We live on a farm in Oklahoma. It was founded during the land run and our house is the original structure, built in 1904. It’s old. My Bride’s 88 year old great-grandfather (step) lives across the street. His step-son is my father-in-law. ‘Round these parts, there’s a right way, the wrong way and Pa-Paw’s way. It don’t matter if his way takes 6 extra days, frayed nerves and inadvertent counseling.
Thus beginneth my tale…
Precisely one week ago a round of thunderstorms came sweeping down the plain of Oklahoma. Along with much needed rain came unwanted lightning. Said lightning struck our homestead and knocked out our well. The next morning, when we awoke, we made the discovery. Since the great-grandfather isn’t exactly a spring chicken anymore, and I’m as useful as tits on a boar hog, My Bride called her father to get our water working (plus I was out job hunting).
He came over and fixed things right up. He packed his things and drove across the street to chat with his folks. That is, until My Bride called, 10 minutes later, letting him know the water was down again. He trudged back over, fixed it up and ran back to his patent’s.
He spent the entire day last Monday trying to fix our water. Around 3, his middle daughter called. Her car broke down and she needed his help. He loaded up his crap, grabbed a trailer and drove the 45 minutes to help her out. When he got back, he was kaput. My Bride told him to go home, we can use the bathroom across the street if we have too (gross) or just hold off on flushing if need be (super gross).
No issues with me.
My parents live less than 10 minutes away. I can shower there if need be. My Bride is happy showering across the street. I’m no good with that. She’s not exactly short (5’7″) and the shower heads seem to hit her mid chest. I’m 6’2″ and they’d hit my mid-nad.
Father-In-Law spent the ENTIRE next day working on our well. I was job hunting. Neither of us had any luck. We both spent the next day with the same results. Thursday, we both chilled out. By then, our front bathroom smelled like a football locker room.
Friday morning rolled around. Father-In-Law looked frazzled. I had an interview. He was ready to get started. Great-Granddad was there to “oversee” the operation. That means he was there to tell how things ought to be done and how it was being done wrong. My Bride had said, before everything had even started, that her dad was supremely pissed off that an electrician had not been called.
When I arrived home from my interview, all the players were there. Father-in-law, great granddad, great grandma and Son2 and My Bride.
The 2 old guys My Father-In-Law had been doing all the work (Son2 helped a lot), Great Grand dad was “supervising” and the ladies were supplying moral support. Since I have the helping ability of a toddler, I ran in, changed clothes and went out to do whatever I was asked to do…or could find to do. I really want to help, I’m just clueless.
Eventually, after replacing every part of the system, except the pipes into the house, the water got running again. Seriously, the pump, all wiring, fuse box, pump switch…EVERYTHING was replaced.
Our weekend was allowed to begin! I rushed inside and flushed the toilets. I let the faucets run a few moments and then grabbed a cup of water. It was very nice.
My Bride and I sat on the front porch. We recently added a table and chairs out there and were enjoying the time together. I was sharing that I really wanted to learn how to be useful around the house. I can do some VERY light electrical stuff. I can change an outlet or hang a light, even a ceiling fan. I can’t change the pump for our well. I sure as hell can’t do anything on a vehicle beyond fueling it up.
Along came Father-In-Law. He sat on the porch with is and we talked for a bit. I td him that, “I really want to learn how to do that stuff. I hate to think that you’d have to spend your retirement coming out here to fix our crap.”
“I’m glad to hear you say that, because I always thought that you saw this as a free place to live. You have a roof over your head and you don’t have to do anything about it.”
Now that may not be an exact quote, but that’s pretty darn close.
It hurt and it hurt real bad. He said something about not wanting anything being misunderstood…I don’t really know what he said after the initial salvo, I stopped listening. I bullshitted my way through the rest of it. “It’s fine, no problem…I understand…”
It wasn’t fine and it was a problem, I didn’t understand. I was just trying to make something right.
My Bride told me to not let him get me down. “I’m fine, really, it’s ok,”
I remember My Bride talking about this type of thing just after our engagement. I had screwed up my car real, real good and he had said something along the lines of “what are you going to do when your car’s messed up and he can’t do anything about it?” to her. I don’t know how or why I still remember that, but I do. I also know that anytime he has come over to fix something, I feel like I’m about 3 years old. I typically go to another room. Sometimes I even leave. I can hardly stand to be around.
I tried, admittedly, in a convoluted way, to do something about it. I got shot down. Now I feel like that vulnerable 3 year old boy who was just scolded for being bad.
One week ago I posted about El Diablo coming after My Bride and I, trying to drive a wedge between us. Guess what happened here? In times past I think this would have a major problem between the 2 of us. She knew I was hurt by what he said. I tried to play it off. I still haven’t said anything about it for fear of starting an argument.
I KNOW she’s aware that what he said hurt me. That simply cannot be a secret. I cannot be that hard to read. We’ve been together faaaar too long for her to not see that. She knows.
No, the difference here is, I’m not going to allow it to fester. I’m not going to allow it to become a wedge between us. SHE didn’t say it. SHE doesn’t see me as basically a bum or a freeloader.
Yeah, I was hurt and it still stings in a major way. I’ve been wanting to talk to her about it but things have been going so well, I don’t want to introduce anything negative if I can at all help it.
Father God, I praise you for all of creation. The fact I can have thoughts are a testimony to your awesomeness. God, I pray that you draw me into your protection as you strengthen me against the attacks from the enemy. Give me the courage and the strength to be sensitive to and surrender to your will. God, I pray you give me peace of mind and a new strength of character. Embolden us against attacks. Amen.