Sunday, April 29, 2012
When this prompt appeared I immediately thought I would write some fiction. I haven't done that in a while and I'm a little bored with telling you all about me and my life, though I do enjoy reliving moments in time thorough the written word. Then it occurred to me there was a "stranger" story I could tell and not the one I just told in "Oh What a Night". So with that being said, why not tell another Jo story.
We bought this little house in 1999 and it was perfect. Didn't need anything more than a coat of paint on the inside and new carpet. That lasted for a few years and then, as houses do, it began to ask for some repairs and some updates and one thing leads to another and before you know it, you have re-done most of the house. We re-did the downstairs, basement, because it wasn't finished at all and we wanted to use it as a family room. Roomy painted the walls, I painted the floor and we added a fireplace. Next a couple of years later, we added carpet to the kitchen and family room area. That we hired done. The we added a bedroom. That our son and Roomy did. They also created a tanning room for Roomy's tanning bed. He gets great relief from the warmth to his arthritic joints. I prefer the real sun.
At the completion of that job, Roomy advised me that he was done with remodeling of any sorts. He declared that we would be hiring someone else to do the fix-ups I deemed necessary henceforth. So when the front porch began to pull away from our house, I deemed something needed to be done about that. I searched around for someone local that could do this and maybe some of that, at a reasonable price and would also be able to put up some new gutters while reattaching our front porch. I would be searching for a stranger to entrust with my home and hoping that all future repairs might be done by the same person or company.
I selected a man named Ron. I had never met him. Didn't know anyone for whom he had done work. I learned later that our pool boy is friends with him, but didn't know that until after I hired him to attach the porch and put up gutters. His prices were moderate and he won my heart over at our first meeting. He knew his stuff and immediately detected that the porch was only the beginning of a much larger problem, on the first day of work. The roof had been re-done about 5 years prior and had a 10 year warranty. The boards on the front of the house, which Ron exposed in order to fix the porch, were rotted. Not rotting, rotted. There was nothing to which he could attach our new porch roof. He stopped working so that I could pursue the roofers and get that taken care of.
I won't go into the long story of how long it took to get my roof fixed correctly or how I had to see an attorney or any of the hours of talking and writing I did to get a well reputed company to stand behind their own warranty, but eventually I got a new roof, boards and shingles at no charge and they did an outstanding job.
Ron then finished his work on the porch and Roomy and I decided to have him also re-side the house in vinyl. It had aluminum and was looking pretty shabby. Then he added a vinyl railing to our deck. He also replaced a couple of windows we had no replaced yet.
We got to be great friends during these projects and I learned how truly versatile his skills are and again, long story short, this is "MY GUY". You know, the guy you call when things break or need updating or you get a brain storm? Just me? Okay, well, he's the one I call.
This stranger has become almost family in that I really trust him, care about him, went through a divorce with him, lean on him, use him and would do anything I am capable of doing to make his life better. That name in the phone book became a stranger giving me an estimate and then became "MY GUY".
Whenever anything needs done now that I think I can't do, Roomy will say, "Call Ron, he'll do it for ya." And so far, he has.
This year, he will be building those new steps off the deck that we (read I) have determined we need. I think I have a couple other little things for him, too. Don't tell him though because I like to surprise him with these things when he comes to measure for materials and give me a price.
It keeps him on his toes and gives me a chance to decide if I really want those other things done or I just want MY GUY to hang around a bit more.
This whole story could have turned out much differently, but for me, this stranger was a treasure.