October 18, 2015 — Leave a comment

We all make mistakes. It kind of goes with life I think! To the best of my memory there has only been one person who lived without making a mistake and we have been waiting for him to return for about 2000 years. My dad told me long ago that mistakes are inevitable and we all get the same sinking feeling in the gut when we realize we have done it again; made a mistake.

Mistakes come in various forms, shapes, and sizes. But, the secret to living life knowing we will make many mistakes along the path we travel is to admit we made the mistake and offer a remedy. It may be that just an apology is needed or maybe a major overhaul of a plan or perhaps a complete change of direction.  We may have taken the wrong fork in the road and have to back track quite a way to get everything straightened out. We rarely can get by following my favorite Yoggieism; “if you come to a fork in the road, take it”

My boss has finally admitted to a major mistake she may have made this spring. The decision she made while we were deciding what kind of mulch to use in the patio area which also serves as the “potty” yard for the “Girls” and now just “a girl”. She wanted black mulch but as I pointed out the only black mulch they had was a very stringy clingy type and I also reminded her that the furnishings, (if you don’t know that’s the long hair on Schnauzer legs), and beards on the “girls” would attract that mulch like high powered magnets! She said, “The black will look so good that’s what I want.” The decision had been made. The mulch was, after two trips to Lowes because I miss estimated the required amount needed, was laid down in the patio area. Twenty bags of the wet stinky staining stuff were spread out ruining a good pair of jeans and took almost a week to get the stain off my hands because the dye came through my gloves.  Job done! Very well done if I do say so myself, an added enhancement to one of my best projects. It really looked great and did in fact make the patio look much better.

At the moment the mulch was down the inevitable began. Mulch in the house! Every time the girls went outside they brought back a part of my hard work.  “Well it’s just because it’s new and not packed down yet” she said.  “It will stop before long” she said. Week after week she said that. Almost every day she said that. And then last week, after six months of complaining, she said, “I’ve had enough of the tracking in. You have got to get rid of that nasty mulch and figure out something else to put down in the patio.”

So, as you can guess, I now have a project for the fall season. The project started Monday removing the mulch and moving it to the flower bed down by the pond.  After two afternoons the mulch was gone but another problem arose. The back fill behind the retaining wall I had built last year had settled almost four inched and in some places more than that. Before I go any further I must find dirt to back fill again. Luckily the FUMC has top soil for a nominal fee, delivered to your door. Wow, that saved me a lot of work. The dirt has been spread and now I’m ready for the new patio ground covering.

The project was interrupted by a 93rd birthday and a visit from my brother from Tennessee. I enjoyed his visit and I’m sure the birthday girl did also, our mother.  Without any other interruptions I will restart the fall project tomorrow, Monday, with a trip to Greenwood to find the proper size rock to cover the patio area and not be conducive to tracking into the house by little hairy feet.

As I contemplate the finishing of the project and the new look for the patio, because the black mulch really did look good, I remind myself of something I learned long ago. Projects take twice as long and cost twice as much as originally estimated. It is obvious that I have not improved as an estimator!

Thanks for listening.

Richard Isley

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