed up my belongings in Moose Jaw and acted on that old saying "go west young man." When that slogan was first coined it was due to the lure of free land or of the promise of gold in rushes of many years gone by. It was neither of these that beckoned me to make the trek, but it was to be near a certain young lady who had agreed to marry me.

This beautiful lady had four youngish children living at home that would be part of the deal and that is what made some friends wonder if I had slipped a gasket. In this instance, I never wavered in my resolve and to this day have never looked back with any regrets. Those friends now realize this decision was and is one of the best that I have ever made. As you might have guessed by now the young lady in question is my lovely wife, Brenda.

There have been other times though, where I have wondered along the way about my choices. The most recent of these started a little more than five years ago when my wonderful wife and I decided to move to Meota and start renovating the third house that we would own in just less than 10 years of marriage.

I have often heard it said that if a couple can make it through a building project without damaging a relationship that the relationship is solid. I sometimes wonder why we have chosen to test this theory so often. Are we masochistic? As of this point, some friends and family would probably have some definite input that I might not be able to print. I will give Brenda a lot of credit for her patience with me and my slow progress due to my disabilities. She is one brave lady.

In these five years we have maintained a schedule of working on the inside of the house throughout the winter and moving outdoors for the warmer months, followed by a return to indoors when the snow starts to fly. In this time we have stripped walls down to the bare studs and replaced wires and insulation after removing what seems like an unending supply of wood chips that were the first insulation. Drywall is then applied to restore some semblance of liveability to the structure. In this process we have to thank some helpful friends and especially Paul, my stepson, who have helped us through with the heavy stuff.

There were times when I would have seriously considered using explosives to remedy some of my problems, but thanks to Brenda's patience and encouragement the project has continued without me getting arrested for arson or something else. I must confess, though, I have said many words that are not allowed on these pages or in genteel company.

At this point, after numerous season changes and a lot of scrimping and saving to pay for everything, we can see a slight glimmer of light emanating from where we think the end of the tunnel might be. We hope this is so since we can't think of where else the glow might come and we are also nearing the end of our determination to make this a vey comfortable little home for us to grow old in.

In the end, this decision seems to be coming towards a successful end in a year or so and we will have again succeeded in keeping our marriage vows alive through the process.

The one promise I have made to Brenda and myself, is that this is the last time I will agree to test our resolve. In fact, I am quite possibly thinking of selling off all of my saws, hammers, carpenter squares, and anything else remotely connected with building and repairing a dwelling, just to make sure that on some beautiful day in the future I will not be tempted to leave my senses and start on another project.

But wait, I have one more thing that I must construct; my next dwelling, which will be an urn to dump my final remains into. And that my friend (and my best friend in the world is you, Brenda) is as close to a promise as I can come.

I can't wait to be able to spend my summers puttering around planting and enjoying some beautiful flower gardens or just slacking off a little more.

Quote: "Sanity calms, but madness is more interesting." John Russell, American actor and war veteran.