|Yep. This is the life of your local custom framer! Husband Dave and I have been framing together for fifteen years.|
Over these hundreds of years that we've been together, I have tried zillions of things. Coming up with some big idea is the most wonderful thing to do in this world. Beginning on a new brilliant project is also one of the greatest things in life. Getting just far enough into it that you realize it's way more complicated and difficult than you ever dreamed... well, that isn't quite so thrilling.
That's when a person who knew all along that another person would flop at whatever she was trying to do would delight in pointing out the obvious by lifting a brow and sniffling a well-timed: "well, I tried to tell you but you wouldn't listen."
Recently, I dragged old Dave Roberts on a few hours drive to go pick up an ancient piece of framing equipment from a shop that was going out of business because I wanted to be able to easily cut oval glass. Our investment was merely fifty bucks for this old dinosaur-cutter but I knew it would be an awesome gadget to have. Good custom frame shops have a lot of gadgets because we do everything ourselves. So, even though we rarely-rarely-rarely frame with ovals (ovals go in-and-out of vogue... so they'll come back around...) I know I'll eventually think we were clever for getting this equipment on the cheap.
We dragged this old cutter home to the shop and I cleaned it, set it up, then started cutting. The mats cut easily enough on it (though I still have to go in and tighten it up and calibrate the settings), but alas, it doesn't have the glass-cutting head.
"I can cut it just as easily by hand," said Dave Roberts when I told him what I'd discovered.
"I know you can," I said. "But I wanted to do it on this cutter."
This is when he should have said, "Well, I told you we didn't need it."
But you see, he didn't say anything of the sort. Instead, he said, "You said you could get parts for it. Keep looking for the part. You'll find it."
And then he said something else that encompasses most of our life experiences. He said, "We've wasted a lot more than fifty bucks on things that didn't work."
Having a small business is hard in almost every way. You have to have nerves of steel (which I do not have), you have to juggle dozens of priorities (which I don't know how to do), you have to know how to do everything passably well (which who knows how to do everything or even wants to do everything?), you have to weather good- and terrible-times (and in the last decade there have been more than enough terrible-times for small businesses), and you have to never give up (which I dearly love to do).
|Here's Dave, delighted to see me, as always.|
mowed the yard
emptied all my trash and taken the dumpsters to the curb and back again
brought me lunch every day
put away all the new mouldings
helped the Larson driver unload the truck
helped me relocate the crazy oval-cutter I bought
continued trenching a huge perimeter around our back-yard so we can bury an invisible fence that will allow our wiener dogs to return to the shop (our puppy keeps getting out even though we have a fence in the back and so we are adding another barrier)...
Each evening when I leave work (unless I'm mad at him for some reason) I call and ask what he's doing. He's always working at his real job and it's not usually a convenient time for me to call. After I ask when he's getting home I always ask him this, "What can I eat for supper?" And he tells me what we have or that he will be home in time to fix something.
Isn't it strange, isn't it strange, isn't it strange... our lives become so co-mingled over our lifetimes. How often I know this man would love to say, "Good grief! What were you thinking?" or more likely, "Good night! What in the world are you doing now?" Or best of all, "I told you that wouldn't work!" But instead, he does all the things a man does and lives in a quiet and fine way while I carry on to him about whatever great big harebrained thing I've dreamed up at any given time.
So isn't it strange?
And you know what?
For those who thought we were too young, too immature, too poor, too silly to make it all those decades ago: YOU WERE RIGHT! But, with God's help, we have. And, well, I told you so.